Recovering from a Bad Semester at College

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Almost every college student has a bad semester or two. Adjusting to college life isn’t easy, and the workload can be overwhelming. One off semester shouldn’t define your future. If you’ve had a bad semester, read on for tips on recovering and getting back on the path to success.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting unrealistic goals can leave you feeling defeated and hopeless. Determine what you can realistically achieve during a semester based on your past performance. When you set attainable goals, you’re more likely to stay motivated and less likely to give up.

Be Proactive

If you’re having problems, take action immediately. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to start trying to fix things. Talk to your instructors, go to study groups and review your study habits before it’s too late.

Keep a Study Schedule

Studying regularly is important to staying on top of your classes. You don’t want to wait until right before a test to study. That may have worked in high school, but it won’t cut it for most college courses. Have set times to study every day. Write your schedule down and keep it in a prominent location so you won’t forget. Try getting a planner to help organize your schedule. Check out our list of the best planners for 2017.

Review Notes Every Day

Reviewing notes after every class helps you retain information better than just going over notes before a test. Find a time as soon after each class as possible to read over your notes. Also try to review all of your previous notes each time. Put note reviewing time in your study schedule to make it official.

Find a Tutor

Sometimes studying isn’t enough and you need extra help. A tutor can help you see things from a different perspective and give you tips on how to solve common problems in a particular subject. Many departments offer free tutoring provided by graduate students or professional tutors. If you can’t find free tutors, you can usually find a senior or graduate student tutor for a reasonable price.

Eliminate Time Wasters

Websites, apps, and games can be great stress relievers but than can also be detrimental to your study habits. Pick one or two favorite things you want to do in your spare time and set a time limit. Put it in your planner or schedule and set a timer to keep yourself from going over. It’s also a great motivation for studying. You can give yourself a certain amount of time on your favorite site or app after a few hours of work.

Don’t let a bad semester discourage you from trying to improve.  Success is possible if you re-think your habits and work to fix problems before they get out of hand.

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