Recommendations to Start the Semester Strong

Where better to hear about strategies that work than from current Cornell students! We’ve compiled a list of “Top Ten” strategies to “Start the Semester Strong” from our successful LSC tutors and are sharing them with you below (text is available below the image).

Use syllabus week to establish your plan for the semester. Go through your syllabi and put the dates of prelims, essays, and projects in your calendar. Include important extracurriculars. Make a weekly schedule with classes, office hours, when to do homework, study, workout, etc. Spend time studying the first couple of weeks so the first wave of prelims doesn’t just hit you. Practice good self-care: sleep well, eat well, workout. Review your notes everyday. Keep your room clean and organized. Find study habits that work for you – try self-testing. Go to office hours and ask questions. Set a routine and stick to it!

Developing a schedule and time management are critical!

Managing your time well is key to success in college. Many college students find themselves with more unstructured time than they’ve been used to. Of course, unstructured time and free time are not the same thing, and learning how to create structure for yourself can require patience, practice, and persistence. You can read more about time management on our Managing Time page.

Cornell students can also self-enroll in our Canvas module on “Managing Space and Time”. The module will help you be able to:

  • Use a semester calendar to keep track of all of your major assignments in one place;
  • Structure your day like an official workday (i.e. a 9-5 workday) and designate time for class and school work,  eating meals, exercise, sleep, student orgs, and spending virtual or IRL time with your family  friends;
  • Figure out how to protect your space from distractions; and
  • Communicate with the people you live with (including yourself!!) to create a plan with boundaries and expectations.

 

 


Text version of the “Top 10 Recommendations to Start the Semester Strong!”

  1. Use “syllabus week” (the first week of classes) to establish your plan for the semester. Don’t pretend that it is still break.
  2. Go through your syllabi, and put the dates of prelims, essay, and projects in your calendar. Include important extracurriculars.
  3. Make a weekly schedule with classes, office hours, when to do homework, study, workout etc.  (The next module has ideas on how to create a schedule!)
  4. Spend time studying the first couple of weeks so the first prelim doesn’t just hit you.
  5. Practice good self-care: sleep well, eat well, and get exercise.
  6. Review your notes everyday.
  7. Keep your room (workspace) clean and organized.
  8. Find study habits that work for you — try self-testing. (The LSC has resources on this, too!)
  9. Go to office hours; ask questions.
  10. Set a routine and stick to it!