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Three Tips to Kick Off Your Spring Semester

By Megha Karthikeyan

January 18, 2018

With spring semester right around the corner, it is good to set goals that relate to academics, career, and personal/social life. Fall semester was a whirlwind of signing up for new activities, trying out for clubs, and adjusting to classes after a long summer break. Spring semester can be as hectic if you don’t set goals and have a plan of action.

Here are some tips that can help you get organized and succeed this upcoming semester:

Start your work early and don’t put off assignments.

I know this is easier said than done, but spring semester can get busy because you don’t have as many small breaks as you do in the fall semester. It is easy to put off doing readings but once you stop doing one assignment, it adds up. From the first day of classes, look ahead at your syllabus and see what you need to complete each week. Try to do your assignments in advance so you aren’t rushing the night before to do it. If you have any free time, try to get ahead on readings and homework.

I feel like spring semester classes can also be tougher because you may be taking the second level of a course you took in the fall. This makes advanced preparation even more crucial. Set a goal for yourself to not fall behind and try your best to follow through with it.

Keep applying for internships, programs, and scholarships.

Although fall recruiting is over, a new round of recruiting opens in the spring semester. Many people may have put off the internship search in the fall, but once spring hits companies will start filling up positions. You don’t want to put off applying for an internship until May because by that point most companies will have already hired all their interns.

January is the perfect time to start contacting recruiters and attending informational events at your school. Build up your network with these people, so when applications open in February and March, you have a contact person at the company you want to work at. Spring semester is also the time to look for conferences and workshops to attend that will help you build a skillset. Many leadership, tech, and finance conferences happen in the spring and summer, so looking early and turning in that application will help you in the long run.

Spring semester is also when scholarship applications are due for many schools. Look into what scholarships your school offers and start writing essays and collecting references, so when the application is due you aren’t scrambling to finish it. Starting early also gives you the chance to ask questions and contact the scholarship center at your school to get more information.

Set aside time to work out, spend time with friends, and do fun activities for yourself.

With all the academic and career related work you’re going to be doing, it is easy to get burnt out. Make sure you set aside time for yourself to relax and enjoy college. Working out can be a great way to relieve stress and maintain a healthy body, so going to the college gym or taking an exercise class can be a great option.

Hanging out with friends is also very important. College is the time to meet new people and connect with others, so set aside time to grab a bite to eat.

Finally, have some time for yourself. This can be taking 30 minutes to meditate, do yoga, or even watch your favorite Netflix show. Winding down and concentrating on something that isn’t academic or career related can help you refresh for the next day.

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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