By: Rita M. Rivera – AU PsyD Student, Student Learning Assistant – Title V Student Success
New semester, new you! Want to be successful this semester? Here are some tips for you to start it right!
1. Get organized.
Track your important dates! You can use an old-fashioned planner or a digital calendar to input due dates for assignments, quizzes, and exams. Make sure to read over your course syllabus and highlight all the deadlines for this semester. This is helpful for you to note when certain timelines will overlap, or when you might have scheduling conflicts because of work or personal obligations.
An Albizu Tip: Use your Sunmail account calendar to log all important dates! You can also use Google Docs to create different folders for your courses and store your syllabus and assignments. A proper organizational system can help you be in control of your academic responsibilities and reduce stress.
2. Adjust to a new schedule.
A new semester brings new responsibilities and a new schedule. Try to establish a routine that will allow you to stay refreshed and focused all day. Remember to include work, family responsibilities, meal breaks, and time for self-care!
A schedule can help you manage your schoolwork in addition to other responsibilities. Also, make sure you are dedicating enough time to sleeping and relaxing! Here is an article on how to reset your sleep routine: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/working-new-hours-how-reset-your-sleep-routine
3. Have a plan.
Try to set both short-term and long-term goals that will help you stay motivated throughout the semester. The key with goals is to set S.M.A.R.T goals:
- Specific: know exactly what you need to accomplish and what you hope to gain from doing so. Remember to specify whether the goal is short-term or long-term. Here is an article that explains the differences of both: https://careerwise.minnstate.edu/mymncareers/finish-school/long-short-goals.html
- Measurable: make sure you can evaluate whether or not your goal was met. You should also try to measure how beneficial your goals were to you. This can help you set future goals!
- Achievable: be realistic. For example, you might not be able to complete all your papers during the first week of the semester. However, you can organize your assignments by weeks. Divide and conquer!
- Results-Focused: have clear outcomes for meeting your goals. Hold yourself to them!
- Time-Bound: set deadlines for your goals. Generally, the more complex the task, the more time it will take. You can establish deadlines for each major step of your long-term goals.
Want inspiration and ideas for your goals? Here are some interesting Ted Talk videos on setting and achieving them: https://www.ted.com/playlists/541/goals
4. Have Fun!
Your Albizu experience is more than just school, is also about having fun! Research has shown that engaging in enjoyable activities can help reduce stress. You can read more about Why You Need More Fun in Your Life: https://michaelrucker.com/having-fun/why-you-need-more-fun-in-your-life/
Try to connect with your new classmates and peers! You can also to form study groups with your friends (schedule some Zoom meetings!). The Office of Student Affairs coordinates several events for the students throughout the semester. Make sure to check your Sunmail and the monthly Student Success Portal on Blackboard which posts the calendar of events https://bb.albizu.edu/ultra/organizations/_9255_1/cl/outline. Also, consider joining any of the clubs and organizations that are available on our campus!
Also, consider joining any of the clubs and organizations that are available on our campus!
5. Ask for Help.
Have a question? Need some help? Don’t hesitate to ask! If your question or issue is related to a specific course, you may want to contact your professor or instructor. If it is related to your major or program of study, you can contact your academic advisor and program’s director. If you need help related to a specific department, here is the contact information for them (remember to include your ID number in the email and to be polite!):
Registrar’s Office: AUMiamiRegistrar@albizu.edu
Financial Aid Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance Department: FinanceMIA@albizu.edu
ITS-Technology Department: email@example.com
International Student Advisor/DSO: Elena Zablah | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office of Student Affairs: email@example.com
Following some of the above tips will make your semester easier, more beneficial, and more enjoyable. Get started today! Good luck on this new semester. You got this!