Embracing the Start of Spring Semester

By Lorena Roberts

Starting a new semester is one of the greatest feelings while in college. When a new semester starts along with a new year, it’s even more exciting. It starts feeling like everything in your life can hit the “reset” button. Many people set resolutions, aspiring to make their new year a turning point in their lives.

Some of us set goals to lose weight and eat healthier, while others of us set financial or more personal goals. Some of us want to finally finish the novel we’ve been working on for years, or we decide to be more generous with our time or money. Setting New Year resolutions has a similar feel to starting a new semester, and when they both happen at the same time, it’s a little glimpse of magic.

If you’ve set personal goals for yourself, here are some you should consider:

1. Eating healthier.

(Notice I didn’t say eat healthy.) We’re all about making progress towards a healthier lifestyle and healthier habits. If you want to jump on the train of eating healthy, I suggest you first set a goal for yourself to eat healthier.

2. Start incorporating exercise into your normal routine.

Instead of telling yourself that you’ll go to the gym every day of the week, tell yourself that you’ll walk to your dog a few times in the evenings. Start small!

3. Set goals for yourself financially.

We all have more debt than we really want. Start the new year off on the right foot – say no to big purchases that you don’t have the cash for!

As you get ready for the spring semester, it’s important that you not only think about resolutions for your personal life, but also for your academic life.

I’ve always thought one of the best parts of starting a new semester is buying a new planner. Cracking open a calendar of the new year (whether it’s pocket-sized or not) has to be one of life’s most satisfying moments. You can take your colored pens and write down all your best friends’ birthdays, your anniversary with your beau, and trips you have planned to visit your family.

Once you get your syllabi for your classes, you can write down all the important dates (like tests and assignment due dates). Perhaps one of my favorite things to schedule are “self-care” days, where I promise myself I’m not going to do anything but take care of myself for an entire day. Sometimes this means I’m going to spend money getting my nails done, or schedule myself a massage. Sometimes this means I’m going to lay in bed with all my favorite snacks and binge-watch my favorite tv shows. Scheduling this time not only keeps me feeling like myself, but allows me to give myself something to look forward to throughout the semester.

The beginning of the semester can be really overwhelming. For some of us, we’re not ready to go back to school or sit in our classes. We’re dreading the day that our syllabi go “live,” and it’s painful to think about all the assignments we have to complete over the course of a semester. For those of us who feel completely covered up when a new semester begins, it’s nice to focus on cleansing something else.

When you start a new semester, you should anticipate the times you’re going to feel most overwhelmed. Most of the time this is somewhere close to the middle of the semester. If you anticipate the time when you’re going to feel most overwhelmed, you can plan a “study day” or a “self-care” day now. Being proactive about this can really save you from breaking down later in the semester.

I like to do this by writing little reminders in my planner for myself. I plan my self-care day, and then I motivate myself by writing little reminders every week or so about how many days or weeks I have until I can take a day for myself. You could even promise yourself a “skipped class” and use those few hours to really re-charge. The beginning of the semester is the perfect time to start looking at the required assignments.

One of the best ways to feel like I’ve gotten my life back in order (even when I haven’t), is to rearrange or redecorating my living space. Sometimes moving my bed to a different spot, dusting off my dresser and pulling it out from the closet and under the window, or just rearranging how I have my wall decor hanging can really help me feel like I’m “starting new.”
One of the most expensive things about redecorating an area is easily buying furniture or decor items to make your place feel “home-y.” If you don’t quite have the funds to completely redecorate your living space, consider CORT furniture rentals. They’ll have everything you need at a fraction of the cost of buying pieces brand new.

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