How to Hit Refresh for a Successful New Semester

college student sitting at a table

No matter how your journey at university has been so far, this new semester is a chance for a brand-new beginning. Hit refresh to change your mindset and set yourself up for success with these tips.

1. Start Journaling

If you don’t already journal on a regular basis, turn it into a new habit for this semester. Journaling is great for processing your feelings, reflecting on what you’ve been finding difficult, and acknowledging your achievements. Plus, the more often you practice writing, the easier you’ll find it to write papers.

2. Set SMART Goals

Decide on goals for the upcoming semester that are SMART. That means they’ll be:

  • Specific — Be as clear as possible about what your goals involve.
  • Measurable — To be able to say when you’ve met your goals, you need to be able to quantify your progress.
  • Achievable — Make sure your goals are realistic to avoid feeling frustrated.
  • Relevant — Your goals for the semester should relate to longer-term study, career, or life goals.
  • Time-bound — Set a deadline for when you’ll meet your goals, perhaps the end of the semester, if not sooner.

At certain points in the semester, you should make your goals SMARTER. The “E” stands for “evaluate”: assess your progress toward your goals to decide whether you need to change your approach or even rethink some of them. The “R” is for “reward”: once you’ve achieved a goal, you should celebrate.

3. Reflect on the Challenges You Faced Last Semester

Consider what you found most difficult last semester. This may have been keeping up with the workload for your classes, studying a particular subject, or managing your time to prevent needing to work on papers until late into the night. Whatever your biggest challenges were, there are ways you can avoid the same problems this semester. Strategize what tactics to use to have as stress-free a semester as possible and to balance the different aspects of your life as a student.

4. Make a Vision Board

Stay motivated by creating a vision board to hang above your desk. Find pictures that represent your wishes and dreams for the future — during university and beyond. If you have a particular career in mind you want to pursue after you graduate, find images to represent it. Alternatively, you could think about the kind of lifestyle you want and your other passions.

5. Practice Self-Care

It may feel unproductive to take time for yourself, but it will actually benefit your health and help you stay productive. Make sure you have enough time every day for relaxing activities that enable you to push reset no matter how hectic your week has been. This could mean practicing meditation or mindfulness, listening to music, or even preparing a healthy snack to enjoy in peace.

A great way to feel completely refreshed for a new semester is to move into off-campus student living. Ottawa students can find a new home at 1Eleven. You’ll be living just steps from campus in your own fully-furnished suite. Book a tour to check out your new space.

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