The key to achieving your best semester yet

For some, the beginning of the school year is an exciting time to welcome a fresh start and shift away from an old summer routine. For others, the start of a new semester hits the play button on a new wave of dread. Here begins the mountains of homework, waking up early for class and enemy number one—finals. However, the start of the year doesn’t have to feel this way. Here are a few ways to obtain a positive attitude at the start of this school year, in order to have the best semester of your college life.

Set a reward

It is always easier to stay positive about a situation when you have something to look forward to. So give yourself a reward for completing your first week back! Whatever it is that will make you see light at the end of the syllabi and self-introductions-filled tunnel, use it as incentive to have a great first week. This can mean making plans with friends for the weekend, ordering from your favorite takeout place or maybe even making a promise to sleep in Saturday morning. There are countless little things you can do for yourself that will make getting through the first week a breeze.

Make a list, check it twice

If you are dreading the start of school to the point of developing anxiety, you are not alone. Even better, there many ways to fight this feeling. One great way to reduce back-to-school anxiety is to make a list of your school-related worries. You will be getting your thoughts off your chest while also allowing yourself to visualize your fears, which can help you understand why you may be anxious about something—and move you in the direction of eradicating those nerves.

Set achievable goals

Another great way to curb your anxiety is to make a list of your goals for the semester. A list of everything you want to achieve will remind you why you are here and help you focus on what you would like to accomplish. This is also a great way of diverting your attention away from your anxiety, because your mind will be able to focus on other more important things.

Everyone has a different mindset about the start of school, but if you’re feeling very negative about the upcoming school year, there are plenty of ways to cheer yourself up. Overall, remember that we are students—meaning we can learn. Instead of thinking about all the work this semester is going to bring, think about the topics you are excited to learn about. A positive mind leads to a positive life, and the start of a new semester is an opportunity for a fresh start—but only if you take it. 

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