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ImageWelcome back, everyone! As the hustle and bustle of a new semester engulfs our lovely campus (along with some rather cold temperatures that aren’t so lovely) it’s the perfect time to begin thinking of ways to make the most of a semester. Whether you’re looking to make a big change in your study behaviors, join or start a club, or change your entire major, it’s always important to reflect on previous semesters and make improvements. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you start off Spring 2014 on the right foot!

  1. Commit to going to every one of your classes, meetings and work shifts. I know what you’re probably thinking: “Is that even a real thing? Does anyone actually do that?” And yes, it’s difficult to fully commit to your schedule when you have an 8:00 am class in 10°F weather or a day filled with meetings and fitting in hours at your job. Still, one of the easiest ways to get—and remain—on top of a busy schedule is to dive right into it. While it may be tempting to Netflix all day instead of leaving your room for that calculus class or late-night shift, encouraging yourself to go out and complete your daily tasks will actually make you feel better and more accomplished! You may be tired at first, but once you get going, you’ll realize just how good it feels to be taking care of business; plus, you’ll be obtaining loads of information and experiences that you would have missed by staying at home. It will also make it a little bit easier to get going each time you want to skip out on something in the future. In the words of Nike™:

    JUST DO IT!

  2. Make time for YOU. One of the best things about being a college student is the seemingly infinite number of opportunities available to us; from jobs and internships to electives and extracurriculars, we have access to it all. And while it may be tempting to join 6 clubs, serve on the Student Conduct Board, work a part-time job and take a full-load of classes, it may not always be the best thing to do. Even though joining clubs can be a fun way to spend your time outside of class, there are often frequent meetings and other events that members are required to attend. And with a full load of classes, you need to make time to study. And if you’re already putting in 15+ hours a week at work, you may become overwhelmed by all the things you need to do and forget to take some downtime. In order to be able to give your best effort, you must remember to take care of yourself: that means making time for things you enjoy and can do freely, whether it’s catching up on a favorite show or reading a new book. If you divide your time effectively, you will reduce the chances of becoming overwhelmed. Remember, your health, well-being and sanity should be your main priority.
  3. Compartmentalize, divide and conquer. If you’re like me, you’re probably already feeling a tad anxious about the semester that lies ahead. You’re probably setting up massive long-term goals—like acing this semester’s classes so you can graduate with honors or getting the dream job that you want for the summer. And just thinking about the steps you need to take to get there can be stressful (I know for me, planning for graduate school applications equals crazy stress!) and even detrimental to your short-term performance. Instead of letting the stress of things-to-come get you down, try taking each day or week at a time. Divide your week up into pieces and list things you need to do for that time only. Then, once you’ve accomplished those things, you can freely move onto future tasks. By acknowledging the most immediate tasks and pacing yourself, you can prevent unnecessary stress. Cross each bridge as you come to it and, if you’re doing it right, everything will fall nicely into place!

Overall, just enjoy this semester and make all of your goals into realities! Happy 2014 and may the odds be ever in your favor!

– Sierra

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