How To Ace This Semester
College Life |  Source: @smashleytime

How To Ace This Semester

You can do it!

For whatever reason, going back into the spring semester can be hard. It might be because we only have a month off versus a few months or it might be the winter blues kicking our butts, either way, there are ways to get motivated and do our best for school again. Here's how:

1. Think happy thoughts.
Surely there is one thing going on this semester that you are remotely excited about. Is it a class you're taking with a friend? Are you not working as many hours this semester?

Whatever happy thoughts you can think of, hold on to them and don't let go. At least not until the end of the semester. Optimism is a powerful tool if used correctly, and I can certainly say no one has ever had a panic attack from happiness.

2. Eliminate as much stress as you can.
Considering that this seems to be the idc semester, this one shouldn't be too hard. However, if you have any hopes of getting motivated into getting any work done, you need to get rid of any baggage that will slow you down.

For example, having a tiff with a friend? Try to get that resolved before the semester starts, otherwise you will sabotage your motivation because you will feel depressed/pissed.

3. Identify your weak spots.
Do you tend to shake off math homework for Netflix? Then you may want to think about either not subscribing for a few months or limiting yourself on screen time.

It's an adult world we're going into, so we need to make adult decisions. It's tough, I know, but your grades will most likely thank you later for seeing what your weak points are and planning accordingly for this next semester.

4. Set goals.
Cheesy, yes. Effective? Also yes. If you set a goal for what grades you would like to get in your classes or how much time you are going to study a week, this gives you an idea of what sort of effort you are going to put into this semester.

Even if you're goal is a get a B in a subject where you normally get a C, this is a wonderful goal to think about adopting. Any goal is better than no goal.

5. Remember, you are capable.
One thing that can instantly kill your chances of success is lack of confidence. Remember that you have done well enough to get into college, if you can't think of any other achievements in your life (of which I'm sure there are many)!

Look a hard class in the eye and tell it what's up. You can handle any class college gives to you; you just need to remind yourself (maybe on a daily basis) that you mean business and you will do well.

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College Life |  Source: Boris79

Why You Should Take Online Courses

You can literally take an entire semester... from your bed.

College is hard. Why drag yourself to class early in the morning when you can simply log on? That's the great thing about online classes. Most colleges now offer online classes, and you might even be able to take an entire semester completely online.

But online classes aren't as breezy as they sound. There's still a lot of work involved, and finals week won't be any easier. Online classes aren't for everyone, but in the right situations, they can be awesome.

First, let me bust a few myths about online classes. Web only classes might not be for you if:

  • You expect them to be easier than in-person classes. Professors who teach online classes design the system so that students can't slack off. Usually, there will be weekly discussions and prompts you have to answer. And depending on the professor, the rules could be really harsh. In one online class I took, if a student didn't participate in discussion for a certain amount of time, they would fail the class.
  • You want fewer assignments. There will still be research papers and presentations, just online instead of in a physical classroom. And with online classes, these assignments happen more regularly. You may have 5 short assignments due over a week's time. You'll have to get used to the schedule and religiously stick to it if you want to get that A.

Now for the fun stuff--the benefits. Online classes might be perfect for you if:

  • You have a lot of general education classes to complete. General classes are way better online because there are usually no draining lectures full of knowledge you'll never use. Instead, you can browse through the course material at your own pace and decide which sections are most relevant. This also means you'll automatically have a study guide for tests, no notes required!
  • You want flexibility in your schedule. This is important for students who work best at odd times or for students who are constantly busy. Online classes will always work with your schedule.
  • You work better alone than in a team. There will rarely, if ever, be online group projects simply because it's a hassle to coordinate. Online classes force you to rely on yourself to get the work done, so if you work best on your own, you'll flourish in an online class.

One final piece of advice: The best method of tackling online classes is to set up a time slot each day to work on them. It sounds contradictory, but it's not. You should still try to treat it like a class but with added flexibility. For example, you can have different times each day to work on your online classes. Regardless of what times you choose, the important thing is to get as much as you can in one sitting. That way, the work won't pile up, and you'll be much happier.

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College Life |  Source: Eric Rothermel

A Guide to Making the Perfect Class Schedule

If you're lucky, you might have a three day weekend.

