What to finish now: a guide to a successful semester

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Zainab Ali/File

It’s our favorite time of the year: coming back to UC Berkeley after a month of ultimate relaxation. It’s really such a joy to return to the rigor of school after doing absolutely nothing over winter break. But if you would like to alleviate some stress this semester, we at the Clog advise you to accomplish a few things now (rather than later). How awesome would it be to finish everything early on and have nothing on your plate at the end of the semester? Of course, we know that will never happen, but it’s worth a try, right?

Attend class

First of all, it’s important to actually attend your classes. I know, it’s surprising. Attending classes is not really a thing people do in college. Either way, we know you’re going to get lazy later on in the semester and that you’ll choose to watch screencasted lectures or get your friend’s notes. So, saying this, it’s important to show up in the beginning to get a feel for the class and make sure you actually want to be in it. It’s always good to make sure you like the professor, can deal with the homework load and it’s actually a class you’re supposed to be taking (you’d be surprised how many people accidentally stumble into Knitting 101).

Apply to clubs

Besides attending your classes, make sure you apply for all the clubs you want to join. Many clubs have applications due the very first week back (how annoying), so if you’re not on top of things, you might miss a deadline. If you really want to get into a certain club geared towards your major or interests (or if you’ve just been dying to learn swing dancing), then be sure to check online and apply for any clubs you need to. Clubs will help you feel like you have a social life, even if you really don’t.

Plan a vacation

Enough about school. You also need to plan trips with your friends. Berkeley can seem really confining sometimes, so it’s important to leave the area and explore the great state of California. But really, there are a lot of things you could do: go to Disneyland,  go camping, go to Los Angeles or maybe even take a quick road trip across the country to visit New York City. It’s all doable as long as you plan ahead, we promise. Just block out a week, a couple weeks or even a month for your trip. Plus, this way, you can still plan out your note-taking and studying around that time. This way, whenever you feel like escaping Berkeley for a while, you’ll have a way out.

Splurge on some fancy food

Finally, it’s important to try out every single restaurant that you won’t have money to try out later in the semester. We all start the year off hopeful that we’ll be able to budget our money and make it stretch out over five months. But, that’s never the case. You might as well just live in the now and go to every restaurant you’ve wanted to go to during your time at Berkeley. Just spend all your money and have some good meals with your friends (which will probably only be four meals, since we’re all already broke).
We at the Clog hope your spring semester goes smoothly (as it should if you follow these tips). See you on the flip side, Golden Bears.

Contact Esmé Brachmann at [email protected].