It’s that time again! Grad school starts back up for me today after a nice two-month hiatus since finishing my first semester. I learned a lot last time around, so now I have a better idea of what to expect and what my limits are. This semester will be a much lighter load for me, as I’m taking two 8-week classes this spring, and they won’t overlap (much different from my three courses at once last sem).
While I’d love to squeeze in a third, I opted for this lighter schedule for three main reasons:
- My boss will be going out on maternity leave in a couple months so I’ll be taking on more responsibility at work.
- There are no online courses available in the spring (lame) and I don’t want to go to campus 2+ times a week after work.
- This kind of combines the two previous reasons, but I still want to have a life/want to avoid burnout with everything; hence the reason I’m lightening the load.
So with that, I’m ready to kick butt this semester! Here are 5 ways I’m preparing for the semester, and how you can too!
Print + Review the Syllabus Before Class Starts
While your prof will surely pull out the syllabus and go through it on the first day, I always like to read ahead so I know what’s ahead. How is the final grade determined (e.g. breakdown of projects, exams, participation)? Are there certain things you need to bring with you to class?
Write Down Important Dates
This is huge. Make sure any big due dates are marked in your planner. This will be super helpful when scheduling things as the semester goes on. I’m a big plan-in-advance person, so this is a key thing for me!
Do a “Dry Run” to Find The Best Route
This is something I’ve been doing since undergrad! If you having classes in a new school or a new building in the school, do a dry run to make sure you know where you need to park, where the building is, and most importantly, where the classroom is! Also, make sure to account for time of day if you’re commuting to campus.
Rest Up + Hydrate
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, especially the night before class! You don’t want to be dozing off in the middle of class or concentrating so hard on staying awake that you’re not able to retain any info. Also, hydrate! Pack a water bottle (even better if it’s refillable) to tote around. You won’t regret it.
Show Up Early/On-Time
SO important. Show up to class early so you can get a decent seat (sit closer to the front if you can), and make sure you’re on time. You don’t want to be THAT person walking in late when the professor has already started talking to the class.