A new semester means new classes, a new schedule, and even new priorities. This can all be a bit stressful, especially if looks as though you will have a lot on your plate. Here are a few tips and tricks I use to get ready for a new semester that won’t have you stressed once classes start.
Prepare your calendar. My planner is my best friend. I mark down everything I need to remember to attend or do from meetings to coffee dates. Before I start a new semester, I add things such as spring break, monthly assignment deadlines (such as this blog post), and special dates (birthdays, weddings, concerts, etc.)–occasions that are not part of my day-to-day routine–into my calendar. By identifying significant events and priorities, you can plan ahead and avoid being overwhelmed with tasks.
Make a daily schedule. For me, it helps to visually see my regular, weekly routine. I like to create daily schedules for Monday through Friday to see how classes, chapel, work, and other priorities are blocked out each day. By doing this, I can see when I have time to do homework, eat, relax and spend time with friends.
Check class locations prior to the first day of the semester. I still like to go around to the buildings I will be having classes in to make sure I know where my classrooms are. I have a fear of not being able to find one of my classes which is totally irrational, but I still like to know ahead of time what room I am headed to. (Just a heads-up–if you can’t find your class after searching in Van Peursem Hall, check the basement. Some people are unaware that the building has one. This has caused panic for some in the past when students are unable to find their classroom on any of the three regular floors. Only a few classes are held down there, but still. The more you know!)
Get your textbooks before classes begin. I don’t know how people can wait until the first day of classes to get all of their books. Plan ahead. Compile a list of the textbooks you need so that, during break, you can visit the bookstore in the Rowenhorst Student Center or online and get them early. Why stress about getting your books the first week of class when you can have them weeks before classes begin? Trust me, it is so nice not to worry about ordering books days before the start of the semester.
New semesters can be stressful, but there are ways to prepare yourself. And don’t forget there are always people here on Northwestern’s campus who are more than willing to help you out! Whether you can’t find a class (or the basement of Van Peursem Hall) or are having difficulty ordering books, people on campus will help guide you in the right direction. Northwestern students, staff, and faculty are happy to help answer any questions you may have.