Welcome back Blugolds

TIps for starting spring semester off right

Story by Katy Macek, Staff Writer

Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the end of finals and packing up to go home for winter break.

Unfortunately, those lazy days spent catching up on all the seasons of (insert favorite show here) have come to an end, and it’s time to start focusing on the new semester.

Transitioning from a month off back into a new semester full of classes and work can be challenging, but it is important to start off on a good note in order for the rest of the semester to go smoothly.

As the first week comes to an end, keep these tips in mind to stay motivated, prepared and organized all semester long.

Set specific goals

According to a study titled “Why Do I Study? The Moderating Effect of Attachment Style on Academic Motivation” published in The Journal of Social Psychology, motivation is key to academic success.

“Motives are strongly connected to the reasons why a goal is pursued,” the study said.

“(And) a person’s reason for pursuing a goal greatly influences his or her motivation to achieve it.”

It’s not enough to set a goal of ‘pass all my classes.’ There must also be a specific reason why each class is important for you to pass in order to be fully motivated to complete these goals.

Not only is it important to note these goals, but also to write them down and check progress on a regular basis in order to be reminded throughout the semester in order for the motivation to last until finals week.

Keep a planner

Whether it’s the detailed one the university is nice enough to give out, a small one to tuck into a pocket or an electronic one stowed away somewhere on your smartphone, keeping an up-to-date planner is essential to stay organized this semester.

The online tutoring services of UW-Green Bay offers many important tips for college students on how to balance time between work, school and everything in between.

“To manage time effectively, you must control it,” the website said. “When you do not consciously control time, your old habits will control your time and set limits to your achievements.”

For a college student, controlling time can seem challenging to say the least. Keeping a planner is one way to consciously organize daily, weekly and monthly activities and to prioritize the most important items first.

Don’t skip class

It may seem easy, especially the first week of the semester, to skip a class or two because the material hasn’t become dense yet, and well, you just want to put off starting school for one more day.

But this could lead to a habit of skipping class more regularly, which could in turn lead to lower grades.

According to an article on usnews.com, missing seven classes from a class that meets 35 times a semester means missing 20 percent of the course, which can result in a lot of damage to your overall GPA.

Not only are you missing the content, but also a chance to get to know your professors and classmates before getting into the semester.

Also, if an emergency or illness comes up later in the semester and the professor only allows for two or three unexcused absences, they won’t have much mercy on you for missing that first day.

A new semester is a chance to start fresh, and though it can be difficult to get back in the swing of things, being organized and prepared are a good place to start.

Just remember to find the time to check in on your progress all semester in order to keep motivated until the end of the year.