Tips to start off an organized semester

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Spring semester is so much more than just a continuation from fall semester. It’s a chance to not only restart and refresh, but to try new things and kick-start positive new habits. The first couple of weeks back tend to be the least stressful, which makes them the perfect opportunity to get the jump on accomplishing your goals. Whether you’re a spring admit, entering your final semester, or somewhere in between, these tips will help you organize your semester early on and will keep you from letting exciting opportunities slip by.

 

Embrace your inner teacher’s pet

It’s no secret that UC Berkeley is high-stress and competitive, but there are plenty of little things you can do to stay organized and stand out. Drop by office hours and introduce yourself to your professors (it’s worth it, even if you never go again!). Write down the dates for your midterms in a planner, along with deadlines for papers and projects. Make a habit of sitting in the front of the classroom. If you really admire a professor and their work, reach out to them about the possibility of collaborating on a project together. You never know when you’ll want to apply for something that requires a letter of recommendation, so it’s important to constantly be cultivating relationships.

 

New year, new you: rebooted

Starting the semester is like celebrating New Year’s Day all over again — so if you have already dropped the ball on your resolution, the new semester is your second chance to kick the year off right. Skip the fried cheesecake at Seniore’s Pizza and pick up some fresh produce at Berkeley Bowl instead. Drop by a group fitness class at the RSF — there are offerings in martial arts, Zumba, Pilates and more. Take advantage of that early-on burst of motivation and use it to make healthy living a habitual part of your everyday routine. Staying fit and eating right can also improve your concentration while studying.

 

Try something new

You don’t have to wait until next summer to join that cool club you’ve seen around campus. Whether it’s joining an intramural team, auditioning for a performance group or rushing a professional fraternity, hundreds of clubs are on the lookout for fresh faces to add to their groups this semester. Find the organization that speaks to you. And remember, while lots of clubs, including volunteering groups and professional networking or consulting groups, add a lot of value to your resume, there’s also nothing wrong with joining a club purely for fun.

 

Start thinking about summer

We know it’s the last thing you want to be thinking about right now, but the sooner you have an answer to the question, “What are you doing this summer?” the sooner you can stop worrying about the future and get around to focusing on the present. It’ll also be easier to secure something early than to get caught in a mid-April scramble with hundreds of other candidates. Submit a couple of applications to exciting internships, or talk to your favorite professors about summer research opportunities. There’s also still time to register for certain study-abroad programs!

 

Update your resume

Speaking of applying for internships, your resume or LinkedIn profile might be in need of an update after a hectic fall semester full of new experiences and accomplishments. Make sure all your information is up-to-date. You can also drop by the UC Berkeley Career Center if you’re looking for tips on how to make your resume appear more marketable. The more frequently you update your resume, the less stressful applying for jobs will be.

Contact Shannon O’Hara at [email protected] .