Another semester starts at West Chester University; it is another semester for students to prepare themselves for their workload. Upon students’ return to school, many will see their college friends once again. Take the time to talk with friends; there was a month break from classes. Be sure to have enough time with friends and enough time left to do any necessary assignments. This is crucial, even during the first couple weeks of classes.

For some students, the first week back to classes may seem like the middle of the semester or as though it was another ordinary week. The semester begins with most professors handing out syllabi and discussing the required books. Professors are also assigning work during the beginning of the semester. Though it may be the first week of school, students should be encouraged to do their work. Time management is important and having a set schedule in the beginning of the semester may be helpful for students.

One suggestion is to write down class schedules and look for times to study. This could be before, in between, or just after class. Making time to study or to do work depends on availability and schedule around classes and meetings.

When reading over syllabi, mark dates with tests, exams, projects and papers due. Write out reading assignments for each day if necessary.

On the syllabus, note a professors office hours, and circle or highlight office hours that fit into ones schedule. This way, students will know of meeting times that they are available when provided by the professor. If the times do not fit ones schedule, when a meeting time is needed, e-mail the professor for a meeting time.

Get a study buddy, someone who one can work with and not be distracted by. It can be encouraging to have someone to go to the library with as a support system to do work. This is the same support one can get from a friend on the same diet or going to the same gym.

Make friends with others in the class and ask for other students ‘e-mail addresses to have someone to contact in case questions about the class, or assignments, arise. Students taking a class together can form a pair of study buddies or form a group of students. Students can study together and help answer questions, which could help students maintain their workload in class.

All students can help prepare themselves for the semester by gathering notebooks for class, purchasing textbooks, making sure they have a supply of pens, pencils, highlighters, note cards and other school supplies.

It is possible to run out of supplies at the end of the semester, or throughout the year. There are a number of stores in town to purchase school supplies and other needs. Larry’s Market is a convenience store, located in Lawrence Center, where students can purchase any school item while on campus.

A new semester means remembering what classrooms to go to and at what time. For many students, habits of where to go, with what color notebook, and textbook, form because schedules become routine throughout the semester. With the spring semester of new classes, it may take a couple weeks for students to get to know which notebook they use for particular classes. It is suggested that students can color coordinate their notebooks with folders. Label the cover on notebooks with what class one is writing their notes in. Stack the textbooks with the according notebooks. One could separate their books based on which days clases take place. Put all notebooks for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes together. Do the same for Tuesday and Thursday.

Another way for students to get prepared for the new semester is to organize their living areas. Many students have living arrangements that serve as both a bedroom and a work area.

Many students are in the process of unpacking belonging brought back after the break. For those students who think their rooms are messy or not organized, take the time while unpacking to clean up. Clean out the closet by getting rid of clothes that one may not fit in anymore, or does not wear often. Fold clothes or hang them up in an organized way.

Make sure to clear room on the desk for workspace. If a desk is full of papers and there is no room to do work on, students are not likely to clear the space to do work. If the desk area is clean, students could take the opportunity to do work immediately.

Reorganize shelves and other counter space in an orderly way that saves space and keeps objects easy to find. A reasonable time to reorganize is when unpacking.

WCU has a number of commuter students attending. While these students do not have living arrangements on or near campus, they could reorganize and clean their bedrooms at home.

With the New Year, many people will make resolutions that include getting in shape or losing weight. Any goals set, try to maintain them. Continue to exercise or get into the habit of exercising. For students that have a set exercise routine, continue to do so in the gyms on or off campus, in ones bedroom, or where one has room to exercise.

Ginger Rae Dunbar is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RD655287@wcupa.edu.

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