Gearing Up for the New Semester!

Hey Everyone!!

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing holiday season, I know I did! But with the close of the anticipated holidays comes a daunting thought, the start of the next semester. However, the week or two before a semester starts are kind of my favorite. You have the anticipation of a new semester, and I am actually find it exciting making plans to make this my “best semester yet”. Granted, I know this feeling will only last until the middle of the first class, I enjoy these weeks nonetheless.
Next semester will be my last semester before I take my APRN boards (yikes!!!). I will be taking “care of populations at high risk” along with clinical rotations. I am more excited for this course than others (here’s looking at you, pediatrics), because I feel well-versed with this population of older individuals with chronic diseases (heyyyyy MICU nurse). It will be challenging, of course, but this semester is exciting because at the end of it I get to take the boards!

So here is a couple of my favorite tips on how to gear up for a new semester!

Plan, plan, plan!
I find the more pre-planning of my semester I do, the more apt I am to be able to fit in the fun things I want to do. For example, I know I want to head up to Boston at the end of February for my best friend’s birthday, so writing it down in my planner first will visually remind me that I need to make sure all my work is done for that week before then, leaving me time to relax while I am away.
I also dig through my syllabus extensively before the semester starts and make sure all important assignments, school events, and exams are easily visible on my monthly calendar so nothing sneaks up on me last minute.
I use a Lilly Pulitzer Agenda in medium. I like these planners because it gives me a clear monthly calendar, as well as weekly calendars to plan out my days more specifically.

Does a new semester even exist if you don’t buy new school supplies??? This is by far my favorite part of a new semester. Picking out a new binder and dividers for my classes, as well as sprucing up my office area with some new pieces always invigorates me and motivates me to get studying! I haven’t gone shopping yet, but I am definitely going to splurge on a new set of my favorite pens, the Paper-mate Inkjoy Gen 0.7 pens. They come in so many pretty colors, and write so smoothly, they make writing notes and papers (slightly) more enjoyable, and every bit counts!!

I like to make sure I am starting a new semester with a blank slate. Making sure my bedroom and office are organized and spruced up before a semester helps me enter the year with a calm attitude. Walking into a pretty area that I designed to study allows me to feel more relaxed and puts my mind in the right state to get down to business. Making sure everything I might need is at arms length and organized in my office is key. I also find it cathartic cleaning and organizing and throwing out things that I don’t need anymore.

Along the lines of cleaning, I enjoy going through old notes and papers while I am organizing my office before the start of each semester. Looking back at past classes and work that I’ve done reminds me of how far I have come since I have started the program. I am on year 3 of 4 and the time has really flown by. Sometimes, I feel like I am just squeaking by without actually learning anything, but when I take the time to look back at all the work I’ve done, it reminds the that slow and steady wins the race and before I know it I am going to be totally done!

So those are my favorite things to do while gearing up for a new semester, I hope you enjoyed it! I feel like this is also applicable for general new years organization! I think its important for us to take a moment every few months, reorganize, and restart. With everyone’s busy schedules, pressing the “restart” button every now and again couldn’t hurt, right?!

Xoxo, Bethany

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