How to Survive the Semester

As much as we’d like to, there’s no denying it: school is back in session. It’s that time of year again–time to put away the swimsuits and break out the textbooks. That means waking up for that dreadful 8 a.m. class (if only we could hit snooze on the school year), suffering through group projects, and yes, lots of homework. While school may seem terrible at times, there are some things that you can do to make it a little easier and a lot more fun. Here are eight tips on how to survive the semester:

1. Plan ahead & prioritize. There’s nothing worse than being bogged down with homework, so it’s best to do everything you can to avoid tedious all-nighters. Start by writing out all the homework you have due the following week, and plan accordingly. Although it may seem tempting, don’t procrastinate. Trust me, you will thank yourself when you have two papers, a project, and a presentation all due on the same day.

2. Get enough sleep. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Studies show that students who get more sleep do better in school. Plus, who doesn’t love sleep?

3. Find a study buddy. Studying is a necessary evil. Nobody likes to do it, but almost everyone has to. Finding someone to study with can make the process a lot less boring. However, it is important to remember that you’re there to get work done. Find someone who will make studying more fun but who won’t completely distract you from your work.

4. Use your professor’s office hours. One of the best things about going to a small school like Loras is that it’s easy to connect with professors. If you’re having trouble understanding class material, utilize your professor’s office hours–that’s what they’re there for. Your professors will recognize the fact that you’re making an effort to do well in their class, and they will appreciate that. Even if you don’t need extra help, stop in to just say hello and strike up a conversation with your professors. Don’t be afraid of being a “teacher’s pet.” You never know, the connections you make in college could help you later in life.

5. Have something to look forward to. Find something fun to do on the weekend and make plans to do it. Explore Dubuque, try a new restaurant, go see that movie that you’ve wanted to see. When school gets tough, at least you’ll know that something good is just around the corner.

6. Make time to de-stress. Whether it’s doing yoga or watching Netflix, find something that relaxes you and make time for it. It’s easy to get so caught up with school work that you forget about your own mental health. If you’re feeling especially stressed about an assignment, take a 30 minute breather to unwind and collect your thoughts.

7. Get involved on campus. As cheesy as this sounds, getting involved on campus can make your semester much more enjoyable. Getting involved is a way to meet like-minded people and make a difference in the community. Plus, being involved looks pretty good on a resume.

8. Make new friends. No matter if you’re a first-year or a senior, make it your goal to seek out new friends. You can never have too many friends, right? Find people that you click with and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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