Succeeding in the spring semester

Valerie Teegardin
Valerie Teegardin

Dust off your backpack and empty your bank account at the bookstore, because spring semester is here at Chico State. No more sleeping past noon or home cooked meals from mom, that one month of pure, break bliss is as dead as your shriveled up Christmas tree.

Completely draining that fresh motivation you started with in the fall, saying goodbye to home life and switching back to school mode can make your GPA drop faster than the New Year’s Eve ball at Times Square. But fear not, my fellow peers, for I have some tips to avoid catching a harmful case of slacker-itis this spring.

Learn from the ghost of fall semester regret. Now that one half of the year is done and over with, you need to take a long look at the less-than-desirable times you had in the fall.

Did you miss more class than you attended because your bed seemed like the better choice? This semester, get your ass up and get to class — you are not paying to major in sleep! Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off, and don’t even think about hitting the snooze button.

Did whiskey Wednesdays take a toll on your 9 a.m. Thursday class? Unless you want your grades to hit a new all-time low, save the late nighters during the week for studying and dedicate some weekend time to go out with friends. Finding a balance between your school life and social life can be hard, but it is a crucial part of maximizing your college experience and reaching your full potential in your future field of work.

Lean on the Student Services Center when you’re not strong. They will be your friends. They will help you carry on. No, really, the people in the SSC are here specifically to help you, so embrace it! You’re not Superman.

If you haven’t already, you will definitely experience a professor at some point that has you leaving the class more confused than ever. Free tutoring is offered for almost any subject you can think of in addition to drop-in writing help if you need someone to peer-review your papers. Having a fellow student explain economics or trigonometry in easier terms may just be what saves you this semester.

Academic advising and the office of the registrar are also found in the SSC building. Don’t make life harder on yourself than it has to be — make an appointment to meet with an advisor to see if there are classes you can take that will count for multiple requirements. You’re putting in four years of your life and thousands of dollars into your education, might as well utilize that as best as you can.

Start with a bang, not a fizzle. Above all, don’t wait till mid-semester to crack down on your
studies. By then it’s most likely too late to bring up your fallen grades and you will
only get humiliated if you go to your professors in March begging them for
extra credit. Save yourself the embarrassment
and start off this semester ready to kick ass in class.

Valerie Teegardin can be reached at [email protected] or @vteegardin on Twitter.