10 Ways to Prep for a Great New Semester

You might be thinking about the start of the new semester and asking yourself, “Wait. Didn’t the last semester just end?”
Let’s face it; school isn’t easy. It takes time, dedication and grit. And you might be finding yourself running short on all three.
Don’t let new semester dread tangle you in its web. With a little reflection and organization, you’ll find yourself prepped for the new challenges ahead and one (big) step closer to graduation day.
1. Hit “refresh” on your focus
Remind yourself of why came here in the first place. Maybe you were you looking for a better career or a better life for your family. Chances are those reasons still as important as they were the day you decided to enroll. 
2. Lean on your friends
You shouldn’t keep any worries about a new semester to yourself. Talk to your support circle. Sometimes all we need is to hear ourselves talk about our fears out loud and realize that they weren’t that scary after all.
3. Beat the clock
Don’t give into procrastination. Set your alarm to get to campus or log into class 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. You’ll leave yourself some buffer time in case you run into any minor setbacks. If you have extra time on your hands, great! Introduce yourself to new classmates or brush up on the syllabus.
4. Clear the clutter
Take some time to clean up. Delete old files, recycle old notebooks and let go of that giant 5-ring binder that you might use one of these semesters. Click here for more tips on cleaning up your study space.
5. Set SMART goals
Have you heard of the  S.M.A.R.T method? It’s one of the most practical tools for creating realistic and achievable goals. The idea is only to set goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Avoid vague goals like, “I’m going to get better grades this semester.” Instead, try something along the lines of, “I’m going to finish the outline for my final paper by the Monday before midterms.”   
6. Review your best work
It’s easy to hang onto failures and even easier to forget about the great work we’ve already accomplished. Pull out that awesome paper you wrote last semester and remind yourself that YOU ROCK.
7. Read success stories
You might still be looking for that extra boost of motivation. Check out success stories of graduates who already did what you’re doing today. Check out some of our graduate stories.
8. Log In
 Take some time to catch up on your emails, reread your syllabus, make sure you submitted any pre-course assignments, and even get a head start on readings for week one. You’ll thank yourself later!
9. Stock your shelves
Take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, nuts and even dark chocolate. Pack a snack in advance for that long class or study session. You’ll feel nourished and better able to concentrate.  
10. Set a schedule
Is your old planner battered and bruised? Maybe it’s time to buy a new one. Or you can check out free online tools like Todoist or Google Calendar. Whichever tool you choose, be sure to set aside some time each day for studying and participating in class.
We hope these tips will help you kick-start the semester with a renewed sense of focus and ambition. If you’re still feeling that new semester dread, reach out to your student services advisor. We’re here to help. Always remember that each new challenge brings you one step closer to the end goal – walking across that stage!
Kristen Brady, M.S. Guidance and Counseling, is the Associate Director of Student Services for Herzing University – Online. Her favorite part of her job is helping students build a better life for themselves and their families. Other than helping students achieve their own, Kristen’s goals include visiting each national park throughout her lifetime. 

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