How to Slay Second Semester

Hey everyone and happy Saturday! Today I am going to be inspiring all of my fellow student sisters out there. Whether you are a high school senior suffering January senoritis, a college sophomore two weeks into your second semester, or a college freshman like me still a few days away from starting the second semester I am going to give you some tips to slay the second semester! I know the winter months can tend to drag and we find ourselves counting down the seconds until summer (it can’t just be me sitting in Algebra thinking I only have 774 minutes of this until I’m on Nauset Beach listening to Zac Brown Band). We aren’t just going to get through these next 15 weeks (or however many weeks you have left until summer) we are going to SLAY them!

Let’s start with an organized schedule and a balanced diet. One thing I did before this semester was sat down with a daily planner and a monthly planner. First, I wrote down my schedule day by day to the minute so I could see what each day was going to look like, when my free/study time was going to be, and then to add in other things like spin classes. Here’s an example of what my Monday schedule looks like.

  • 6:45-10AM: Field Hockey and Lift
  • 11:15-12:05: Italian 
  • 12:05-2:15: Lunch and study
  • 2:30-3:45: Math
  • 4-4:50- Econ 
  • 5:00-6:15: Dinner and study
  • 6:30-7:20:Seminar
  • 7:30-11: Study/relax/friends

Although I may not stick exactly to the minute outline of this schedule it allows me to see where my free time is throughout the day. So during that 7:30-11 block I could add in a yoga class or a Target trip because that is one of my longer free blocks during the day. As for the monthly schedule I looked at the long term schedule for my assignments and exams. Everything is different based on where you go to school or what websites your school uses to assign work. UMass uses Blackboard and Moodle which outline what we will be doing each week for the whole 15 week semester which I find helpful because if I have a lowkey week 3 then I can look ahead to week 4 and start to get some work done. Here’s an example of my February assignment schedule.

February:

  • Feb 4th- Education and Film quiz 
  • Feb 8th-Econ Problem Set
  • Feb 11th-Education and Film Quiz and Italian Quiz
  • Feb 15th-Econ Problem Set
  • Feb 18th-Education and Film Quiz
  • Feb 25th- Education and Film Quiz and Italian Quiz

This allows me to further analyze my schedule in the long term and determine how to effectively manage my time. I recommend purchasing a planner and fun colorful pens to organize things more visually. (I will link one of my favorite planners down below!)

In addition to organizing early in the semester, I would recommend preparing for your final exams a little bit each week so that you aren’t totally cramming on that final week in May when you wanna cry about your exam but also skip class and get ice cream. This is obviously way easier than done and was something I always struggled with in high school. However, I put a little extra studying time in each week during the first semester and the results showed. For my classes that I knew I had exams in I created cumulative study guides that I added to each week on a Google doc. Furthermore, I created cumulative Quizlet sets that I added to each week so that I would study the new material I learned and also refreshed the vocabulary I learned during week 1. Once classes ended I printed the study guides and highlighted them by color (purple=vocab, pink=people, yellow=concepts/big ideas). I added questions from old quizzes and homework to the study guides as well. Then using real flash cards I would write down the terms or concepts I struggled to remember from the quizlet. Physically writing things down has a positive correlation with properly learning and remembering information. 

Besides organizing your schedule and maintaining your studying you need to maintain yourself! When creating your daily schedule add time for physical activity (the gym, yoga class, a hot girl walk!) at least three times a week. Endorphins increase your happiness and productivity. I promise you those 30 minutes on the treadmill will benefit your mind, body, and soul more than you think. Also schedule at the BARE (do you hear me? BARE. We should always have time for self care) 15 minutes of self care a day. This includes anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed whether that is the gym, journaling, reading, meditating, or cleaning. (Feel free to reach out to me and I can provide you with an extensive list of self care activities.) Another way to maintain your self care is to drink at least one water bottle a day. Get yourself a cute Hydroflask to inspire you to drink your water! 

Where you spend your time is essential for your energy. If you wake up every morning to clothes scattered on the floor or your desk as a makeup table that looks like a tornado blew through (did I just describe the way my room looked some morning?) you will struggle to feel motivated. Do your best to preserve a clean living space. If the dark discourages you, add fairy lights or LED lights. Make it personal! If you’re away at school add framed pictures of you and your friends. Create a cute color theme and match all your dorm furniture and bedspread. Let me tell you, making my bed everyday with a light pink bedspread and all my throw pillows made me so happy to return to my room after a long day of classes and field hockey. 

School has a tendency to get the best of us. Remember to relax, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of your daily goals, end goals, and what you are grateful you have in your life. Your geometry quiz isn’t the end of the world! As long as you put forth your best effort the rest will fall into place!

Xoxo,

Hannahlane

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