Start the semester off strong with these tips

Freshman Adriane Leon prints off her syllabus in Jody Richards Hall for the first day of class Monday, Jan. 20. “It sucks that it’s raining. I hope that I get good grades this semester, and don’t procrastinate,” Leon said.

Winter break is over, and it’s time to snap back to reality and get back into the rhythm of work and classes. With a new semester ahead of us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, lose track of time and focus, so here are some tips to get you back into the swing of things so you can have a great, productive semester.

Make your mental and physical health a priority. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re balancing classes, a social life and maybe even a job, but you won’t be able to do well in those aspects of your life if you don’t keep yourself healthy and you feel exhausted. Take just 30 minutes out of your day to go to the gym. Take GroupX classes. Keep track of how much fast food you eat and try to eat as little as possible. Lighter foods will make you look and feel not only healthier, but also more energized. Make sure to spend time by yourself and use that time to read, write or spend time outside instead of staring at your phone. And seriously, get some sleep. It’s important to recharge.

Step out of your comfort zone. It sounds cliché, but it’s important. Usually the things that will leave you feeling fulfilled, proud of yourself and accomplished are the things that seem daunting and difficult at first, so take that difficult class that sounds interesting. Join the club you’ve been meaning to join. Get involved in things not only because they will look good on your resume, but because they will push you to challenge yourself, meet new people and try new and exciting things. It will be difficult, but when you look back on it later, it will be worth it.

Reach out. Don’t wait for people to approach you. Approach them first. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, otherwise you might get left in the dark. Talk to someone who looks, acts or believes differently than you do. It’s good to befriend people who are like us, but when we befriend people who are different from us, it enriches our lives, opens our minds and crushes our stereotypes.

Socialize. If you’re focused on classes and work, it’s easy to forget how important it is to make friends. People need people, and no matter how hard we try to deny it, it’s true. When you have people by your side who push you to do your best, offer encouraging words, make you laugh, laugh at your lame jokes and help you when you need it, it makes even the most difficult tasks and situations seem easier.

Keep up with the goings-on around campus. Check the WKU events page online for upcoming events, and the calendar on the Herald’s website. You might find a fun activity you’ve never tried before, a new interest or a way to get involved on campus.

Find your niche. There are tons of ways to get involved on campus. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s probably a club or group on campus that is full of students interested in the same thing. When you look up WKU’s student activities and organizations online, you’ll find everything from fraternities and sororities to campus ministries and intramural activities.

Come with plenty of quarters. You never know when you’re going to need them. Chances are you’ll need them for laundry, parking or just for extra change.

Manage your time wisely. This is a tough one. It’s tempting to push off work and watch Netflix, hang out with friends or scroll through social media instead, but try to work before you play, and limit the time you spend doing things that aren’t productive. Seek meaning before pleasure, and ask yourself whether or not you’ll regret spending a huge chunk of time on the internet doing absolutely nothing of value instead of studying or having actual face-to-face interactions.  

Features editor Olivia Mohr can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].