December 15, 2020

6 Ways to Prepare for a Successful New Semester

After a long break at home, it can be hard to get back into the flow of things when you return to university. Follow these steps to put you on the right track and to set the tone for a successful semester ahead.    


Come up with goals.

New Year’s resolutions are great, but here’s what’s even better: having SMART goals. Your goals will be easier to achieve if they are “smart,” or specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

For example, maybe your goal is to build an emergency fund of $1000 (specific). You will devote an hour every Sunday night to come up with a list of expenses and areas where you can cut down on your spending (measurable and attainable).

You need this emergency fund for unexpected expenses like auto repair, and to help your parents out (relevant). You’re planning to save $84 every month, so you can achieve the goal in a year’s time (time-bound).


Plan, don’t cram. 

Cramming a huge amount of information into your head a week before your exams will give you a major headache. You’ll be studying to remember, instead of studying to understand. As a result, you’ll most likely forget the information as quickly as you’ve learned it. To prevent cramming and procrastination, create a study schedule and stick to it so you won’t feel stressed in the days leading up to midterms or finals.


Get involved.

The beginning of a new semester is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Get to know the people you have classes with by finding a common ground in the form of shared hobbies, similar experiences, and mutual interests. You can also join study groups to get to know your classmates, which will help you prepare for your exams as an added bonus.


Get your finances in order.

Financial literacy is a skill that you can learn any time. Keep your future self in mind by tracking your spending and cutting back whenever you can. Know the difference between needs and wants, and stick to essentials without forgetting to reward yourself every now and then.   


Upgrade your room.

You’ll be spending lots of time in your Ottawa student housing, so make sure it’s a welcoming space where you can sleep and study comfortably. There are many ways you can enhance your area without breaking the bank. 

For instance, you can fill the empty walls with posters or framed photos of friends and family to make you feel more at home. Buy yourself an aromatherapy diffuser and replace old sheets with new ones to get good quality sleep. Also, keep a cable organizer nearby to keep your cords hidden and out of the way. 


Have an outlet for fun.

University is not a sprint to the finish line, it’s a marathon. So be in it for the long haul. All work and no play will lead to burnout, so give yourself a much-deserved break from time to time. After a day of going to classes, take for a quick walk, treat yourself to a chocolate bar, or spend the rest of the evening bingeing on mindless TV shows.


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