First Semester Takeaways

Happy New Year, everyone! The spring semester is in full swing and it is great to be back on campus at Ohio State University. Over the winter break, I traveled to cities such as Denver and Chicago, hung out with friends and family, and relaxed with a good book in my spare time. With a whole semester to reflect back on, I thought it may be helpful to share some of my first-semester takeaways.

Create Goals

Before each semester, I recommend writing down goals you want to accomplish over the course of the semester. These goals can be academic, personal, professional, or developmental. No matter how big or small, highlight specific actions you can take in order to make them happen and surround yourself with others who have similar goals. Then you can hold each other accountable for them and work toward them together. If you enjoy being creative, make a vision board for a physical representation of what you want to achieve.

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” —Dennis DeYoung

Get Involved

Getting involved outside of the classroom is a great example of what an achievable goal could be. It may be joining a student organization, volunteering in the community, playing an intramural sport, or attending campus events. Doing any of these activities is a great way to de-stress, make friends, and gain experience in an area you may be interested in. Some of these activities may also bonus as a resume builder.

Be Organized

I cannot stress this enough. Trying to balance work, school, and other activities along with multiple deadlines occurring throughout the year can be difficult. Be prepared and keep a physical planner or online calendar. There are plenty of free apps and websites that can be used if you want to take your calendar on the go. Another tactic I like to use is setting reminders for myself on my phone or online calendar. Whether it is to pay a bill, check my email, or to turn in an assignment, these reminders keep me from forgetting or procrastinating if something is important. Start creating good habits now and find a routine that works well for you.

Have a Good Time

Last but not least, you need to have fun! Having a support system and outlets to de-stress are both extremely important. Graduate school can be mentally as well as physically exhausting at times so be sure to always take care of yourself first.