Date Published: August 1, 2019
The start of a new semester brings an exciting new beginning – new courses, new educators, new nursing skills to take on and so much more. It’s a great opportunity for a fresh start, and getting off on the right foot can set a positive tone for the entire semester!
Here are five habits that can you can adopt to start your semester off the right way.
#1: Make A Schedule And Stick To It
Investing in a planner, whether it be paper or digital, is one of the best things that you can do to have a productive semester. By making yourself a schedule, weekly or daily, and sticking to it, you can ensure that you have time to focus on all of the important things in your life that need your attention.
Yes, that means penciling in two hours to review your pharmacology notes. But don’t forget to include time for self-care, work and friends and family too. Planning out your time instead of trying to fly by the seat of your pants can lead to a much less stressful semester, and much more productive and happy you!
Related read: Study Tips and Apps for a Successful Student
#2: Get A Head Start On Your Sleep Schedule
If you’ve ever had the luxury of staying up late and sleeping in every day during a break from school, then you know how tough it can be to wake up early when classes start up again. To avoid exhaustion during the first week of the semester, try gradually getting into a sleep schedule. Starting a week or two out from the first day of classes, set an alarm to wake up 15 to 30 minutes earlier each day until you reach the time you will be waking up during the semester.
You can use this trick at bedtime, too! Set yourself a reminder to go to sleep progressively earlier each night to catch more Z’s.
#3: Make A Cheat Sheet For School Resources
As a nursing student, you have tons of resources available to you to help you succeed in school. Start your semester off right by making a list of all of the academic resources that you might want to use so you can refer back to it if you find yourself needing help. This list can include things like your professor’s office hours, when and where tutoring is available, ATI product guides and what hours the library is open.
Related read: ATI Student Portal 101
#4: Establish A Study Zone
When trying to tackle school work, it’s important to be in an environment where you can focus and avoid distractions. One trick to finding this environment is to designate a study zone – a place where you work on school work and only school work. By always studying in the same place, your brain will start to associate that location with getting work done, and it will be easier to avoid distractions and stay focused while you’re there.
Libraries and coffee shops make great study zones if you make the effort to visit them often. If you’d prefer to study at home, designate a desk or table as your study zone. Try not to study at a place in your home where you normally do other things that may tempt you away from your school work (i.e. your bed). Another tip? Clean up your at-home study zone at the end of each study session so that you can start fresh the next time you sit down to work.
#5: Sit In The Front On The First Day
Where you sit in class is important, and it can even affect your grade in the class. A study by Dr. Paul Adams of Wilkes University found that students tend to do much better in class when they sit close to the front because they become more engaged in the class. This translates to taking more notes, participating more in class discussions and maintaining better study habits than back-of-the-room seated students.
To start your semester off right, try to sit near the front of each of your classes on the very first day. It may seem intimidating, but it will make you more likely to sit there for the remainder of the semester, and your GPA will thank you for it!
Ready for more nursing school success tips? Follow our blog for helpful resources that will guide you to productive semester.