Dos and Don’ts for Spring Semester Success

With students all over the world preparing to go back to school for the spring semester, there are many things on everyone’s mind. From seeing friends again, dealing with new classes, maybe even just getting the thing over and done with. However, one thing’s the same for everybody: how can I make this a great semester?

There are many things you can do to ensure that you stay on track and don’t get overwhelmed this semester. Life is crazy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be too. With these simple tips, you’ll be sure to have your best semester yet.


  • Lose sleep. The number one way to get off track is to stay up too late. While it might be fun to laugh about how tired you are and to play the “oh yeah? well I went to bed at…” game with your classmates, it really doesn’t do you any favors in the long run. You get tired, irritable, stressed, and you fall behind in your classes. Next thing you know, you’re gaining weight, breaking out, and generally feeling under the weather. Chugging copious amounts of caffeine won’t help you either; it’ll probably just make it more difficult to fall asleep the next night. See how these things snowball?
  • Skip class. Yeah, sure, there’s always going to be that one early morning or late night class, the one that doesn’t have an attendance policy, or the one that’s a complete joke anyway. I mean, come on, you know all of that stuff anyway! Why do you need to go to that class? Well, you do. Like staying up too late, once you skip class, it starts to become a habit. Soon, the first test or exam rolls around and you’re completely unprepared because you never went to class (or worse – you didn’t even know about it). Even if the class seems stupid or unnecessary, you need to go as often as possible. You will miss stuff and you will fall behind, believe it or not. Obviously, if you’re sick, you shouldn’t go to class. However, you really need to try your hardest all the other times!
  • Lose focus. Around midterms, lots of people are frazzled and completely burned out. It can be easy to say you’re giving up and leave it like that. But you need to power through things and end the year on a strong and positive note. Remember, summer is on its way! If you find yourself becoming too overwhelmed, take some deep breaths, a 20-minute power nap, or a break until you feel calmed down again. Just don’t use it as an excuse to give up, for the day, the month, or the semester.


  • Eat healthy. Seems like a no brainer, sure. But you’d be surprised how many well meaning health enthusiasts get sidelined by the all you can eat pizza bar in the cafeteria. But it’s simple science and common sense: if you eat better, you’ll feel better. Ever heard the phrase you are what you eat? Well think about it. If all you eat is pizza, soon you’re going to feel greasy and slow (not to mention cheesy). If you opt into better foods, even for just one meal a day, you’ll start to see effects immediately. Your skin will look better, you’ll feel more healthy, and more energetic. Who needs Monster when you’ve got salad?
  • Stay organized. Spring semester is when people really start slacking. Whether it be over confidence or a case of senioritis, people just begin to lose focus and stamina during the last half of the year. Writing things down is one way to stay organized and on top of things. If you remember to write down your classes, assignments, work schedules, meetings, and everything else in between, chances are much higher that you’ll actually remember to do them! Make a habit of writing things down right after you hear about them, so you won’t risk forgetting. Then, make a time each day before bed where you can review what you have to do for the upcoming day.
  • Set goals. Sometimes, the beginning of a new semester can be daunting. All new classes, a completely different schedule to memorize and navigate. People can get so overwhelmed with all the things that are happening right at once that they forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. The old adage “can’t see the forest for the trees” comes to mind here. It helps to come up with goals for the semester and write them down. It could be as simple as “get to sleep before midnight” or “drink more water” or even as complex and lofty as “get a job” or “get a 4.0.” Keep them in mind when you feel yourself lagging, and it’ll be all the pick me up you need.

It’s the beginning of a new semester and a new year, and with these pointers, they’ll both be amazing!

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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson is a freshman at Central Michigan University, currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Elizabeth is a member of the CMU Honors Program, and is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life, the student run campus newspaper. When she’s not in school, she can usually be found reading, writing, or watching movies, and enjoys traveling and performing in plays.
Elizabeth Benson

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