Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Welcome Back: Second Semester

Hello, friends! I hope that everyone's 2015 is going well. And if not, don't worry, we're only 14 days into it! :) All of the children have gone back to school, and us  are beginning to go back. The majority of my friends returned to their respective campuses on Monday, but Miami students do not return to campus for another week and a half. So, for those of you who have not yet returned, and even those of you who have, I thought I would take a minute to hand out my BTS second semester tips.

1. Replenish! This goes for pretty much everything in your dorm. Before you go back to school, stock up on everything. January is usually the coldest month of the year. So, grab some extra pair of boot socks and an extra sweatshirt. You can grab your shorts and spring blouses when you go home for spring break. Also, restock your school supplies. Maybe you lost all of your pens or maybe you just never found one you like. And remember that with a new semester comes new classes, so don't forget notebooks. Did you run out of shampoo and conditioner just as the last shower of the semester rolled around, like I did? Don't forget to stock up on your toiletries before going back. And I don't know about the rest of your colleges, but while our on-campus market is convenient, it is holy-hell expensive. (A mini sized box of Ritz crackers is $5.) So, grab some snacks before you go back. I recommend easily traveling food items, like popcorn and peanut butter. Maybe grab some chips and salsa. Anything that needs refrigerated can be bought at your campus-local grocery store.

2. Sit down with your schedule! Take some time and sit down with your new schedule. You have new classes, with new professors, in new buildings at new times. Get familiar with it because it's going to be the basis of your next 4 and a half months. Also, take a look at your free time. When will you give yourself time to eat? When will you have "me time"? When will you have time to study?

3. Stay Motivated! If you ask me, spring semester is the most difficult. During the fall semester, you get a 3-day weekend right away with Labor day being the first weekend in September. Most schools also have a "fall break" in October. And all schools have a break in November and of course, school ends in December. But during Spring Semester you get a 3 day weekend in January for MLK day (which I don't get because I'm not even back at school yet) and then you get a week of spring break almost 2 months later, and then another 2 months of nothing. Its more difficult to keep going when you don't get as many breaks. So, find something to keep yourself motivated.

4. Order your textbooks. Just a reminder, don't forget your textbooks. My best advise is to go to Slugbooks, type in your ISBN and it will give you options for where to buy your book. Ebooks aren't as easy to find as you would think. But for ebooks, look at Chegg. And never forget our trusty friend, Amazon. Again, all you need is your ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Another way to cut down your book bill is to buy the international version. I bought the international version of my bio book and only spend $57, with shipping. So, shop around, don't automatically buy from your school book store.

5. Find a new place on campus. Find a new place to study. Fine a new place to eat. Find a new place to relax. Explore campus and get to know what you don't. Go alone. Take your roommate with you. Take your best friend with you. Either way, get to know the parts of campus that you don't.

I wish everyone a peachy first day back, when ever that was/is for you, and a dandy spring semester. :)

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