With summer coming to a fast end, students will soon find themselves back in old, familiar hallways. If you’re one of these students, before you know it homework, responsibilities, and stress will start taking over your life and what seemed manageable during syllabus week will pile on quickly by week three.
But this year, prevent yourself from falling into the old patterns by making a few changes that will help keep you on top of your classes and make sure that this year is the best one yet.
Take on Leadership Positions
If you’re anything like the average student, freshman year you signed up for a dozen clubs that you never bothered attending. Now, you probably receive an endless stream of emails begging you to attend meetings and cookouts.
Instead of sending all those emails straight to your trash bin, see if they are having officer elections at the beginning of the year. Taking on a leadership position can give you valuable experience for your resume and taking on a leadership role will guarantee your involvement in an extracurricular activity. Plus, it’s a great way to make lots of new friends.
Make a Strong Connection With a Professor
One connection you need to make and maintain while in college is with a professor. Whether that professor is your advisor, affiliated with a club you’re a member of, or is just someone you bonded with during class, professors are a great connection to the world after college.
Over the course of this four or five year relationship, professors can recommend you for jobs on campus, act as a reference on your résumé, and even help you find jobs and internships.
Sit in the Front of the Classroom
On the first day of classes, try to grab a seat as close to the front of the room as possible. Not only will it help ensure that you pay attention during class and are able to see the board, but it is also more likely that the professor will recognize you and notice your absence if you sit in a prominent seat. This can help keep you motivated to attend class, especially if the professor mentions or asks why you weren’t in class.
Introduce Yourself to Your Professors
If possible, introduce yourself to your professors or TAs at the beginning of the semester by taking the time to visit them during office hours. Just taking the time to pop in and say “Hi, I’m Molly from your Biology 102 section four” can help them place your face with your name on their register and help you stand out in their mind. Your initiative might also make them more willing to help you out if you start to struggle in the class.
At the very least, it will familiarize you with where their office is located and what their office hours are, which can be useful mid-semester, and it can help you feel more comfortable asking questions during class.
Get (and Stay) Organized
With the help of planners, desk calendars and apps, there are plenty of places to write down your daily assignments, big exams, work schedule, and club meetings.
Once you’ve finalized your schedule for the semester, write down all of your important due dates in your planner. It can also be helpful to mark down “week until” dates. For example, if you have a big exam, mark down a reminder one week before it. This will help keep it in your mind and can serve as a reminder to start studying and make sure that big due dates don’t sneak up unnoticed.
Once you have all your due dates and reminders marked, all you have to do is check your planner on a regular basis.