I know from personal experience that a bad weekly schedule will just lead to a terrible lack of motivation. After being in college for a few years, I think I've found a way to create the most ideal schedule that you'll thank yourself for later.

No one likes to get up early
OK, whatever you do, try not to take an 8 am. They don't sound too bad right now, but they're actually the closest thing to hell. Especially after nights out, you'll end up skipping more than you actually attend. I say 10 am is the best time to start.

Take em back-to-back
Having a few classes right after one another is the best option in my opinion. This way, you get them all out of the way, and don't have random, awkward breaks in between. And honestly, three back-to-back classes is a whole lot better than staying on campus for six hours before being done for the day.

Not too many Tuesday/Thursday classes
At most schools, T/Th classes are over an hour long, and let's be real, no one can focus on one thing for that amount of time. Those classes drag on. Even though they're only two days a week, they're no fun and not worth it at all.

Try for no Fridays
Having a three day weekend is amazing, especially after Thirsty Thursday. Some people are super unlucky and can't possibly have off on Fridays, but if it's possible for you, then DO IT. You'll thank yourself later.

Don't overdo it
As much as you want to graduate early, you don't need to take 20 credits a semester. You'll get burnt out and you'll end up hating school, and probably life. Don't take all your hard classes in one semester either. You have eight semesters, so spread them out.

Take classes with friends
This sounds silly, but seriously, you should. It really helps when it's time to cram for an exam. And the best part is that when you're too hungover to go to class, you have someone to take notes for you... unless your friend is in the same boat as you.

Pick the right professor
There's a website you've probably heard of called - USE IT. It shows opinions from former students on how the professor teaches, grades, interacts with students, etc. Going to a class led by a hard or rude professor is horrible and will probably negatively affect your grade.

Make sure you can get there
Especially at schools with a huge campus, it's not always physically possible to get from one class to another in the allotted 15 minutes. You don't wanna be that person who shows up to class sweating and out of breath, so be sure you can get there on time. There's no point having a perfect schedule if you're late every day.

The good thing about college is that you have the freedom to create your own schedule and plan your own classes. Having a perfect schedule helps get to the weekends faster, which is the real reason we're all in college right?

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College Life |  Source: robertomefe

Don't Check Out Now

A guide to keeping it together during the last month of school.

We were fooled by a perfect, warm week of spring break, and now we are all back at school feeling lost and unmotivated. The road to summer seems miles and miles away, even though it's only a month off. Although it's easier to start kicking back and letting summer mode take over, we have to do our best not to totally lose it by the end of the semester.

Keep in mind, there's still a lot of weight left in your grades. Even though it feels like there isn't a lot left, getting a bad grade on a test or project will probably lower your grade significantly, and we all know that once it's down, it's so hard to get back up.

Don't ruin it for yourself. Just keep up on schoolwork and focus as much as possible. You'll be glad you did. And if you want to test the waters and see what grade you need to get on a test to keep a decent percentage, use this simple grade calculator from Conquer College.

Get used to not having a break. In the real world, there usually aren't spring breaks and slack off weeks. Pushing yourself through things you might not want to do is going to mentally train you for life after undergrad.

Make your summer plans your reward. Remind yourself that more lazy days in the sun aren't too far away! Working hard now will make relaxation in May a lot more rewarding. And if you need a constant motivator, check out these "countdown to" apps.

Be the leader of your study group. Nothing gets you in the mindset to work more than encouraging others to work hard, too. Getting together with a group of people and leading a study session will help you in more ways than one.

Set boundaries for yourself. If you have trouble keeping yourself on track, plan out how each day should go. Don't just assume in your mind that you'll study when you have time after your last class. Form a schedule that governs how much time you will spend on studying in one day. Knowing that there is a stopping point will make it easier to keep going, rather than thinking you can stop studying whenever you want.

Trade a couple of Netflix marathons and a few hours of sleep to save your final grade. It sucks and is so difficult to do sometimes, but remember the motivation you once (hopefully) had, and how much good it did for you. And then enjoy your above 3.0 end to the semester, followed by a satisfying, well-earned summer!

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College Life | 

Keys to a Successful Spring Semester

You don't need DJ Khaled for this.

