The days are getting shorter and classes are now in full swing! The start of the semester is always a time of transition, regardless of whether you’re a wide-eyed freshman or a grizzled senior. Implementing strong practices and mindsets early in your semester will help you get the most out of your time on campus.
“The beginning of the semester is a transitional time,” explains Dr. Tony Middlebrooks, an Associate Professor in Biden School of Public Policy and Administration. “It requires you to envision what you want your semester to be, and then requires you to set some goals for your future.”
According to Dr. Middlebrooks, these goals fall into a few categories: financial, health, psychological, social and academic. By making a realistic, reasonably attainable goal in the categories of your choosing, you create a platform for success, but the preparation for a strong semester does not stop at simple goal setting. Some of our most successful and involved students recommend finding a friend to help you through new challenges.
“Things only get easier when you have someone to do it with, share in it with,” said Entrepreneurship major Andrew Cercena, Class of 2021, and founder of the virtual college tour startup, Snoop. “Adding Nick [Novoa, Class of 2021] to the Snoop team has helped me sift through ideas and made it more enjoyable to learn and grow as a team. It’s been my most productive time.”
Other students recommend reflecting on your attitude and mindset. “The biggest thing is the proper mindset,” explained Amanda Monachelli, Class of 2021, a participant in Summer Founders 2019 with her venture, EmpowHER. “I could have thought of Summer Founders as something I had to do, but instead I rolled with the punches and thought about it as something that could benefit me. Starting something new means you just have to dive into it. I attacked each day in Summer Funders as something entirely new, allowing myself to enjoy growing and learning.”
Amanda’s reflective insights on her experience in Summer Founders dovetail with another idea from Dr. Middlebrooks: “Taking stock of your summer is a critical component to developing stronger habits in the future,” said Dr. Middlebrooks. “Understand what made your time fantastic, or understand why it needs improving, and then resolve to build on what you have.”
Taking time off to reflect isn’t the only relaxation you need to optimize your fall either. In fact, Dr. Middlebrooks contends that time off for you to pursue your desires is one of the most effective ways to improve your progress when you feel stuck in a rut.
“Carve out time in your schedule for you,” said Dr. Middlebrooks. “And no matter what, drop everything to pursue what you have set aside for yourself. Develop your sense of creativity, develop skills outside of your work and academic life that give you joy outside of traditional demands.”
Horn Entrepreneurship has many activities and opportunities for students to make the most of their college experience. Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club) sponsors Free Lunch Friday at the Venture Development Center on 132 East Delaware Avenue each Friday at 11 a.m. to share a free meal with a speaker and other students. Connect with E-Club to find more opportunities to pursue your passion for fun.
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.