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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start the Semester

Smiling student wearing a backpack.

Getting ready for a new semester can feel like an overwhelming task, especially when it coincides with a new year. Shaking off the long December break and switching gears to class mode is a challenge when you’re still digesting holiday food. So, we’ve put together an easy checklist to get you class-ready. Just ask yourself the questions below and you’ll have the tools to slay this semester the way only a Bobcat can.

Have you organized your schedule?

This might seem basic, but there’s a reason why it’s at the top of this list. Review your class schedule and plan your days accordingly. Once you know what your schedule looks like, build a routine that works for you, and get familiar with it. While you figure out what your school and work flows are, remember to incorporate down time into your schedule so you don’t burn out. If you don’t have one already, consider getting a planner. While people think of physical diaries, there are digital options for those who want to avoid paper like Friday, Any.do, and Trello. You can also buy planner templates from Etsy. Planners offer an easy way of keeping track of your schedule as well as obligations and important dates. It also offloads a lot of mental space. Instead of using your mental energy trying to memorize all of the key dates from your schedule, you can use that mental energy towards other things like class assignments.

Do you have your syllabi?

The syllabus is your friend. Don’t wait for classes to start to get your syllabi together. Your instructors have likely posted them online already which offers you an opportunity to fully nail down your schedule. You’ll know when to study for exams, what your reading assignments are, and how grades are allocated. It’ll also give you a scope to how much time you’ll be committing to schoolwork, which offers some much-needed mental preparation.

Do you have a budget?

Between books, transportation fees, and on-the-go meals, there are plenty of auxiliary costs that come with school beyond just tuition. If you want to be prepared for surprises that may come along the way, creating a budget for the semester is worth devoting an hour or two before classes begin. Likewise, there are plenty of apps to help you stay frugal like You Need to Budget and Cleo.

Do You Know What Resources You Can Access?

Bryant & Stratton has tons of resources that span academic, professional, financial, and social needs. Some resources available to Bryant & Stratton students include SmartThinking, the College’s writing center and Owl Purdue. This blog post also lists a number of helpful resources for students to utilize. Some resources, like career services, might require appointments or scheduling ahead of time. So, you’ll want to know not just what resources are available but how to access them. Remember, your academic advisor is here to help and can point you in the direction of many of the additional services available to students.

While you can’t predict everything the semester will throw at you, this checklist is a surefire way to stay ahead and be prepared. As the saying goes: if you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready. 


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