In basketball, the first few minutes of the game are crucial. If a team begins a game sloppy and disorganized, they are only digging themselves a deep hole to crawl out of for the remainder of the game. Similarly, the first few weeks of a semester are critical to the educational experience of college students. Those that start off the semester prepared will have a greater chance of staying that way, resulting in a successful term.
Fresh starts are good for the soul. With the launch of the new year of 2019, people are making resolutions left and right. For resolutions tailored toward college students, check out this blog. With or without these resolutions, starting a new semester strong is vital for all college students.
So let’s get down to business! How does a college student start a new semester out strong? Well, if you ask me, it’s all about the mentality. Going in defeated will lead to a long, stressful semester. Going in with a positive attitude will lead to positive outcomes! However, looking at the bright side is often, if not always, complicated. There will be situations and people along the journey that will try to tear down confidence and strength. For instance, the night before a significant test your friends invites you to go out and have some fun. What do you do? Will you choose to put your grades before friends? In the perfect world, you would have already studied for the test, and spending a few hours with your friends would be the ideal chance to take a break. Planning ahead this semester could give you more time to take advantage of doing fun things like hanging out with friends.
Another way to start off this semester strong when it comes to classes is to seek to develop a relationship with your professors and classmates early on in the game. A professor will respect you on the first day if you have already emailed them about how excited and prepared you are for the start of their course. On the first day, come prepared and ready to contribute to the class. Introduce yourself to your professor before or after class. They will appreciate you allowing them to put a face to your name. They are on your team, so you want to make an excellent impression. Your classmates are also on your team. There is a possibility for group work and projects, and you want to have people you can count on. Sit next to others and strike up a conversation. You never know what a simple hello could lead to.
Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Seeking advice through scripture is another way to start this semester strong. With this being the second semester, it can become even more challenging to stay focused with a long summer break in the near future. The verses above tell us, believers, to forget the past and look hopefully toward the future. To start this spring semester strong, disregard the fall semester. If you had a great last semester, looking back may remind you that you can do it! However, dwelling on it is not going to help you this semester. If you struggled last semester, do not take this fresh start for granted. Press toward to goal of a fortunate semester!