Guide to having a successful semester


Photo credit: Bobbie Rae Jones

Welcome back to reality. After one long, relaxing month off from school, it’s back to Chico we go. Back to roommates, back to $1 nights and back to classes. With seven semesters down, I think I have finally found a cheat sheet for both a successful and fun college semester.

Keep in mind that my advice comes from true experiments of trial and error.

The do’s and don’ts of passing class:

  • Do actually go to class and introduce yourself to the professor.
  • Don’t show up to class the first week late or in pajamas.
  • Do get a planner and write and check-off assignments and deadlines.
  • Don’t doodle on your notes or continue to refresh Instagram when you’re bored. (They see you.)
  • Do put in the library hours to study for those tests and midterms you think you can wing.
  • Don’t pull an all-nighter the night before your big test. (At this point, you know it or you don’t.)
  • Do attempt to actually understand and enjoy what you’re studying for 14 weeks straight.
  • Don’t use up all of your excused absences when you’re lazy. Save them. (There will come a time when you’re deathly ill, or dying from a hangover or really want to go on that weekend trip.)
  • Do make a friend in every class. They will be your homework helper, study buddy and therapist in times of stress.
  • Don’t cheat.
  • Do know that everyone has felt the same highs and lows in college; you can do it.

Now that we know the key to having a successful spring semester in the classroom, we can explore other aspects of college. Although school is our main priority, there’s more to know and love in this city we call home.

The do’s and don’ts of free time:

  • Do go out on the weekends. You’ve worked hard all week, you’ve earned it. Avoid the FOMO (Fear of missing out).
  • Don’t go out and stay out late if you have work or class early the next day.
  • Do try to make new friend groups.
  • Don’t drop all your friends when you get a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Do dress up for that random costume party. You’ll miss them after college. (At least do it for the pics.)
  • Don’t blackout every time you party.
  • Do try new places to eat out around Chico.
  • Don’t be on your phone 24/7.
  • Do go on new adventures. Find a new hike or swim spot once a week.
  • Don’t ditch your responsibilities.
  • Do make a spring semester bucket list with your best friends.

Going into my eighth semester as a senior here at Chico, I thankfully and finally feel prepared about the do’s and don’ts toward spring semester success. Sure I made enough mistakes to be able to compile this list but I also think that I did enough things right to be able to say that my time here at Chico State have been the best four years of my life. I think the real key is to find a balance between schoolwork and having fun. Whether you’re at the beginning, middle, end or victory lap of your college career, make this spring semester your bitch.

Julie Ramos can be reached at [email protected] or @julie_ramoss on Twitter.