Spring into the new semester: SSU students prepare to shift gears for spring 2018

As one semester ends, the last thing college students want to think about is the beginning of the next. 

During “dead week,” more commonly known as the week before finals, many Sonoma State University students focus on how they can finish the semester strong and soon won’t have to worry about impending tests, essays or research projects. 

Winter break is long-awaited and greatly appreciated, but for some this month-long vacation puts them in a rut for the upcoming semester. 

College teaches several lessons throughout one’s academic journey, including the importance of being prepared. The first two years at college may be a learning curve for some, but as time progresses so does one’s wisdom about how to conquer their academic career.

“So I can improve myself for the upcoming semester, over break I think about what studying methods did and did not work,” Hayley Kinion, junior and psychology major, said.

A method that works for one class won’t always work for another. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try various ways to understand and retain the class objectives. Everyone learns differently, so it’s important to not get discouraged and find what method best fits a given situation.

Organization is also key to attaining a clear mind and a clean desk. Sorting through old assignments and essays is a simple, easy action that aids in preventing clutter. Having multiple unnecessary documents shoved into different crevasses of a drawer, backpack or folder is unlikely to help anyone.

Some goals Brooklynn Miller, junior and communications major, has for the new semester are “to mark off everything on my to-do list, buy a new laptop, and then figure how to transfer all my important files over.”

When was the last time most students organized their laptops? 

To avoid storage issues or a potential computer crash next finals season, they may want to try sorting through files to see which are truly beneficial to keep around.

Planners are also a great organizational tool and can function as a second mind, reminding students of future assignments and tests. 

For those whose New Year’s resolution might be developing better organizational skills, planners are also beneficial for that since they reinforce thinking about upcoming important events. 

“To get ready for the new semester, I write everything down in my planner so I do not forget what needs to get done during and after break,” Erin Furnary, senior and Hutchins major, said. 

Beyond physical planners, there are other options such as downloading an app. These apps are practically the digital version of a planner, but there is a much slimmer chance they’ll be left at home. 

However, do not get too caught up with plans and forget to grant yourself some well-deserved relaxation. Once winter break is over and students return to campus, there will still be on-campus resources to help everyone get back on track.

“SSU has so much to offer its students, [so] take the chance and go to events that you normally wouldn’t,” Furnary said. “College is all about trying new things and with each new thing, you, as a person, grow a little more.”