Starting a new semester

January passed by so quickly with exams and culminating projects to finish; I can’t believe that we’re already into February this fast! I went through a lot in the past month – exam stresses and tight deadlines – and it feels so good now that I no longer have a load of things to do on my back. Despite the fact that not all my exams went as well as I hoped, I still have to just use my one day of break to destress and rebuild strength for approaching the new semester. Here are a few tips I’m using for a transition.

  1. Clear your mind. It definitely won’t be easy, but one of the most important things to do is clear your mind of the last semester. Know the saying “you can’t begin a new chapter in your life without closing the old one.”? A new semester has begun and you need to stop thinking about the previous one. Whatever happened won’t be changed and although reflecting back to think about what you could have done differently is good to a certain extent, constantly pondering on your old mistakes will not benefit you in the long run. Do whatever it takes to refresh your brain, be it throwing (unnecessary) notes out, meditating or relaxing.
  2. Take a break. We all need an occasional break while transitioning between semesters, so do it between your semesters. Take the time to experience being free for the first time in what seems like eternity. Use the time to write down any goals you want to achieve in the new semester and SMART about setting those goals. This can include personal ones as well.
  3. Start preparing. Although you should take a short break, just don’t forget that this isn’t a vacation you’ll be jogging shortly afterwards, during the meantime, it may be a good idea to look a bit into the material you’ll be studying next semester and generally know what you’ll be expected to learn. I’m starting on calculus and data management books for next semester, so that I have a chance of getting a head start this semester.

What are your tips for starting a new semester?

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