Navigating a new semester can be tricky. New class times, professors, classmates and expectations. I’ve been going through these changes for almost three years now and I can honestly say that it does get easier once you figure out how to navigate these changes.
The first tip that I have learned is talking amongst peers to gain insight on your new classes and professors. Being students at Wittenberg, we are lucky enough to attend a small campus where either you or your friends have most likely taken or heard of most classes and professors. It’s not too hard to ask around and gain some information on your class during scheduling and the first couple weeks of classes if you’re struggling to adjust to a new learning style.
Even then, if you’re still feeling lost, don’t hesitate to contact your advisor. Advisors are another immense asset to us as students at Wittenberg. Remember, we are all in this together and our advisors were once college students just like we are.
Another important tip I have learned while trying to navigate a new semester is that you can never be too prepared. Actually reading the syllabus and starting the semester with the proper materials and books should be just as important to you as researching your classes and scheduling. There of course is the long standing tradition of “syllabus week” where people have joked about not having to try or be an active student during the first week of school, but personally I’ve never experienced this luxury and I wonder if it is an urban myth or more so, a state school or larger school myth… Regardless, if you’re trying to start of the new semester successfully, be sure to take the class seriously in preparation and participation, even if you’re expecting a syllabus week.
The next tip you can utilize that makes a difference for a successful transition is finding friends or reliable peers in your classes. Not only does finding friendly faces help your overall personal experience but scholastically as well. Finding people to help keep you on track with homework, projects and studying will not only make the class more enjoyable but guide and support you for the hard times… a.k.a., exam weeks. Don’t wait to connect with those in your class or perhaps those who have already taken the class. The last thing you want is to feel lost or overwhelmed at the start of a new semester.
Getting used to a new schedule and style of learning takes time. But don’t worry, you will eventually get into the swing of things. But when you do, those 15 weeks will have flown by and it’s time for yet another new semester. However, once you realize that these times of change are reminiscent of life, and actually preparing us for the future, you can start to make sense out of the process and use these tips to be better prepared.