It’s always hard to bring your brain back to reality after a vacation. Your heads are probably still filled with sugar plums and candy canes, but it’s time to focus. It’s time to start the semester off right and I’ve got some tips to bring you back from vacation and into the classroom. My tips will help you become organized at the beginning of the semester, and hopefully will become habits that last until the very end (then we can repeat after summer vacation).
1.) Start the semester off organized – Before the work starts piling up, make sure you have everything you need. Books. Pens. Highlighters. Calculators. Notebooks. Anything you may need in case of a homework crisis. Make sure you have a work area at home: the desk, a kitchen table, etc. It has to be clean. Stress will build quicker if you’re surrounded by a mess. Put your books on a shelf, and buy a file organizer to keep all of your papers throughout the semester. It will make finding information at the end of the semester easier.
2.) Turn off the TV – As soon as you get home from work or class, don’t sit on the couch and watch TV. You may have had an exhausting day and you may want to finish the show you started to watch over break, but try to refrain. You may sit on the couch with the intention of getting up and doing homework after just one episode, but as we all know, it’s never just one episode. The TV is addictive and it allows you to wipe productive thoughts from your brain and will make it even less productive after you’ve finished. Long story short, save the TV for after your homework.3.) Talk to your professor – Hang back after class to talk to your professor. Whether you want to compliment them on a good lecture or let them know how much you’re enjoying the readings, it will help create a bond between the two of you. Getting to know your professors early in the semester will make it easier for you to ask for help later. It’s easier to discuss your class difficulties with someone you trust, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.
4.) Go to the library - Yes, the library is even open at the beginning of the semester. Check out the library early. Use a computer to check the news, check out a fun book to read, or just explore. Learning how the library works early in the semester will make it easier for you to research later in the semester. Sometimes doing homework in the library is more productive than working at home which has a number of distractions.
5.) Go to bed early – The beginning of the semester is the time where you should be saving up sleeping hours, because by the end of the semester, you will be exhausted. There are no medical researchers that concede this information, but nonetheless, going to bed early will help create a healthy sleep cycle that will no doubt increase brain function. It will also create a good habit.