Congratulations! If you’re reading this article then you’re probably preparing to start a new year at university. Or maybe, you only have one more semester to go before completing the academic year!
Even though you might not know what to expect and feel a little confused, you can always prepare yourself well beforehand in order to start your new semester with the right foot. As nerve-wracking as the perspective of a new semester may seem, you will find some tips and advice in this article that will surely help you live the beginning of your new college semester as a positive and enriching experience!
In order to get yourself an idea of what to anticipate, you can visit your university’s official web page and read the teaching guides concerning the subjects you’ll take that could be found there. Usually, they offer information about the different contents that will be taught, which books and materials will be required and how the grading systems work.
The assessment methods may be very different from subject to subject, so be sure you get well informed about them. However, the only person who can confirm a hundred percent sure if the assessment method will indeed be like the one described in the teaching guide is your professor. That’s why it is always a good idea to attend your first class of a new subject (which will always be more or less introductory) and take good notes of everything your professor says. Many people think that going to the introductory class is a waste of time because no actual subject contents are usually given. But do not fall for that mistake. Actually, sometimes the professors give unique hints and useful information about how the exams and assignments will be later on!
Many people think that going to the introductory class is a waste of time because no actual subject contents are usually given. But do not fall for that mistake. Actually, sometimes the professors give unique hints and useful information about how the exams and assignments will be later on!
Depending on the degree you’re studying and the subjects you’re going to take, you’ll have to prepare different things to use at college. But in most cases, you’ll need something to take notes during your lectures. If you are naturally a very neat and organized person, a binder could be perfect for your class notes. But if you tend to be more absent-minded and untidy, notebooks may be a better choice for you. Opt for bigger ones with different colors, so that you may use it for more than one subject and don’t need to carry so much weight. If you’ll be going to need special books for the coursework, make sure to buy them in advance, so that you don’t need to stress over finding them when you have an assignment due or an upcoming exam.
You can always check out your college library to see if you can find them there. Or if you prefer, you can buy them or simply download them from the Internet. And pay close attention to any extra material you might need, such as special calculators if you are studying an engineering degree; drawing tools if you study technical design, or photographic material if you are completing an audiovisual communication degree.
Talk to your classmates and friends before the new semester begins about your different points of view concerning new subjects, projects, professors… It is a healthy way of blowing off some steam and helping you feel less alone when facing this new challenge. You might be in for some good laughs! Also, if you have friends who are studying ahead of you in the same degree, you may have found yourself some good “mentors”. Ask them for advice about the new subjects you’ll have to take, how the professors are like, how the exams will approximately be… And in case you later find yourself struggling with a subject, you can always ask them for advice or for some help.
Ask them for advice about the new subjects you’ll have to take, how the professors are like, how the exams will approximately be… And in case you later find yourself struggling with a subject, you can always ask them for advice or for some help.
Once you are introduced to your new subjects and their respective evaluation criteria, you will have to keep up with your corresponding assignments and with your studying schedule in order to succeed in your exams. As I have mentioned in my previous articles, it is always a good idea to take note of exam dates and assignment deadlines as soon as you are informed of them, to avoid having a nasty surprise later.
Also, this will help you organize yourself better so that you can find time to do everything. Take a good look at your exams’ dates: in rare occasions, you may notice that some of them may be scheduled for the same time on the same day. Even though the overlapping of exams in college is unusual, in case you find yourself in this situation, inform the professors who teach this subjects of this mishap with enough anticipation, so that they find another way to assess you properly.
Be sure not to spend your entire time just studying and doing college-oriented activities
That’s not got for your emotional health long-term. Make sure to still hang out with your friends, keep up with activities that entertain you and get enough exercise. Eat well and don’t cut back on sleep. You need the energy to study and get good results in your exams!
If you follow these small pieces of advice, you’ll be sure to get a good start of your new semester and feel relaxed and with plenty of energy to keep up until the end of the course!
My name is Sarah and I am a student of Modern Languages. I love literature, ice-skating and cooking (especially ice-creams and sweets!). I'm also a huge fan of Celtic and Baltic cultures and enjoy travelling abroad to learn more about different traditions and customs.