Top 5 Things to Remember When Returning to School

Colleen Schonfield

The right mindset can make all the difference when returning back to school. As with every start to the semester, the transition from vacation to hardcore academics can be a tough one, especially during the first few weeks when times of fun and frivolity seemingly override the needs of organization and order.

While college is a time worthy of long-lasting memories and meeting new people, the road to academic success can easily turn into the road less traveled. Distractions from students’ personal and social lives can undoubtedly be abundant during the hey-days of college, so here are a few tips to start the semester, as well as keep it, on the right track.

  • 1. Have priorities: Having a mental list of priorities is No. 1 (pun intended). Grand Valley State University is a school with ample opportunities to meet new people and have fun, but it’s crucial to remember the mainline reason behind being a student, and that is to work toward an end goal of graduation. Accomplishing that goal requires putting other activities on hold, especially if they distract from schoolwork. That procrastinated homework is only hurting your academic success, so remember to put schoolwork necessities up top, and save unrelated time-consuming activities for the bottom.
  • 2. Utilize tutors and office hours: All professors have office hours for a reason, whether it’s to go over grades with a student or to help them on an unclear subject. Taking advantage of those office hours can make all the difference between acing a class and bordering on a B+. The same goes for tutoring centers, which at GVSU can be found in the Student Academic Success Center (Student Services Building) or at the MIP library. Hint: some professors allot extra credit to those who utilize these services.
  • 3. Attend class: Getting notes from someone else the day of the missed lecture may not always be as accurate or in-depth as the ones taken yourself. Although there may be times where the snooze button “didn’t work” or you “missed the bus,” most professors would rather have students show up late than not at all. Remember, each missed class is a step away from receiving an A.
  • 4. Join major-related student clubs: The road to a successful future involves making the right connections with the right people. Within the hundreds of student organizations around campus, there are many clubs that specialize in various areas of study. These clubs build connections with outside organizations to help students land internships, volunteer opportunities and future careers. It’s also a way to get to know fellow peers within your same program.
  • 5. Take care of yourself: While it’s important to be on top of schoolwork, it’s equally important to take breaks. Too much stress is not only bad for your mental health, but can lead to other health issues such as colds or headaches that could potentially make missing class more than a rare occurrence. Eating right, getting the necessary amount of sleep and taking a breather once in a while will help ease the stress and anxiety that accompanies the college experience.

Now, let’s start the year off right.

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