Starting a new semester should be easy

Eduardo Alvarez/ Contributing Writer

If you’ve had a leisurely summer, you might want to tune in to this one.

It’s very easy to disconnect from the rigors of a full semester, especially if you didn’t take any summer classes, and even more so if you’ve traveled. So it’s in your best interest to curb the learning curve of the first few days of class.

First, make sure your parking decal is activated. Leave home early enough to account for a margin of error, as Miami traffic can be unforgiving. Give yourself at least 15 to 20 minutes more than what you think you need.

You may also run into some trouble finding your class. It’s a big school, so you want to give yourself time for that as well.

Try to arrive a few minutes early to class, when the professor isn’t there yet and everyone is buried in their phones. Greet your new classmates and create a group chat. From personal experience, I can say that being able to text my classmates when I have some doubt has meant a difference in letter grades.

Also, clean out your backpack. If you’re disorganized like me, your backpack is filled with papers, pamphlets and unsharpened pencils. New classes mean an avalanche of syllabi and other documents, and the confusion of spring, summer, and fall semester papers will have adverse effects on studying.

Purging one’s backpack is also symbolic. A new semester, an empty backpack.

If you have online classes, be sure to check FIU Canvas and participate in the course as soon as possible after its made available.

Most importantly, come into the new semester with a positive attitude. Post-vacation blues can sometimes be very harsh; but if you happen to feel that way, just remember that you study where others vacation.

Every semester is an education and an adventure, so welcome back.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo retrieved from Unsplash. 

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