Prepping For A New Semester
The beginning of a new semester can be a nerve-racking time for students, particularly those that are entering college or university for the first time. If you are concerned about starting college/university, don’t be! Many of your peers are having the same feeling. This article will provide five steps you can take to get prepared for a new semester of school and help guide you through your first week of school.
Create a Budget
Unlike high school, there are many costs associated with going to college/university. Creating your own budget will help you effectively manage your money and take account of the costs associated with your program. Your budget should account for tuition fees, books, food, housing (if you are away from home) and utilities, transportation/travel, cell phone, personal expenses, recreation, clothing and entertainment. A well-planned budget will ensure you have enough money for the year. If you are concerned you will not have enough money for the year, consider looking into getting a part-time job on campus.
Create a Weekly Schedule
Time is structured much differently in college/university. Most students have five courses that consist of two to three hour lectures and a tutorial or lab. Class times vary and you may have night classes or days without class. Since most new students struggle managing their time, it is best to create a weekly schedule. Your schedule outlines the time you need to read for each course, complete assignments, study for exams and relax. Most professors suggest that you spend 2 hours for every one hour of class you have per course.
As soon as you get your course schedule and course outline, take note assignment deadlines and exam dates. Some of these dates may conflict with each other, or you may have deadlines that are very close together. The best solution is to set your own deadlines. Make sure you give yourself a couple of days before assignments are actually due. This allows you to look over your assignment, make changes where necessary, and have extra time if you struggled with anything.
Meet a ‘buddy’ in each class
Most people that are starting at a college or university do not know any other students. Make sure you talk to the people sitting beside you during the first few weeks of class. These relationships can be particularly useful for forming study groups or catching up on notes if you had to miss class.
Make a point of meeting your TA/Professor
On the first day of class, the course instructor will usually tell you whether you have a teaching assistant (TA). If you do, make a point of introducing yourself to your TA and set up an appointment to discuss the assignments. Your TA will be marking your assignments and exams: ask them questions. If you are writing a term paper, ask your TA to review your thesis, check your preliminary bibliography or look over a one-page outline. TA’s can provide feedback and ensure you are on the right track. If the course does not have a TA, try to establish this type of relationship with the professor.
Good luck on your new semester!