Start semester right with seven quick hints

As the New Year commences, students now have a fresh start. It is a new semester with new professors, classes, and best of all, new experiences. With the fall semester over, now is the time to start your academic career right if past semesters have been a mess.

According to, following these seven tips will help guide you toward a successful academic career.

• Attend all classes: It’s very tempting to skip that 8 a.m. biology lecture, especially if it’s a big class and your professor doesn’t take role. But if you get into the habit of skipping classes, your grades will really suffer. Professors often test you on information from their lectures rather than information from textbooks. And since you are paying for your education, you should attend all of your classes (even the boring ones) and soak up as much information as possible. Otherwise, you are just wasting your money.

• Get to know your professors: Take advantage of every opportunity to meet with your professors so you can get to know them and vice versa. Go to their office during their posted office hours or meet them after class. You never know when you will need to ask them to be your reference or write letters of recommendation.

• Make at least two friends in each class: This will pertain to you throughout college. It’s always good to make friends in each class in case you miss a class and have to copy notes. You don’t have to become best friends with these people, but engaging in small talk about the class will help you form at least a tiny bond. It’s always easier asking someone you know, as opposed to asking a complete stranger for a favor.

• Learn how to manage your time: The earlier you learn how to balance your schedule while in college, the better off you will be. Just remember that time management is all about prioritizing your goals and sticking to the schedule you have laid out.

• Take advantage of support and services: Colleges offer an abundance of services to their students. If you are having trouble in a class, inquire about a tutor or visit your school’s counseling center. If you have a learning disability, find out what learning disability services are provided at your school.

• Keep your finances in check: For many students, college is the first time they will manage their money without the supervision of their parents. Therefore, you need to create a college budget and stick to it. You will also be showered with credit card applications, so it’s crucial for you to learn how to avoid credit card woes. Learning money management skills early on will help you make responsible financial decisions throughout and after college.

• Stay healthy: Although it may be hard to avoid certain foods, it is imperative that students keep their health in mind. If you know that exercising three times a week for 30 minutes may be too much to handle, try to start small. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator or drink more water instead of soda or fruit drinks.

Compiled by Katrelle Simmons.