Preparing for a New Semester

Starting a new semester is associated with new beginnings and hope to achieve your goals. New classes allow you to learn, grow, and make new friends. How do you equip yourself with the skills and environment necessary to have a successful semester? Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks to ensure you start your semester on the right foot!

1. Set Specific Goals

Setting up expectations for yourself is a wonderful way to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the semester. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did/did not work in my last semester?

  • What kind of person do I want to be and how do I get there?

  • What is holding me back and who can help me?

These goals can be about academics, sports, extracurriculars, personal improvements, and more! Examples of goals include improving your grades, sleep schedule, and giving yourself time to destress.

Once you have recognized the type of goal you want to complete, make a specific game plan on how you are going to achieve it. Are you going to study for at least one hour every day? Are you going to put your phone away before you go to bed? According to a study at the Dominican University in California, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Make sure your goals are specific and attainable!

2. Organize and Clean

Completely cleaning your workspace will give you a fresh start for the new semester. Clearing out your backpack and pencil case is a great place to begin, as you can gauge what school supplies you have and need. Additionally, you can organize your papers from last semester and determine if you should store them for future classes. If you will not need them, you can recycle them, reuse the blank backs of the papers to write on, or give them to friends who will take the class in the future. You can also get rid of books that you no longer need by donating them or giving them to other students.

Next, you can declutter your room and desk to officially start fresh. While your room may seem clean from the surface, it may have clutter in the nooks and crannies. This could include donating clothes that no longer fit you, wiping and dusting surfaces, vacuuming, and more! Make sure your workspace is tidy and clean so you do not get distracted.

3. Go School Supplies Shopping

Over the last semester, you may have lost supplies like flash drives, pens, and pencils. Now is your chance to refill on them! Also, check if your classes for the upcoming semester have put out their school supply list. To avoid getting excessive or unnecessary items, make a list before going shopping.

4. Develop a Planning System

Adapting a planning method that works for you is a great way to ensure productivity in the upcoming semester. Without a planning system, it is common to forget assignments or miss deadlines. Examples include bullet journaling, study planners, hourly planners, digital planners, and more. To start, you can write a to-do list on the Notes app on your phone or paper. A common method is to get a store-bought yearly planner, but do not be afraid to experiment with various methods to find out which one fits you the best!

5. Get Ahead of Your Courses

During your semester, you may find it difficult to manage your courses, extracurriculars, sports, and more. Therefore, getting ahead of your courses in the break before your semester starts can help it become a bit easier. If you are going to take subjects like math that require prior knowledge, it may help to brush up on what you learned in the past. Resources like your previous notes, Khan Academy, and textbooks will help you remember those concepts. You can also start working ahead by learning about concepts in the curriculum if your teacher has given the syllabus.

Starting a semester is a thrilling experience with new courses, classmates, and environments. To make sure you will flourish in the new semester while still having fun, it is important to prepare yourself for the courses ahead. Starting fresh will ensure your success!


Work Cited

Economy, Peter. “This Is the Way You Need to Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success.”, Inc., 28 Feb. 2018,


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