Tackling the New Semester

If you struggled to find a rhythm or routine while taking classes last year, do not stress– you weren’t alone. Fall 2020 challenged us all to re-evaluate how we learn and what tools are necessary for personal success in a virtual learning environment. Now that we are slowly introducing in-person classes and schedules with a little more structure, you may be experiencing some anxiety on how to prepare after a semester of rolling out of bed and into a WebEx class. This transition may be especially difficult for those that are first-year students and living away from home for an entire semester. Keep reading below for some helpful tips to succeeding in what will more than likely be another unprecedented semester.

  1. Buy a planner. You may be feeling like your 2020 planner was a waste, but we challenge you to bring some optimism into this new year. Take an afternoon to get organized! Make sure you write down or make note of assignments, projects, and exams in a way that you will remember their due dates. If it helps, print off your syllabi for the semester and make a master calendar so you can view all your due dates at once. This will allow you to stay on top of your schoolwork and lead to a successful semester.
  2. Get to know your professor. Regardless of whether your classes are virtual or in-person, develop a relationship with your professor. Reach out over email, ask them questions, participate in class, and take the time to get to know them. This will show your professor that you care about their course and want to be successful. Later down the road if you begin to struggle in their class, they will be more inclined to help because of the effort you displayed early on. This will save you from being more stressed than necessary.
  3. Set goals and intentions for the semester. Figure out what you want from this new semester. Do you want to get all A’s? Do you want to focus on learning rather than grades? Do you want to grow in certain areas of your education? Would you like to discover where your educational interests are? Set these intentions early on so you can work to meet your goals by the end of the semester. Developing these goals will help you to feel like you are maximizing your successes and capabilities as a student.
  4. Make time to relax. This is one of the most important keys to having a successful semester. Schedule time throughout your week to do whatever you find relaxing. Go for a walk, watch a movie, talk to friends and family, or read a book. Allow yourself time to recharge and rest to ensure you don’t burn out.

This semester will inevitably present itself with new challenges and changes, but we hope these tips will help to make certain aspects of your life a little bit easier. If you are struggling, there are many great resources to reach out to on campus. Check out ECU’s Counseling Center, talk to your advisor, or consider scheduling a Well-Being Coaching appointment with CRW’s Wellness Department. We wish you the best as you work through another semester of classes. Go Pirates!