It sounds like a bell!
For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for you.
That’s just a little American Lit riff to get you prepared for the upcoming semester. Like it or not, it’s time to get back to school. That beach book is about to become a textbook, and that sunscreen will be replaced by a computer screen.
To help our raving fans make all of that bell tolling stuff a little easier on your sleep-deprived brain, we pulled together a list of helpful tips to get back into the swing of school after a long, hot summer.
According to the American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education (AIMSE), here are seven tips for getting on the Dean’s List and staying off your parents’ not-happy-with-you list.
1. Become friends with your professors
Whether you’re a freshman or graduate student, this is a great tip to remember from AIMSE. “Your professors have office hours for a reason. Take advantage of them. Use your professors’ office hours to review material from class, establish a relationship, and offer to help out where he or she might need assistance. Not only can this help with understanding your coursework, but it also gives you a head start on finding internships, preparing for future courses and making connections that last way past your graduation.”
2. Use the course syllabus as a time-management tool
Does anyone ever read a class syllabus? Yes, and you should too. Here’s why. AIMSE suggests that as soon as you receive your course syllabus, you should make a schedule of all deadlines and assignments for the rest of the term. This may seem hyper-nerdy, but it’s actually good time planning. Use a basic calendar, your phone’s app or an online tool, such as Google Calendar, to anticipate your work requirements for the class.
3. Eat REAL food and stay away from the junk
Take it from someone who knows (that would be yours very truly), the “freshman 15” is an ugly, ugly thing to witness! Junk food, too many soft drinks and virtually no exercise can add poundage and make you hate looking at that person in the mirror. Fortunately, hot, delicious food from your favorite restaurant is one click away. Just hit the MenuRunners website, download the app and voila (you French majors will have to help the English and Spanish majors with this term), you’re eating healthy.
4. Hit the books ASAP
We all know the kids who wait until the Thanksgiving break to start studying. This is a BIG, honkin’ mistake. Experts say that the first week of the semester is the perfect time to get a jump on your reading and studies. AIMSE notes “the more you’re able to get done early on in the semester, the easier it will be later, when other people will be struggling to keep their head above water when the work starts piling on.”
5. Get a study buddy or study group
Friends made in college will often be an important part of the rest of your life. They can also help your grades. Learning experts suggest “getting a study partner or joining a study group to review classwork could make or break your semester. Participating in study groups is also like getting a group of free tutors, and it helps you with different methods of studying. Having the study group over for dinner from Chili’s, Dickey’s Barbeque, Miguel’s Mex Tex Café, Firehouse Subs, Golden Chopsticks, Buffalo Wild Wings and Taco Bell with food delivered by MenuRunners is another great way to save time and eat well.
6. Get some sleep
There is nothing worse than hearing that first “bell toll” (see above), realizing it’s your alarm clock and knowing you’re back in the school grind. Learning specialists suggest that – more than likely – your body won’t be ready. Before the new semester, get into a routine of waking up an hour before your first class. Once school starts, get into a regular schedule for sleeping and rising.
7. Try to chill
Starting classes, especially if you are a freshman, can be stressful. You may not know anyone on campus, everything is unfamiliar and the courses are difficult. Welcome to the real world. But take heart. As far as the unfamiliarity, this too will pass. Just take a deep breath and remember that once you graduate and have a job, you will look back on these college days and smile. For now, try to chill. You’ve GOT THIS!