Though most college students would love to take the entire duration of Christmas break off, in order to be proactive they need to prepare for the upcoming semester. Though you may not be sitting in class or attending PRSSA meetings for another few weeks, it helps to get things in order now. Here are a few steps all students should take before heading into the Spring semester:
1. Haul Out the Unnecessary Clutter
After a semester as a full time student, desks and dorms can become cluttered and harder to use. Start fresh this next semester by going through desks, drawers, binders, closets and other places where items can accumulate, and get rid of what is not needed. After that, reorganize everything. Cleaning and organizing is a great way to get ready for the upcoming semester. It can help students prepare for a new start by throwing out the old and welcoming the new.
2. Set Goals
Each semester teaches students somethings personally, professionally and academically. Reflect on last semester and make a list of goals that can be improved on. When choosing the goals, be pragmatic. Look at schedules and past performances to not set unrealistic goals; make each goal achievable. Write those out and put the list in a location where it will be visible each day. By doing this, the list will be a daily reminder, and keep the goals on the forefront of your minds.
3. Think About Summer Plans
The Spring semester is when applications for internships, jobs, etc. are due, so plan ahead. There is still at least a week until the next semester starts, so that means there is still time to prepare. Make a list of possible internships or jobs, update your online portfolio and revamp your résumé. By doing this, it will save time during the semester when your to-do list is constantly growing and updating. Take advantage of the break to get ahead.
4. Get Books and Supplies
Unfortunately, the truth is that professors do make you take notes the first week of class; this means assignments are probable. Check the book listings for each class and make preparations. Look online for the books or ask a friend to borrow theirs. Ask around to see if that professor will use the book, and if they do, then acquire it. Check the notebook and pen stashes in those desk drawers and be prepared for class.
5. Check Finances
Look at bank accounts, loans and income to make important choices. Make a budget that includes loans, food and extra activities planned for the upcoming semester. If a part time job is necessary, apply to a few over break. Also, make sure all loan and FASFA applications are completed. Think about your credit score, and future financial endeavors. Being a college student can be difficult financially, so take the time to make important choices and be proactive now.
Amanda Troncone is a sophomore public relations student, and serves as the professional development coordinator for Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America. She hopes to someday partner her passion with public relations to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. Follow Amanda on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.