Winter is coming, which means fall semester is almost over. On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, the fall semester officially ends!
Although the weather may not consistently feel like winter, the month of December makes students look forward to the holidays and winter break. While waiting for professors to post grades on Kean Wise, do not forget to plan ahead and prepare for spring semester, which starts on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.
It will be a new year and a new semester to get back on the right track for those thrown off by the fall semester.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind for the next semester:
- Re-check Kean Wise for any class changes. Sometimes administration has to cancel a class or change the time and/or day(s) when a class will be held. It is common for students to ignore emails during winter break, but one must check if a registered class has been cancelled or rescheduled, and if that class still fits their spring schedule.
- Re-apply for financial aid. A new year means new scholarship opportunities. It also means that FAFSA needs to be filed again, so do not delay on that. Financial aid will help make anyone's semester easier, especially if it is slightly less pricey than expected.
- Check out textbook deals and prices. Prices will vary depending on the store the textbook will be bought or rented from. Certain textbooks can only be found on specific sites, so make sure to find out if someone is selling their old textbook or if a PDF version of the text can be found online. So much money can be saved if textbooks are downloaded or rented instead of purchased.
- Find out if the professor uses the textbook. If one is really lucky, the professor will make renting or buying the text optional. Some professors require students to have the textbook while others just recommend it. Be careful on purchasing an expensive textbook and not using it at all throughout the semester. It could save anyone some extra bucks.
- Re-check budget. With what was said about textbooks, check how much money is in the bank before going on a spending spree. After paying for tuition and holiday gifts, the amount of money that was in the bank may not be there anymore. With this in mind, control spending on non-essentials because there will always be sales on clothes and merchandise later on. It can wait.
- Buy a planner. Sometimes the calendar on a cellphone will not do the job an actual planner does. With a planner, students can have an overview of their week and their month and plan ahead. It is better to feel prepared than to be thrown off schedule when classmates suddenly mention an upcoming test or quiz.
- Find a balance between work and school. Working off-campus can sometimes make work and school crash into each other. With on-campus jobs, administration tries its best to work around a student's class schedule so they do not conflict with one another. If this is a student's first semester handling classes and a job, make sure class times and work shifts do not overlap with each other. Also, keep some free time in between each block just in case a professor goes over the assigned class schedule.
- Do some early spring cleaning. Whether it be deleting old emails, recycling old tests and quizzes or even tidying up the bedroom, it does not hurt to do some early spring cleaning. Clean up some of the junk laying around and start the spring semester neat and organized before it gets worse.
- Refresh the mind and body. At the end of winter break, it might not kick in that spring classes are starting soon. But if prepared mentally and physically, stress put upon the mind and body can be lightened. Realistically, there will always be stress. It is better to have stress under control than to have it go haywire.
- Enter in strong and never give up. It is easier to say "stay positive," but that can be easily covered by negative thoughts when things do not go as planned. Remember, many students with the same major or minor have gone through the same process. There will be bumps along the road but, with a strong and determined mindset, it is possible to conquer those bumps. Take control with self-made happiness, and rely on friends and family for support.
A new semester can be both exciting and terrifying. Take control by keeping these tips in mind, and everything can go smoother than expected.
Good luck to those who will be taking winter classes, and safe travels to those who will be travelling for the holidays.