Use syllabus week to establish good grades for semester


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Sarah Ladd

There’s a stereotype about straight-A students: they’re the weird ones who never sleep because they live in the library, the ones who have no friends because grades are happiness. Truthfully, though, the students who get great grades are usually the ones who know how to manage their time the best.

We’re entering a new semester. For first-year students, it has probably hit you like a whirlwind. You’re still recovering from your new college reality and dorm life and collegiate work. If this is your last semester like it is mine (inserts crying emoji), you may feel a bit discouraged and tired. You can see the end in sight and you’re focused on jobs and interviews and what to wear for interviews.

No matter if it’s your first January in college or your last, keep your head up. Grades still matter and each semester, each week, each day counts. Admittedly, the holidays have made us a bit sluggish and nobody–NOBODY– wants to pack away the Christmas lights and Santa socks only to unpack books and highlighters and sticky notes.

Syllabus week, along with the first few weeks of the semesters, is seen generally as a time to relax, get back into the swing of things and enjoy having no assignments. The only problem with this is that by the time you wake up and snap out of it, it’s week seven and you have 5 past-due assignments and three books to finish. Don’t make that mistake.

The first few weeks of the semester are prime time to get ahead on studies. I know, I know. What a nerd! Really, though. I have been known to complete extra credit opportunities during the first week of class. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to maintain a high grade than try to save a low one.

I know it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. You’re tired, you want to go back home and curl up on your couch. You want to go look at your Christmas presents and sigh at your tree. But if you determine now to hit this semester hard from day one, you will see better grades, better performance and enjoy a more rewarding experience.