Need to Know

YOU NEED TO KNOW About Preparing For January: Full-Year Courses

Not all of us will be starting fresh with brand new courses in second semester. If you’re like me, then you have a lot of full year courses (or all full year courses), and January will simply mean picking up where you left off.

However, that doesn’t mean you should not prepare for the beginning of semester two.

But how can you prepare? 

Well, let me tell you a little bit about what I plan on doing after the end of my exams in order to be ready for January – feel free to draw from them or to come up with your own preparation plan!

First and foremost, I plan on catching up on all the things I missed or fell behind on. Although I am sure all of you have perfect work habits and put school ahead of fun every chance you get (**Cough**Cough**), every so often there may come a time when you just can’t get a reading done, you don’t get a chance to review your lecture notes, or you fall behind in some way. Use your time during the break to bring yourself up to speed and to finish all the work that you didn’t get a chance to complete in the Fall semester. Maybe even try re-writing your notes a little neater or reading through them so that you don’t forget all that you’ve learned from September to December! Whatever you decide to do, use your break to not only have fun, but to finish semester 1 off strong – and to ensure you are ready to continue in semester 2!

Next, I plan on completing upcoming assignments. Have a research paper or a project due in semester 2? As long as you’ve already been provided with the instructions, you can definitely work on it over the break (and maybe even finish it)! The good thing about this is that when regular readings and homework begin once again in January, you will have already gotten enough done on your project to focus solely on learning all the new material, rather than silently stressing about getting it done.

Finally, I plan on assessing my performance, and making a plan for the future. Not sure if you have read my post from a few months ago about being organized, entitled “Organization As The Key To Academic Success,” but one of the things I mention is picking a ‘reset’ day. What this means is picking a day that you can sit down and see how you’ve been doing so far – by this, I mean sitting down and asking yourself questions like…

 Have I been following my schedule? 

Have I been sticking to my budget?

Have I been getting my assignments done?

Am I happy with where I’m at right now? 

We ask ourselves questions like these in order to identify where we have done well and where improvement on our part is needed.

And so during the break, sit down and use questions like these to assess your semester one performance. Once you have identified your strengths and your weaknesses, create a plan that helps maintain those strengths and correct those weaknesses – I promise that it will make for an even more rewarding semester two.

That will be my plan for the break. What’s your’s? Comment below, and let me know!

~ Christopher Ford

Photograph of me on Day 9 of Movember – and the Mo is even bigger today on the halfway mark!

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