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The new semester groove: a guide to getting back into the swing of things after break

EN Photo / Jack Lowenstein

Traveling, spending time with family and time away from classes and obligations are what a lot of students looked forward to as the month of December approached.

But, with the holiday season now a distant memory, it’s time to jump back into the spring semester.

For some, picking up with academics after a long break can be tough, especially when all you can think about is the amount of days left until spring break. However, acing your spring semester doesn’t have to be a chore.

Here are some top ways to getting your school grove back.

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Actually look at the syllabus. One of the top ways to start a good semester is to be prepared and really read the syllabus. That packet of facts about your class will give you everything you need to know about what’s expected of you (i.e. how many times you can miss without tanking your grade) and what the semester will look like as far as workload. Giving yourself a quick run through of important syllabus categories like attendance and grading can help put you in the working mindset.

Plan ahead. Students are given the exact dates when things are due on Canvas, so it’s a good idea to jot important dates down in planners, in your phone or anywhere else you know you’ll look daily. Then, as the semester rolls through, cross off what you’ve completed. This is a quick and easy way to stay ahead without doing too much work.

Make use of your resources. The Writing Center and the Center for Academic Achievement are two spots students should definitely visit if they feel like they’re having a hard time breaking out of the holiday funk. Both are great for assistance with assignments, planning and coaching for students who need it.

Buddy up. Pairing with friends and classmates to form study groups is a great way to stay on track and hold each other accountable for getting things done. Meeting once a week to do homework or go over notes can help anyone stay ahead, but be sure to pair with someone studious like your friend who somehow managed to work a full-time job, take part in a sorority, have a social life and get an A in anatomy last semester.

Find time to relax. While getting ahead in the semester is important so is finding a balance between work and play. If you’ve just spent 12 hours studying biochemistry, take a break and hit up Rusty’s Bar and Grill or Blu Sushi for some fun with friends.

Jumpstarting the spring semester is important, but burying yourself in the books can often burn you out. So, be sure to take some time and ease back into the semester at your own pace.

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