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6 Ways To Evaluate Last Semester And Do Better This Semester
Spring semester is about to rear its ugly head and you’ll be forced to head back into the belly of the beast. It is important to take this time of relaxation to reflect on your semester. Evaluate it. Figure out how you can do better.
1) Your Workload
Before we get to the daunting G word, let’s talk about work load. Often times, that is what leads to stress in college students. No matter how many classes or hours you’re taking, you can still find yourself with an overwhelming workload. Were you constantly stressed throughout the semester? Were there multiple weeks when you couldn’t find the time to do all your readings, or your papers were turned in late, or you weren’t fully prepared for a test? It might be time to evaluate your workload and plan better for next semester. Try not to take classes where all your tests or papers fall in the same week. Maybe divide your class schedule between seminars and lectures, especially if your seminars are reading heavy. I know I certainly bite off more than I could chew with four seminars and a reading-heavy lecture this semester, but now I know how to plan for next semester.
2) Your Grades
Okay, now onto the dreaded grades. While your GPA doesn’t mean everything, bad grades could be indicative that your workload is out of control or something is going on in another aspect of your life that is impacting your schoolwork. Your GPA does not need to be perfect. In fact, having a perfect GPA might indicate you aren’t challenging yourself enough. Either way, your grades can be indicative of other aspects of your life. Did you not do well on a certain test because you were out partying the night before, or because you got a cold? Your grades should reflect your performance and your understanding of the subject. If they don’t, check the other aspects of your life to find the root cause of the issue.
3) Your Social Life
Are you sitting at home, curled up with a mug of hot chocolate, and wishing you had gone out more often, made new friends? Perhaps you’re wishing you’d committed more time to the library than the dance floor. If you haven’t asked yourself if you are content with your social life the past semester, now is the time to do it. Likely, your social life won’t be popping while you’re at home away from school. That is the perfect time to figure out how the semester treated your social life without a social life getting in the way. Evaluating from afar is one of the best ways to evaluate.
4) Your Love Life
Sometimes, whether we want to admit it or not, the vitality of our love life affects our performance in other areas of our life. Yes, this includes our schoolwork. A tough breakup can do as much damage to your GPA as the flu. Are you in a relationship. Does that relationship make you happy? Does it cause you undue stress? Is it going somewhere, or it is holding you back? If you’re single, are you focusing on bettering yourself or are you stressing over finding a significant other? You don’t need a boyfriend to be happy, but some people can’t stand being single. You need to figure out if you’re one of those people. Likewise, you need to make sure any relationship you ARE in is a positive one and is not hurting other aspects of your life. Your GPA or spiritual life shouldn’t be hurt by your relationship status, no matter what it is.
5) Your Extracurriculars
If you’re anything like me, your extracurricular commitments often overshadow your academic work. Whether you’re in a sorority, leading a nonprofit, playing a sport, or championing the conservative movement, it is important for you and your group as a whole to evaluate your semester. Is your commitment fulfilling? Are you actually meeting your goals? Are you too involved, or not involved enough? What are your goals for next semester? Do you have a plan for leadership transition? All of these are important to keep in mind. They are much easier to think about when you’re not engrossed in the everyday action of the group.
6) Your Health
How many trips did you take to the campus healthcare center this semester? Did you spend a significant part of your paycheck every month on pain medications or NyQuil? That might be a sign that something needs to change. Health problems can cause major issues for other aspects of your life, in school and out of it. They can have many root causes. It is not out of the norm to get a common cold, and it isn’t something you can really “resolve” to avoid with any luck. Getting a flu shot, washing your hands, coughing into your elbow instead of your hands, and taking vitamins can all contribute to you having a healthier semester.
FFL Cabinet Member
Aryssa is a student at Yale University, where she enjoys worshiping the patriarchy, making sandwiches, and finding a husband. She loves wearing her FFL gear and documenting the horrific expressions that ensue for her scrapbook. When she is not being "oppressed" by the patriarchy, she enjoys Lilly Pulitzer and classic novels.