Going back to school: Top 10 ways to get ahead of the game fall semester

UCLA dorm room (of Hedrick Summit)

UCLA dorm room (of Hedrick Summit)

As the lazy days of summer come to a close, many of you find yourselves heading back to school for fall semester — some of you may actually be setting out for college for the first time! This year, whether it’s your first or your fifth, vow to make a few healthy changes early in the semester to get ahead of the game. Need to know where to start? Just follow these top 10 tips and lay the groundwork for your success.

Tip #1: Don’t procrastinate

Instead of waiting until after classes begin, grab your books early and begin to browse the content. Buying early also allows you to bargain shop, guaranteeing that you get the best prices on those costly textbooks.

Tip #2: Find a passion

Don’t just sit in your dorm room or apartment between classes — go out and get involved. Not sure which clubs or student organizations are right for you? Then check out Valerie Moses’s article, “The Freshman 15: Ways to Get Involved on Campus,” posted to So It Must Be True… on September 22, 2010.

Tip #3: Mapquest, Google Maps

Don’t make a mad dash the first day — get familiar with where your classes are on campus. Walk the route from your dorm or apartment, and gauge how much time you will need for this “commute.” Have back-to-back classes? Be sure you can get from one to the other in enough time.

Tip #4: Money management

At the start of the semester, you probably have an (over)abundance of cash. However, it doesn’t take long to burn through all of this hard-earned dough. An article posted to U.S. News & World Report on September 05, 2012, by Katy Hopkins, “5 Smart Money Moves to Start the College Semester,” explains how to ensure that “you’re not scrounging for change in the dormitory lounge by finals week.”

Tip #5: Get moving

Instead of holing up at mom and dad’s until the last minute, get yourself moved into your dorm or apartment as early as possible. Not only will this help you get settled and in touch with your new (gulp!) roommate(s), it will also help you establish a sense of where you will be living for the next year.

Tip #6: Time wise

The hours may have moved at a leisurely pace these past few months, but you will soon be on the fast track of classes, studying, hanging out with friends and (possibly) holding a job. Set up a schedule early in the semester so you don’t find yourself exhausted and your assignments late. An article on MusicEdMajor.net, “4 Tips to Starting the Semester the Right Way” written by Andy Zweibel on January 03, 2011, offers some great tips on how to “Establish a Routine” and stick to it all semester.

Tip #7: Front and center

Get out of your comfort zone (aka, the back of the lecture hall), and pick a spot near the front for each and every class. Not only will this guarantee that you don’t nod off during a lecture on particle physics, the professor will be more apt to remember your face when you attend his or her office hours 4 Tips to Starting the Semester the Right Way something you should do whenever you have questions or a concept is confusing.

Tip #8: Hot apps

Even if you are still stuck on writing everything down in a planner, apps on your device can make life a whole lot easier 4 Tips to Starting the Semester the Right Way and a lot easier to read. To find out more about organizational and note-taking apps for iPhones, iPads and other devices, check out an article written for iMore by Allyson Kazmucha on August 16, 2013, “Best iPhone and iPad apps for college students: Evernote, Notability, iTunes U, and more!

Tip #9: Where to go

At some point during the semester, you might find that you need help understanding difficult concepts. Instead of waiting until the last minute, keep a running list of tutors, math labs, office hours, study groups, etc. that you can turn to if things get rough. Need help with a writing assignment? Look no further than Questia‘s “Research tutorials for writing a research paper” page.

Tip #10: Have fun

Yes, this is college and you are there to learn, but be sure to take some time out to enjoy these years. Head out with friends, sing along with a local band, and stop to smell a few roses along the way!

Do you have any tried and true tips to help other students get through the semester? Post them in the comments section below!

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3 replies
  1. felix ajayi says:

    You struck on the critical points.I intend amassing lead articles in preparation of the proposal for my thesis.I will be glad if you can use your platform to mail this journal articles to me:
    Solow R.M.(1956),Quarterly Journal of Economics
    Solow R.M.(1979),Canadian Journal of Economics
    Romer P.(1986),Journal of Political Economy
    Eisner R.(1958),economic Journal


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