Jump In!: Tips for Starting the Semester Off Right
This is a blog post by Ariam F., our Stony Brook University Campus Ambassador! If you attend Stony Brook University and want to blog for our site, then comment below!
It&s back-to-school season already? I agree, summer went by way too quickly. Luckily, by preparing for the year ahead early on, you can adjust back to school life in no time. Who knows, you may even get excited to go back!
Get your textbook purchases out of the way.
Some students like to wait after obtaining the syllabi to be sure of the texts required for classes.
Tip: Good idea. While you shouldn’t wait too long to purchase textbooks, make sure to compare prices at your school’s bookstore and virtual bookstores, too. Some exceptional student-friendly sites include Amazon.com, textbooks.com, and chegg.com, which offer used books and rentals.
Take advantage of fun events and get out of the dorm!
Often the first few weeks of classes are review and light reading/homework assignments. That’s why many schools hold organizational fairs and back-to-school parties for the student body . These events are a great way to meet people! Also, they can help you decide which clubs or organizations you want to become involved with on campus. Remember, college is about creating yourself. Each class allows you to move one step closer to your degree and each year allows you to develop your own professional personality. So don&t be shy ; there are clubs for everyone! Get out and take advantage of all that school has to offer!
Maintain those meal points/dollars.
Yes, we all splurge every once in awhile, but don&t let buffet dining halls and unlimited meal plans ruin the healthy habits you developed over the summer.
Tip: Control your eating by starting early in the semester. Take advantage of the gym in your dormitory or around campus. Also, many schools begin their fitness classes like Yoga, Pilates and Zumba early in the semester -- Try them all! The more you know about your body, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Skip the buses and elevators; walk to class!
Organizing Your Space and Using Color Coordination.
At the beginning of each semester, I like to organize my school supplies with a three-drawer shelf (usually next to my computer station). The top row has folders with colored tabs as labels for each class and a syllabus in each one. The second row has all of my personal electronics (kindle, phone charger, usb drive, anti-virus software for my computer, etc.), and the last row has my school books.
Tip: To avoid living in a room full of Post-Its, keep a calendar with all important dates. Pencil in meetings, luncheons, exams and study sessions. Also, remember to clear time for yourself!
Pick out a Study Hall/Space.
It may sound like I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s important to pick out possible study spaces before your work load gets heavy! Every student is different and has his or her own way of studying. Some can type papers while slouching on a bed. Others need to be in relaxed, quiet environments to get through reading assignments. Find out what works best for you and stick to it!
Personally, the library/reading room at my school doesn’t cut it. It’s always crowded and often I have to wait on a line to use a computer.
Tip: This may sound like a hassle, but keep your laptop handy as often as possible. If you can’t stand trucking that around, then make sure you have your flash drive glued to your hip! You never know when you may have the urge to finish that paper or study those notes!
I hope you take something out of this post and have a great back-to-school experience. Bad habits can be completely avoided with an early and positive push in the right direction!