The inevitable start of the new semester has come, arriving on time as the summer days begin to cool. Navigating the start of the semester, whether you are a freshman on campus for the first time or a senior returning for your fourth (or fifth, or sixth) year, presents a unique set of challenges. Though it may be a chaotic adjustment period, implementing strong practices early will help you launch your fall successfully.
“The beginning of the semester is a transitional time,” explains Dr. Tony Middlebrooks. “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.
“I like to start off the semester with no worries or concerns,” said seasoned student Jodi Stern, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019. “I make sure that I am completely organized and have my schedule laid out as best as possible."
Scheduling is a key component to a healthy and successful transition into the academic year. But though it is important to make note of your commitments and responsibilities for the future, it is equally important to take some time off to reflect on your past summer and semesters.
“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.”
This point was echoed by Stern: “It’s important to find ways to relax, so that when school gets stressful, you know how to handle it through your own personal outlets, like exercise or listening to music.”
Launch yourself into the fall semester with renewed positivity and excitement for the future by reflecting on your summer, setting reasonable goals and making time for yourself. Horn Entrepreneurship has many activities and opportunities for students to make the most of their college experience. Come to 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.
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.