Everything's going to be OK. You survived your first semester (hopefully), your second syllabus week, and are now ready to dive into second semester. There's just one problem: how? Let me break it down for you:
2.Go out
4.Time management

I know you're probably thinking: "That's the advice you have for me? I should've just asked my parents. You're shitty at this." But just shut up and listen 'cause I've already done this the wrong way and trust me when I say Business Calculus isn't fun the second time around, especially during the summer.

1) Study: I'm sure all of your first semester classes were middle school level electives that your older siblings and cousins told you to take, but second semester classes aren't that much of a joke. You'll probably get one, maybe two classes like those, if you're lucky. With that being said, studying is HUGE. It's not hard to do, either. If you really need to, pop an addy, grab a group of friends, plug your headphones in, and just grind. Most of your friends will have the same attitude, and to be honest, studying feels great. The hardest part is getting yourself to start. Once you figure out your method and get to it, it's easy. I've been on the failing side of college tests, and I promise there's no better feeling than grinding 8 hours a day into the early morning for a test and absolutely crushing it.

2. Go out: I know, I just said studying was super important. Well, so is binge drinking on a Tuesday. Yes, second semester freshman year is super important, and yes, it will be harder than last semester. However, for the most part, it's still way easier than any other college semester you have left. Drink as often as you can. Even if it's just 15 of you, go out. It's worth it. Your work isn't THAT hard. The only exceptions should be if you have an early attendance-based class, a test, or if you're deathly ill. A legendary, recently-graduated senior once told me, "You can always retake a class, but you can never relive a social event."

3. Gym: COLLEGE!!! DRINKING!!!! LIFTING!!!! Now that you've made your jokes, going to the gym is a major key to success for your second freshman semester. You're probably in the post-high school "I swear I'm still athletic" and "my metabolism can handle a full pizza" denial stage. Snap out of it. Going to the gym has the obvious physical benefits: You look better; you stay in shape; you're healthier. However, going to the gym has a benefit that nobody realizes--It's a commitment. In high school, you probably played a sport or were in a club of some sort. If you treat the gym with that same level of commitment, it can only benefit you. Plus, it makes you get up and do something. (Trust me, it's REALLY easy to sit on your ass for 10 hours playing FIFA.)

4. Time management: This is without a doubt the most important tip I can give you. Scheduling out your day can only lead to good things. Prioritizing class, gym, studying, and sometimes working (because all you'll do this semester is blow money) is a great skill. If you can effectively get done everything you need to, then you have all the time in the world to black out on a random Tuesday night. Also, there's really no better feeling than having all your work completed well before a due date.

"But what if I'm pledging?"

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College Life | 

Scheduling Your Semester

...don't mess this part up

Registration is right around the corner, and with it comes the typical anxieties: Am I taking enough credits? Will the classes fill up? Will the registration service even work this time?

Unsurprisingly, the fairly mundane task of registering for classes can be annoyingly stressful, because college will just fuck you hard sometimes. So here are our tips to to do this easy, breezy style.

First, know what your degree requirements are, find out what classes will be required in the following semester, or which classes span two semesters, and plan around those. They are the keystones--And if you fuck with a keystone, it will all come tumbling down.

Anyway, get your required shit sorted out first. Then, if you have room, choose electives that you're interested in--and also make sure they fulfill other degree requirements. For example, I need 45 credits in 300-plus level courses, so I'm taking an Art History elective at 300 level. This, coincidentally, helps me complete half of my 6-credit collateral requirement. Ya dig?

After all that, write out the schedule to make sure class times don't conflict, and that you're not taking four two-hour lectures on the same day because you WILL die. Spread it out over the week, and yes, that includes Friday. Your education is more important than being able to cut loose on Thirsty Thursdays.

Finally, on registration day, wake up early. Classes fill up the fastest within the first 2 hours of registration, so do yourself a favor and try to be one of the first ones. Otherwise, you'll just spend the rest of the day whipping together a Franken-schedule full of classes you don't need or like.

One final tip: If a class fills up, and you absolutely have to take it--like, you'll drop dead then and there if you can't get in--talk to the professor and see if they'll let you in anyway. Usually, one more student in 200-person lecture really won't make a difference to them.

A great schedule can make or break not only your academic life, but your social life as well, so get this part right.