How to Start a New Semester or School Year the Right Way – College Info Geek
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How to Start a New Semester or School Year the Right Way – College Info Geek


Hello, friends! A new semester is upon us
and in this quick video I wanna give you a few
things that you can do to make sure that
semester goes smoothly. And one of the biggest things
I wanna focus on in this video is setting yourself up to not
burn out and lose motivation as the semester goes on. ‘Cause I know when a new
semester comes upon us, you’re full of a lot
of motivation, right? You’re full of all this
like, new, refreshed energy, and you really wanna do
well in all your classes, and get involved, and
hang out with people, and do all that stuff. As the semester goes on, you
start to lose that motivation, right? Things just pile on, and
due dates start to pile up, and your motivation
starts to wane. So I wanna talk about
some things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen or at least, to let you
mitigate those effects, and not let them
make you lose steam. But first, I wanna talk about,
just the changing of habits. So in Charles Duhigg’s
book, The Power of Habit, which I have read
and highly recommend, he talks about
how people are apt to change their set patterns,
their regular behaviors, more often during
large life changes, such as moving to a new
house, or becoming a parent, or getting married. People who get married
or move to a new house are really apt to change the
brand of coffee they drink or the cereal they eat. And the book mentions that people going through
these big life changes are actually more
vulnerable to marketers because of these huge
upheavals in their life. Now, this is great
information for marketers, maybe not such great
information for you if you wanna be a
discerning shopper. But it is good
information for you if you wanna change
you own habits because just as those habits
are vulnerable to marketers, they’re also vulnerable to intervention on
your own part, right? So a new semester is a perfect
time to look at your habits and see what changes
you can make, see what systems you can
build to become more efficient and effective as the
semester goes on. So I want to talk about
a couple of things that could really help
you out in that regard. But first, I have
some quicker tips that will help you before
the semester starts or right when it starts, to make sure things go
as smoothly as possible. Number one, you wanna know exactly
what you require in terms of gear, and textbooks,
and all that good stuff before the semester starts. Does this mean you need to buy all of your textbooks right
away, before classes start? Not necessarily. What I recommend doing is at least looking at
the book requirements, maybe even emailing
teachers and saying, “Hey, do I actually
need the book? “Do I need the newest edition?
Can I get a used edition?” And just having that knowledge
stored in your pocket, know it in the
back of your mind. Now, if there are books that are going to
take a while to ship, you can only get them in paper, you can’t rent them
as an e-textbook, or you can’t get them from the
campus bookstore in a pinch, yes, you’re gonna want
to get those books well ahead of time
just to make sure you can get a good start on
the first week of the semester. I always think, you
know, in my opinion, that it’s better to spend
a little bit of money on a textbook you’re
not quite sure about than it is to lose
a lot of progress in your first couple
weeks of class, while you’re waiting
for it to ship because that can derail
an entire semester. However, for books at
you can rent very quickly via Amazon Kindle or
other e-textbook methods, or maybe something you can
find very cheaply in town, maybe it’s okay to book gamble. You know, wait ’til
the first day of class. See if you can share a book
with a friend or something, or see if it’s
actually that required. And if it is, you can go
pick it up very quickly. If not, you’ve saved yourself
a good amount of money. Another tip that
I have used a lot during my whole college career was actually put my
professor’s office hours on my Google Calendar. Now, Google Calendar
let’s you actually create multiple different calendars
that you can turn off and on. So usually, I would only
be showing my class, and work, and event calendars, but I had this other calendar that showed all my
professors’ office hours that I could turn
on and off at will. And that way, if I did
need to go see a professor, I didn’t need to go digging
through the university website to see when they’d
be in the office. I had it all in the calendar. I had that set up before
the semester started and everything got busy, and I could see exactly
where their office was, when I could go in, what
their phone number was, and all that good stuff. So I highly
recommend doing that. It’s really easy, just look
on the syllabuses you get, syllabi, I guess
is the plural word, or look on the
university website. Most professors have
their own little website and you can create
that stuff right there. Now, a couple of other
calendar related tips. Number one, get all
of you classes into
your Google Calendar before the semester starts. And, a little less obvious
tip to attach to that, actually look on the
university website and map, figure out what the
locations and room numbers of your classes are, and put
that in the details section of Google Calendar. I actually wrote an
article last year about how I, every semester
before classes started, would go around campus,
making sure I knew exactly where my classes were, especially if I had
multiple classes that had a very small
gap of time between them. That way, I wasn’t
wasting time getting lost and it was just a better way
to start the semester, I think. But having that information
in Google Calendar, even if you don’t go looking
for your classes’ locations personally, in the flesh,
before the classes start, you’ll actually
have the information and you can look up a diagram. I would also link to the campus
maps and building diagrams, like floor plans, in
my Google Calendar, just in case I got
really confused and needed to see
where something was. On more than one occasion, I actually was able to help
somebody else who was lost and needed to find a
classroom on the same floor that I was going to. And lastly, on that
calendar front, it’s good to put the
semester’s significant dates in your calendar. I’m talkin’ stuff like days
when there won’t be school, the start of Spring Break, the
start of Thanksgiving Break, when finals are. That stuff is usually up
on the university website. They usually have a calendar
of significant dates in the semester and you can transfer that stuff
all towards your calendar. The reason this is
a really good idea is because I advocate
every single week, looking at your
calendar on Sunday and creating a week’s
plan of events and tasks. And if those event’s are
already on the calendar, you can look at,
say Monday, and say, “Oh, that’s Labor Day.
I don’t have school. “I can work on a new project
or I can go have fun.” And you don’t have to go looking
at the university website for those dates
during that week. And you don’t have to
be surprised about those significant dates. You’ll know well in advance because you put in the
groundwork before hand. Now, let’s talk about
things you can do to ensure you don’t run out of steam
as the semester goes on. You know, you’re
really motivated as
the semester starts. We wanna make sure you can
keep as much of that motivation as the months wear on, as the
assignments and test pile up. And the first thing
that you want to do is make sure you have
good study habits. And one of the best ways
to build good study habits is to make sure you have a
good location for studying. If you remember in
a previous video, I talked about a study done
at The University of Hawaii, where students literally
just turned their desks towards a wall and
put a note on a lamp that said Study Area. And the students that
actually did this were able to raise their GPAs. So before the semester starts or maybe during the first week, identify a good location for you to do most
of your studying in. And you can pair that with
a set studying time each day or maybe a time that works
for each day on you calendar. So maybe the library is
a good location for you. It’s quiet, there’s a lot
of other people working, so you kinda get that
good vibe of focused work. And you can put on your calendar that every day from two to
four, or something like that, you’re gonna go there, you’re
going to get all the studying and reviewing assignments done
that you need to get done, and that’ll start
building a habit. So two months down the line when you’re a
little bit stressed and you’ve a lot
more assignments, you still have that
habit engrained. You’re still gonna be at a
library every single day, like you said you would, and you’re keeping steam
going throughout the semester. One final tip for that
first week of classes is to introduce yourself
to your professors. Maybe go up to them
after the first class, shake their hand,
introduce yourself. And that’s gonna
make it a lot easier for you to get over the
initial mental blocks for going to office hours if you happen to need
help during the semester. You already know the professor, they’re a familiar
person, familiar face, and you won’t have
as much trouble going in and asking for help. That’s gonna help you if
you run into difficulties during this semester, which could otherwise cause
you to derail on your studies. The worst thing
is getting behind. Yes, you can recover
from getting behind with a lot of hard work, but if you can prevent
that by seeking help and assistance when you need it, and you can make that
as easy as possible, then that’s going to
be to your benefit. So I hope these quick
tips helped you out. If you’re watching this at the
beginning of a new semester, I hope your new semester
gets off to an awesome start and stays that way. Thanks for watchin’ and
I’ll see you next week. – [Voiceover] Hey, guys. Thanks so much for
watching this video on how to get a great
start to the new semester. Now, if you wanna get new tips on being a more effective
student every single week, you can click that big, red
Subscribe button right there. Also, I wrote a
completely free book on how to earn better grades, so if you wanna
get a copy of that, click the picture of the book. And if you wanna find
a summary blog post with links to other resources and other articles I’ve
written with more detail, you can click the orange logo
right there to get to it. Last week’s video was an
absolutely massive video on how to get
better test grades. We talked about things you
could do during the test, and also ways to prepare
more efficiently. And if you wanna
connect with me, I’m on Twitter @TomFrankly and you can also
leave a comment below with questions you might
have or other feedback. If you like this video, leaving a like definitely
helps the channel out, so thank you so
much if you do that. And I will see you next week.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “How to Start a New Semester or School Year the Right Way – College Info Geek

