8 Things to do to Guarantee a Great Semester

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The start of a semester can be daunting, but it can easily be managed and conquered by any student here at UNO. Whether this is your first semester or last, here are eight things you can do to start the spring off right and guarantee success!

  1. Textbooks can be hit or miss. Don’t be afraid to wait a week or two to see if you really need to buy them. Don’t shy away from looking at outside resources for your books, either! Online shopping is a valuable asset for the many semesters to come. Also note that many old works are available online because their copyrights have expired.
  2. Getting to know your teachers should be one of your top priorities! Each teacher has their own standards and expectations for their classes, and it is your job to figure them out. Read the syllabus, email your teachers, and raise your hand! A teacher is way more willing to help you out if they believe you are trying.
  3. This tip is very much connected to the last, but to get know your teachers, you must go to class. The class could be very boring, nearly impossible to understand, or extremely early in the morning, but you should definitely attend. Good attendance can easily prevent your letter grade from dropping after a hard test. It’s the easiest cushion you could get during the year! Remember, you are paying for these classes, so you might as well go to them.
  4. The Earl K. Long Library is a great resource. Need a place to print, make copies or scan something onto a computer? The library can easily provide that. Need a place to study in peace and quiet? There are private study rooms on the first, second, and fourth floors that are available without a reservation. Want a neutral place to meet up with classmates to work? The library can provide that as well. Couldn’t find a textbook in time for class? The library has hard copies of some texts, sometimes online versions, and if necessary, they can offer interlibrary loans.
  5. Organization is key to success. This can mean keeping a daily planner with you during the semester or having many different highlighters to make notes with in your books. However, don’t feel pressured to impose intense disciplinary standards with color coordination to be successful. Organization can be as simple as keeping track of important dates for tests, quizzes and papers. Make sure that the information is easily accessible. As long as you know what needs to be done, you’re on the right track.
  6. College is all about resume building! UNO offers tons of opportunities for advising you on your resume. Most importantly, there are many opportunities to put things on it! College is all about getting ready for your dream job, so don’t be afraid of using any resource that comes your way.
  7. College is a transient period of your life. Experiment with your major, clubs and opportunities! College is one of the few places that allows you to explore what you want out of life. So don’t be afraid to be a philosophy major one month or an engineering major the next before finally discovering your passion is in film. You are spending a lot of money on your college experience, so make it your own!
  8. Finally, set mini goals during the semester. When you complete them, reward yourself. The truth is, school is hard. It takes up a lot of your precious time, and there is nothing wrong with treating yourself for a job well done. This could be something small, like getting your favorite drink or a cheap dessert. For the bigger goals, such as doing well on your midterms, a dinner at a restaurant or a trip to the movies could be appropriate. Thinking of completing the entire semester can be very daunting, but when you break it up, it becomes manageable and simple.
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