The beginning of this semester has a been a particularly wet one here in Slippery Rock, even for a campus affectionately known as Snow and Rain University. The rain we have had so far shows no signs of relenting and neither does the pace of the academic semester. Classes are starting to ramp up for the year. No longer is there any chance of professors cutting class short after reviewing the syllabus or a quick introduction to the topic at hand. Every class period now goes its full time as professors start to delve into the bulk of the course. Due dates for assignments are nearing, study groups are forming and the campus is getting back into the swing of things. If this is your first semester at The Rock you might be having a hard time getting into the groove of classes. If you are, there a few things you can do to help yourself along.
First get all the dates from your class syllabi onto your calendar. Whether you use an online calendar like Google calendar, iCal, or the Outlook calendar provide by the school, or a paper planner, organize all of your assignment deadlines and exam dates in one place. Having everything together will keep you from flipping back and forth from one class schedule to another to find out what you have to do for the week ahead.
That being said, plan your week in advance. As the semester rolls on you can either get ahead of your responsibilities or struggle to play catch-up, and the former is significantly less stressful. Pick one day of the weekend to drag yourself out of bed, no matter how late you were up the night before, and take some time in the morning to look over what you accomplished that week and lay out a plan of what you need to be doing in the week ahead. This will prevent surprise due dates from popping up and give you advance notice for bigger projects that require more time and planning.
After all of that preparation, make sure that when class time comes you actually attend. Showing up and being engaged in class, not on your phone or surfing the Internet, will do wonders for how much of the course material you retain. As the semester goes on, skipping class will sound more and more appealing but missing even one day can derail your hard work from earlier in the semester.
Finally, make sure to invest in a durable raincoat and boots, because this semester is just getting started.