  1. I had such a hard time with finding a study area. Cause if I tried to move my desk around, I'd just gravitate to my bed no matter what and flop in my studies. So I basically had to completely remove access to my bed. So now I just study at a particular table in one of my college libraries. I get sooo much work done now when I'm surrounded by books and other people studying. It really helps me.

  2. You are the RSD of studies, flushing all bullshit advice and focusing on practical advice. I'm already pumped to get good grades 🙂

  3. #1 Know what materials you need up front.

    #2 Put your professors office hours on your calendar.

    #3 Establish a good study location right away.

    #4 Introduce yourself to your professors.

  4. 38 seconds into the video but my problem is that I don't start out with that motivation… I don't know how to just, get it? Idk, it's not that I don't care, I just don't FEEL worried about that stuff. I know the consequences but that isn't changing anything.

    hlep ples

  5. This channel is a lifesaver. I'm back at college and in my second semester of the first year and I have another 6 years to go after that. I'm sure that the content of this channel will be keeping me going for the next few years. Thanks so much for your time and the effort you put into helping other students out.

  6. Is it ok to have a crush on you ? Im reading your book and im falling in love with your character everyday ! I love the way you write .. your video games and movie references .. its so fun and direct at the same time. .. i would love to see more books written by you in the future .

  7. You know what's the hardest thing about spring semester getting back to gear after spring break that is why I dislike spring semester!!!! I rather get out of school earlier than have that break!!!

