How to Get Your Semester Started on the Right Foot

Welcome back to campus Cyclones! And to all of you incoming students, Welcome! No doubt everyone is excited to be back at beautiful Iowa State with all their fellow Cyclones, but with the start of the semester comes a new schedule filled with classes. Here’s some tips to help you get your semester started!

Review your Syllabus


Take some time and look over it during this first week. Take a look at the schedule of topics covered and exam dates. Look over the policies the professor has laid out for missing exams or attendance. Note the professor’s contact information and office hours for when you have questions about class. The syllabus is essentially your guide for the semester, so take just five minutes to give it a good look over!

Introduce Yourself to your Professor


Now that you have their contact info, go ahead and let them know who you are! Stop in during an office hour or if you’re not feeling that brave, shoot them email about who you are and any questions you may have. It’s great to make a connection with a professor. They can write you reference letters in the future or give you some leeway when your are teetering on the line of an A or a B. They are there to help you succeed and, in my experience, every single one of my professors has been excited to get to know their students.

Get on Blackboard and Look at Everything


Now that courses are available on Blackboard, take some time to find where everything is and look at all the materials. It will save you time in the long run and when it’s crunch time on an assignment!

Get a Head Start on That Homework


Don’t start the semester by procrastinating. Get that first homework or online quiz done this week while everything is still calm and easy! Sure it may not be due for two weeks but more assignments and events will be coming in the next week, so get it done and out of the way now!

Get to Know at Least One Person in Each Class


If you already have a friend in each class, then you can skip this step but, having at least one person you know will benefit you in more ways than you know! Not only are they a new friend but they also can be your study buddy! You both will pick up different things better than the other which can help when it comes to studying for exams or getting homework done. They are a person you can go to for notes if you miss class or explain a concept that you just didn’t get during class.

Get Organized


Before the chaos of a busy schedule sets in, get everything organized and keep it organized for those crazy weeks. Whether its having a separate notebook or binder for each class or having a well laid out planner or calendar, make sure you have some organization in your life to keep your classes straight. You don’t have to be perfect and color coded, just do what works for you!

Take Care of Yourself


With friends, events, classes, and a possible job it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat right. I know it may be tempting to just eat from the pasta bar in the dining center everyday or just order pizza, but go eat a salad or an apple once in a while. Drink plenty of water and get some exercise too!

Have a great semester, Cyclones!

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