Hey everyone! We survived syllabus week! So far, the semester hasn’t been too bad. I haven’t had too much work yet because it’s only the first week. This week was the calm before the storm. Next week, though, things will be kicked up a notch. I will have more homework, more student organization meetings, and I will start working in the lab. So this weekend, I’m taking some time to prepare for the rest of the semester. Here are some things you should do to prepare for an organized and successful rest of the semester.
Read all your syllabi and put them in a safe, yet easily accessible place.
Take the time to read each of your syllabi. Be familiar with your professor’s grading and attendance policies. If it helps, highlight policies you want to double check or reference in the future. It would also be a good idea to create an assignment spreadsheet. (This post by Dani from Dearest will show you how to make an organized semester spreadsheet!) After you’ve looked them over, put them in a safe, yet easily accessible spot. For example, I divide my binder according to class. I keep the syllabus for each class right behind the divider tab in a plastic sheet protector. The plastic sheet protector keeps it safe, while keeping it with the other class documents makes it easily accessible.Here are some things you should do to prepare for an organized and successful rest of the semester! Click To Tweet
What do you want to accomplish this semester? It can be a habitual goal (for example: post three times every week, read for fifteen minutes every day), or a one-time thing (visit the Career Center, find a lab to work in…). Write these down and put them in a place where you see them often. Check out my post on SMART goal setting here, and check out my fall semester goals linkup post here!
Start reading the chapters/PowerPoints
Reading the chapters and/or PowerPoint slides ahead of time gives you an advantage because you already have an idea of what will be discussed in class. It also gives you the opportunity to prepare a list of questions to ask during the lecture. You don’t have to read the chapter thoroughly, though. You might not understand it completely because no one has explained it to you yet. That’s okay! Don’t get discouraged. As long as you understand the main topics, you should be prepared enough for the lecture. (Hint: the “Chapter Summary” pages are your best friend!)
Create a study strategy
What’s your “plan of attack”? Create one for each class, if necessary, because different classes require different types of preparation, note taking, and studying. Reading the chapter might be the best way to prepare for one class, while just skimming through the slides might be the best way to prepare for another. It takes a few weeks to create a solid plan, because it takes a while to understand how the class is. Once you are familiar with the class, you can decide how you will study. For example, my personal study strategy works for almost all my classes. Before the class, I skim through the chapter (especially the “Chapter Summary”). During class, I take notes about the discussion and the lecture, but I definitely don’t write out the slides word for word. There will be enough time for that later. After class, I rewrite my class notes while looking at the PowerPoint or the textbook (it depends on the class). I even color code the headings and write the vocabulary words in pink.
Now that syllabus week is over, classes are about to get more intense. But if you prepare accordingly by reading your syllabi, setting goals, reading the chapter, creating a study strategy, you should be ready for an organized and successful semester.
How do you prepare for the rest of the semester?