  8. Watching this to be more organized for This new semester that is upon us, one more and I'll be out of college finally!

  9. My sister uses Chegg or Amazon Rentals. It’s cheap and easy to use. Chegg will actually send you a helpful College Starter Kit, no matter what “grade” you’re in! Very useful! I recommend it to anyone

  10. practical stuff. subbed. thanks for the free book, too! i haven't got it yet, but if it's anything like this vid, i'm sure it will help XD

  11. I started the semester feeling burnt out with no motivation. so we are on the beginning of the third week and I'm already behind. I have a lot of past workload that I need to get to and prepare for the next. what should I do? and what should I do about lacking motivation and feeling like I have no energy to do this?

  12. What do you suggest if the school does not have floor plans for the individual departments and the school map sucks? All I can think of is making my own floor plan which probably won't work out. On top of that none of the staff seems to even know where anything is at the school.

  13. Hi there i am an engineering student and i want to know the sites for ebooks or pdf …i have searched some sites but they are not beneficial …kindly recommend something for me ..plz

  14. please i'm still learning english and you talk very very fast please if you don't mind talk slawly as mush as you can becuse i'm pharmacist student and i wanna learn how i start to be success in my collage .thank you😊

  15. I wish I could personally thank you for keeping me in mes school because I was so close to giving up last year but you made me find my motivation again, keep it up!

  16. BIG TIP: When he talked about a study area try and find a spot where you will be facing a wall with the desk and just your work, keep your phone or devices in another room. Trust me, when you won’t have distractions you will feel so much more comfortable working!

    Thanks for reading aha 👌

  17. ok thomas everything about your videos is perfect. Your knowledge, your face and personality, your advice…but the thing that really puts you on top is your hilarilous sample letters 2:20 😂😂😂

  18. In Germany hochschule rheinwaal u aren't allowed to shake hand with prof.if u try u are at your own risk most of them are not liking foreign students…I think it's just in blood…even not friendly if there is no fee means other factors counts…

  19. Is there a way to put textbooks on the iPad pro? I just got one and I'm not sure how ot works when it comes to that

  20. Three years later, still good stuff!
    With school starting in a week, I don't feel bad for binge-watching your videos, haha!

  21. It's now the summer holidays and the new school year starts in about 3 weeks for me. I'm the kind of person who lives stationary and organising my school supplies as well as the school lifestyle. But as the months go by I just don't feel like working or doing anything. Does anyone else feel like this? Can someone tell me how I can prevent that from happening this year? Because this year is really important and I have to do good to get in a good university. Thank you so much and I hope you have a nice day! 🙂

  22. I honestly finding comforting and more certain if I go to my classes in the flesh and not just mapping it because I feel like I am making a mental map but that is just my opinion.

  23. I’m doing my last two (optional) years of high school to do my A levels and here I am watching college videos at 4 am in the morning trying to prepare myself for university after I finish! Lol!

  24. Ahh.. I remember watching this video last year and I forgot all about the tips in it. But! I learned a lot of study methods I'm comfortable with that year and hopefully, this semester I'm going to use these tips and not forget them haha

  25. I also find it helpful to write a list of questions down if I had a meeting with a tutor or professor. Then I don't have to worry about not knowing what to say, worrying about wasting their time, forgetting something etc etc

  26. I have a serious question: do you tell anyone that you're going around the campus just to know where your classes are going to take place? I personally find it a good idea, and often I come up with such ideas, however I feel like people want to make fun of me, whenever I come up with such ideas. That's why I decided not share all my plans with other people, sometimes including my own family

  27. Thomas is a really big organization freak. I thought I was alone or weird.. I just love his methods, I have been doing very similar things for years!

  28. You speak very fast, (I'm from Mexico) but i have understood something of your video, i consider that is a very good information for us the students.

  29. This is the second time if not more that I've immediately benefited from your advice. I think you got me through Fall 2018 semester. Now I'm using your older videos to prepare for Spring 2019 semester. You've been so helpful to me! Thank you!

  30. For some reason the semester has newly started and I have no motivation at all. I feel like I’m starting at the bottom with no steam at all 🙁

  31. I came to rewatch this video as my school started today after holidays, sadly I have the problem that I'm not motivated right now, the reason being I was too lazy on the holidays and lost motivation. It was a way too long pause from school(5 weeks) and now I need to start building that momentum of being a motivated student and believing in the fact I can get to the upper middle class life I wish to attain some day. Well atleast I did do quite good progress on my own hobby of learning Japanese, and I also enrolled on a Japanese course my school offers, those are really rare in my little country. I wish you all a great 2019!

  32. Just a question because it has me baffled everytime I hear it:

    Aren't college libraries a thing everywhere? At my university, when a Professor marks a specific book as "required reading", the college library is required to buy enough copies of said book to equip at least 10-20% of expected student enrollments.

    So even before exams, you can always just quickly rent one of the 10-200 available copies in the library to study for exams.

  33. Its actually sad that some of us dont know this, like should school have already done a good job at prepping us to be more organised?? 🙄🙄
    It seems like 90% of the learning is by self so 💁, I mean 🙄🙄
    Am I wrong?

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