The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Ready, set, plan

Students during the semester studying in the library (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Reaching for success in the new semester. 

Whether you’re a seasoned senior or a frightened freshman, every college student seems to be struck by how abruptly the spring semester begins. After a few weeks of relaxation, returning to rigorous classes and trying to keep up with all of your commitments can take some time to get used to. Here are some guidelines I’m following to not only survive, but thrive in this semester.


Take advantage of every opportunity that is available to you. Personally, I am planning to utilize the Writing Center more often, along with my professors’ extra credit opportunities and office hours. The thought of asking for help and possibly receiving criticism can be worrisome, but the fellow tutors and professors here want you to succeed. Taking the initiative and setting up these appointments will also show that you are motivated to improve your grades and your comprehension of the class, which any professor would be thrilled to see.


Set aside time each week to clean your room and organize class materials. During syllabus week, when you feel bombarded with new professors, classmates, and information, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. After assessing my schedule over the past few days, I have recognized periods when I do not have anything going on. Within these moments, I have designated times to keep myself organized so all of my duties can be tended to.

I have specific days where my mandatory tasks include aspects of cleaning my room, like vacuuming or wiping down my desks. Other days, I use my time to organize myself academically, like perusing my folders and throwing out papers that I do not need or going through my syllabi and typing up a calendar so I can see when all of my assignments are due. I hope that devoting even just a few minutes to organization each day will help me feel less cluttered, both mentally and physically.


Make healthy choices whenever you possibly can. This guideline can be applied to the food you eat, how much water you drink, and how much exercise and sleep you get. While the first few weeks of the semester may make it difficult to have a consistent and healthy routine, making miniscule changes into your lifestyle can make a major difference. For example, I am now more conscious of my water intake, so if I find myself reaching for a soda in Campion or The Perch, I get water instead. I am also doing my best to create a relaxing nighttime routine, and in the morning, I have started doing miniature workouts as soon as I wake up to build my endurance. You don’t have to revamp your entire lifestyle, but there are plenty of changes you can make so you feel more alert and healthy throughout the day.


Allow yourself to get help if or when you need it. With everything that you might personally be handling right now, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed or exhausted. However, if you find yourself unable to function in the classroom, around your friends, or in your general life, there are a multitude of resources that we have on campus, such as Counsling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Freshman Funk, and other resources for students struggling with specific issues.

Doing activities that you know make you feel happy, such as seeing your friends, listening to music, or drawing, should also be prioritized in your daily schedule whenever possible. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and you should not have to feel shame due to your struggles. College can be a lot to handle, but I have no doubts that everyone here has the power to make this semester great. Good luck!

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