Tips for Success each Semester!

In university, the beginning of each semester can tend to feel like the start of something brand new: like entering high school again.

It can be stressful taking new classes every 4 months, adapting to brand new schedules, making new friends, and trying to absorb as much information as you can, all while maintaining a social life that you enjoy.

Here are some tips that you can follow at the start of each semester to set you up for success!

Tip 1: Textbooks.

Most university classes will say that it’s mandatory to buy an online or paper textbook, or some type of bundle that you buy for the class.

While YES it may be mandatory sometimes and be the difference between failing and passing a class, sometimes you DON’T need to read or use the textbook at all.

MY ADVICE: wait the first week or two to see if the textbook is actually used in the class. If the textbook/online resource IS important, the professor will make that very clear in the first few weeks by using it. Once you know which ones you really need, then you can buy them! I promise you won’t fall too behind in the first 2 weeks.

Tip 2: Change up where you sit in class!

It’s fun to sit with new people and get a new perspective of the class so you stay engaged. Many people are in the high school routine of sitting in one seat the entire year of school, but in university there are (usually) no rules or expectations about seating!

Changing where you sit will allow you to make more friendly connections with other students, and likely keep your brain more engaged in the lecture.

Tip 3: Parking on campus.

It can be brutal, to be honest. Many students buy the semester or year-long parking pass so that they don’t have to spend time paying for parking every day, but you aren’t guaranteed a parking spot even if you buy the pass.

So I recommend paying the hourly rate (2$) or parking free off campus nearby and walking. There are many parking lots around campus, but I always recommend getting to campus at least 10-15 minutes before your class if you need to park.

parking lot

Tip 4: Take advantage of the social opportunities!!

At the start of each semester there are usually the most events going on for clubs, teams, and the general student public!

Take advantage of the posters you see around campus and on social media inviting you to go. You’ll meet wonderful people and pick up new hobbies. School isn’t just about school.

Yoga Rave (Credit: Vikes Recreation)

Tip 5: Get to know your professors, teaching assistants, and classmates.

The start of the semester is when everyone is usually most open to getting to know new people, and everyone usually is a stranger to everyone unless you already know people in your class.

The professors, and their assistants especially, do not get much friendly conversation from the students. So if you have a spare moment, say hello or send an email introducing yourself and setting up a coffee chat!

It’s a great feeling to leave a class at the end of a semester and be able to name all the new connections you made and stay in touch after.



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