Mid-Semester check in

The beginning of every semester is a time for excitement and optimism.  “This will be my best semester, ever!”  There are new pens, new backpacks, and fresh faces to meet. The first week of school is generally awesome.

Now that we are a few weeks into the semester, this is a great time to check in.  Where is your optimism?  Are you still encouraged and excited? Or, are you starting to suffer under a crushing workload and a loss of motivation?

Assuming things are going well, let’s figure out how to keep that going.  Take a moment to contemplate how you keep yourself in a positive mindset, reward yourself, and stay motivated. Give yourself a mental high five for keeping the positive energy at this point in the semester. Write down your strategies, because in a month or so you may need to remind yourself what brings you success. Write a reminder in your calendar to check in weekly or monthly so you can keep the good times rollin’!

If things are starting to look bleak, let’s brainstorm some ideas to get that optimism and motivation back. Here are some questions to briefly ponder:

  • You general health
    • Are you eating and sleeping well? Are you hydrated?
    • Are you getting appropriate social contact (not too much! Not too little!)?
    • Are you exercising?
  • Academics
    • Are you understanding the material? If not, what resources are you considering (TA, Office Hours, Tutor)?
    • Are you prepared for class? Are you reading the material ahead of time? Are you thinking of questions you could ask during class time or office hours?
  • Time Management
    • Do you have a schedule? Is it working for you? Is it balanced? Does it need revision?
    • Are you saving enough time for assignments?
    • Are you starting assignments early enough?
    • Are you saving enough time to study for exams?
    • Are you studying during the hours when you are most focused?
  • Strategies
    • Office hours: does your professor know your name? Have you been to office hours to at least introduce yourself? (You could go there to introduce yourself before you need help!)
    • Study group: Can you do this without “oversocializing” and failing to use your time well?
    • Online discussion groups for your class
    • 1:1 Study partner, or tutor
    • If you are receiving services on campus (RDS, OPS) have you let your support person know you are in distress?
    • Can you catch the early warning signs before this becomes a crisis??

Schedule a regular check in (weekly? Monthly?) to make sure you are in tip top shape.  This really could be your best semester. Ever!

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