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Know the important dates & follow academic calendar.

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Start the Semester Strong!

Start the Semester Strong

Follow these tips to help start the semester strong!

Use a time management system to stay on track. Copy all due dates for tests, assignments, papers and projects for the semester into a planner and your phone's calendar. Enter your instructors' office hours as well, so you know when help is available, and block out time to study.

An organized student is a happy student. Assign each class its own folder and notebook, with sections for notes, handouts, and completed assignments. Do the same on your computer, creating folders and subfolders for each class. Go the extra mile and use a color coding system to make organization easier, and boost memory and retention.

Be prepared for an entire day. Gather books and supplies at least a week in advance. Have a bag that is big enough to hold everything, and pack at night, so you know you have everything you need for the next morning's classes. If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, set multiple alarms.

Take good notes, and studying will be a breeze. Find a note taking system that works for you. Review notes immediately before and after class to refresh your memory. Your notes shouldn't be what the instructor says word for word, but have enough keywords and information that you can recall the material and review later.  

Use campus resources. Visit with the academic advisors to answer questions about scheduling and classes, and schedule visits at the Tutoring Center for classes you feel you may struggle with. The Write Place can help with term papers, and the library and computer labs provide access to computers, scanners, and printers.

Set aside study time, and be productive. Study for half hour sessions, then take a five minute break. If you are studying more than one subject, take a half hour break in between to prevent being overwhelmed.  

Slow and steady earns the grades. Keep on top of regular assignments, and start larger projects early. Discuss topics for papers with your professor ahead of time, and visit the research librarians. If you fall behind, sacrifice a weekend to get caught up.  

Taking too many credit hours can hurt your GPA.   Try not to take more than 12-15 credits per semester. For each credit hour, 1 to 3 hours of work outside the classroom are expected to maintain a passing grade. Prioritize classwork and other commitments.

Use your syllabus!   Your class syllabus is the most important tool you have. After you get each syllabus, read through them and record important dates, know what the class schedule will be like, and know what your instructor expects of you in each class.

Get involved. Join a student club. It's a great way to get connected, find support, find a study partner, have fun, enhance your resume and enjoy the full college experience. 

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