Make this semester work for you

It’s 2020, and in light of New Year’s Resolutions and the new decade, it’s time to put your best foot forward in terms of your academic success and make the most of your time at NSU. Whether you have just come off a tough semester, stressful personal issues that affected your academic performance or are even just experiencing some diminished motivation or feeling drained, here are some questions you can ask yourself to set yourself up for an awesome semester. 

 

Are you passionate about your major?

 

It may sound a little repetitive to ask yourself that question, especially if you’ve already soul-searched and landed on your current major, but it is important to explore other possibilities for areas of study, even if that might mean transferring to another college. You need to do what is best for you and your future. Make an appointment with your academic or career advisor and discuss your aspirations and career prospects to figure out what works best for you. 

 

“It’s important to explore other options because if your [major] isn’t something that you want to do, the classes are only going to get harder, but you also want to be learning about something you are passionate about so that you can get past those hard classes and recover from them,” said Sarah Williams, first-year occupational therapy masters student and academic success coach at NSU.  

 

Are you managing your time efficiently?

 

In college, it can be hard to manage classes, study time and a social life. With this, it’s common for students to not sleep properly. According to a 2017 article published by the journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, up to 60% of college students in the study reported suffering from poor sleep quality. According to Williams, it’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to maintain the information that you are taught in classes and be productive and alert during the day.

 

Another facet of managing your time includes using the right study methods that work for you. You may be aware of the different methods of learning such as visual, auditorial and hands-on learning strategies, but you might not be aware that this also ties into how you can best study the material and retain it. If you are unsure if you are using the right study tools or you feel the studying methods you are using currently aren’t working for you, visit an academic success coach at the Tutoring and Testing Center to evaluate your study skills and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s important to be aware of how much is too much for your plate. Be honest with yourself about how many credit hours you can manage. 

 

Are you organizing yourself properly?

 

It may be time to analyze your schedule since building a schedule is more important than people might think. “Build your schedule around what you have to do, need to do and want to do. Prioritize those [desires] and make sure it’s not too much to handle or too little. The Goldilocks approach might be best in this scenario,” said Williams. 

 

Having multiple agendas and planners can be a good thing, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Having everything in one place can reduce some of that stress. Put your agenda on something that you look at every day.  Williams stressed that you’re not just organizing your schedule, you’re also organizing your life. If your room is messy or if there are other distractions in your life, they can deter your focus. 

 

Do you make the most of your time in class?

 

For some students, picking your seat on the first day of class is a top priority, but no matter where you sit in the class, it is pivotal to challenge yourself to not take away from the experience of the class. “Analyze your learning experience and be aware that, as an undergraduate student, whether or not finances are involved, money is involved in these classes. Being present during your classes is important because professors can notice when students aren’t paying attention, and it can make a bad impression,” said Williams.

 

Have you put yourself out there enough?

 

Life is all about doing things with intention and making sure you don’t have any regrets. If you are thinking about doing something but are hesitant, you should take a step back and think about it. If you can come up with more than one reason that would be beneficial for you to do it, then go ahead and try it. If you don’t have any good reasons to do something, then it might be time to reconsider that idea. It’s all about making the most of your time here at NSU and not leaving without any “I wish I did…” aspirations. 

 

Have you cut down on the negativity?

 

In college and in life, it is important to cut out any negativity including negative self-doubt and negative people. This way, you can focus on what really matters, which is getting the most out of your college experience and getting your degree. Do things that are meaningful to you, not just because it looks good on a resume or a job application. Do it because you like it and it interests you. 

It’s 2020, and in light of New Year’s Resolutions and the new decade, it’s time to put your best foot forward in terms of your academic success and make the most of your time at NSU. Whether you have just come off a tough semester, stressful personal issues that affected your academic performance or are even just experiencing some diminished motivation or feeling drained, here are some questions you can ask yourself to set yourself up for an awesome semester. 

 

Are you passionate about your major?

 

It may sound a little repetitive to ask yourself that question, especially if you’ve already soul-searched and landed on your current major, but it is important to explore other possibilities for areas of study, even if that might mean transferring to another college. You need to do what is best for you and your future. Make an appointment with your academic or career advisor and discuss your aspirations and career prospects to figure out what works best for you. 

 

“It’s important to explore other options because if your [major] isn’t something that you want to do, the classes are only going to get harder, but you also want to be learning about something you are passionate about so that you can get past those hard classes and recover from them,” said Sarah Williams, first-year occupational therapy masters student and academic success coach at NSU.  

 

Are you managing your time efficiently?

 

In college, it can be hard to manage classes, study time and a social life. With this, it’s common for students to not sleep properly. According to a 2017 article published by the journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, up to 60% of college students in the study reported suffering from poor sleep quality. According to Williams, it’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to maintain the information that you are taught in classes and be productive and alert during the day.

 

Another facet of managing your time includes using the right study methods that work for you. You may be aware of the different methods of learning such as visual, auditorial and hands-on learning strategies, but you might not be aware that this also ties into how you can best study the material and retain it. If you are unsure if you are using the right study tools or you feel the studying methods you are using currently aren’t working for you, visit an academic success coach at the Tutoring and Testing Center to evaluate your study skills and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s important to be aware of how much is too much for your plate. Be honest with yourself about how many credit hours you can manage. 

 

Are you organizing yourself properly?

 

It may be time to analyze your schedule since building a schedule is more important than people might think. “Build your schedule around what you have to do, need to do and want to do. Prioritize those [desires] and make sure it’s not too much to handle or too little. The Goldilocks approach might be best in this scenario,” said Williams. 

 

Having multiple agendas and planners can be a good thing, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Having everything in one place can reduce some of that stress. Put your agenda on something that you look at every day.  Williams stressed that you’re not just organizing your schedule, you’re also organizing your life. If your room is messy or if there are other distractions in your life, they can deter your focus. 

 

Do you make the most of your time in class?

 

For some students, picking your seat on the first day of class is a top priority, but no matter where you sit in the class, it is pivotal to challenge yourself to not take away from the experience of the class. “Analyze your learning experience and be aware that, as an undergraduate student, whether or not finances are involved, money is involved in these classes. Being present during your classes is important because professors can notice when students aren’t paying attention, and it can make a bad impression,” said Williams.

 

Have you put yourself out there enough?

 

Life is all about doing things with intention and making sure you don’t have any regrets. If you are thinking about doing something but are hesitant, you should take a step back and think about it. If you can come up with more than one reason that would be beneficial for you to do it, then go ahead and try it. If you don’t have any good reasons to do something, then it might be time to reconsider that idea. It’s all about making the most of your time here at NSU and not leaving without any “I wish I did…” aspirations. 

 

Have you cut down on the negativity?

 

In college and in life, it is important to cut out any negativity including negative self-doubt and negative people. This way, you can focus on what really matters, which is getting the most out of your college experience and getting your degree. Do things that are meaningful to you, not just because it looks good on a resume or a job application. Do it because you like it and it interests you. 

Photo: M. Tamaleaas

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