Starting a new semester off right

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor

Jessica Cook

It’s the start of both a new year and new semester, and starting the semester off right requires preparation.

For some, such as sophomore Jessica Cook, starting the semester off can be difficult because of the changes. Cook says that the hardest part about the start of a new semester is “getting back into a routine” after a break filled with no structure.

Others, such as five-year MBA major Amanda Jones, find re-adjusting to the campus atmosphere as difficult. Jones says the most difficult part about starting the semester to her is “adapting to newer classes and newer teachers.”

Although some students believe syllabus week is unnecessary, you can miss important information without it. While reviewing the syllabus in class, don’t hesitate to take out a highlighter and highlight the parts that matter the most, especially the sections concerning absences and tardiness. You can also discuss any concerns with your professor.

You shouldn’t only look at your syllabus in the first week of class. In a planner or on your phone, record all of the important topics and assignments for the semester.

Courtesy of Leenika Belfield-Martin

Also, get a tutor in the beginning of the semester if you think you’ll need one. This way, you can have help with your courses before you make a mistake in them. If you wait until after you fail a test, it might be too late to save your grade in a class.

A new semester can mean the loss of friendships created in the previous semester. This happens because of schedule changes, as well as other obligations. To avoid this, coordinate your schedule with your friends before you get too busy during the school year.

It’s normal to lose touch with people throughout your years in college; however, be careful of the bridges you burn.

“Sometimes it’s hard to keep in contact with people who aren’t in your major, but even though I may not have their numbers, I always acknowledge them when I see them on campus,” Jones said.

Cook said that to financially prepare for the semester, she had to budget. She had to tell herself, “Don’t spend [your] money.” To help with stacking money, Cook says it’s best to “work during vacation. It’s hard to pay for books with money you don’t have.”

If you have a meal plan, use it! Those $7 Chick-fil-a meals and $6 Subway sandwiches can quickly cause a dent in your pockets. If you’re not going to the cafeteria, you’re wasting your meal plan — or, in other words, wasting money you’ve already spent.

Textbooks and other course materials also can set students back financially early in the semester. Before you go onto for your books, look on This website combs through more sites that sell and rent textbooks.

If your schedule permits, you may also want to consider getting a job to help you finance extra expenses throughout the semester. When applying for jobs in the area, make sure to remember that your academics come first. Consider applying to jobs on campus or even remote jobs, such as freelance writing.

Starting the semester off on the right foot also means starting it off with the right mindset. Let go of any negativity from previous semesters. The only way to prosper in college is to prepare and be positive.


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