It’s already been three weeks since move in day. Did your summer go by too fast? Does it feel like you never left? Fear not, for if you take the effort to make every single moment of the day a learning experience and one that improves yourself, the journey is better and faster than you might think. There may be times when you think you just can’t get through a week or there is so much on your plate to manage. The reality is this is the time to figure out how you work best under pressure. It’s one of the key factors that influence an interviewee from hire or pass. Better start now.  

So how exactly is the best way to get reconvened with the college environment? You’re about to find out. If you set yourself up for success ahead of time, you’ll be smooth sailing for the year.  

Summer is an awesome time to sleep in, relax, and do the things you love. Summer gives the opportunity to focus on fitness, nutrition, hobbies, going on road trips, and swimming. Here at Bryant you can do all those things, and more. It’s all about scheduling your time accordingly. Of course, academics come first but there are plenty of ways to implement the things you love doing into your busy days yet to come.  

It all starts the moment before you go to sleep at night. Make absolutely certain you set alarms for the next day. Alarms is pluralized because one is no longer enough. You might have a late night getting work done for the following day or you might just decide to watch Netflix all night long. The snooze button is the killer of productivity and the one thing that if utilized, will put a damper on your day. Since so many now sport Apple Watches and Fitbits, you can set alarms on there too to ensure you wake up. It’s that important. If you miss a class, that’s on you. It says two things: you’re wasting money and losing out on knowledge. And knowledge is what school is all about.  

Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise regularly. Key tip: the quantity of food you consume on a regular basis affects how much your body weighs, while quality of food you eat affects how your body looks at any given weight. 

Save your money. College may or may not be one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in life. Make sure to make eating out a special occasion. Limit purchases that aren’t needs. Create a budget for yourself and a journal for your expenses and income. Only buy what you can afford. A credit card during college (and beyond) is a dangerous tool.  

The next bit of advice is anything and everything you hear or think of, write down. Write down assignments; write down ideas for a potential new product; write down advice you hear from someone; write down how you’re feeling day by day; write down what you want to achieve each day, as well as tasks and to-dos for the day. Scheduling each and every day is key to a successful semester. And write it on paper. Carry that paper with you everywhere you go in your pocket, and make sure you fulfill the tasks you set out to achieve.  

Stick to your values. Each year, everyone grows in more ways than one. Don’t let your surroundings change the person you are and the code you live by. Make smart decisions and make decisions that will only improve your body and mind. Pass on the peer pressure and be a better person than you were yesterday.  

The one thing everyone has complete control of in life is how time is utilized. Once your work is completed, make time for you. Continue to read those books you were during vacation; continue to watch those shows you enjoy to binge; keep exercising your body at the gym to stay in shape. The idea is to continuously improve as many aspects of your life as you can while still paying attention to what your ideals are and what goals you have for your future. 

Stay ahead of your assignments. Get the work done ahead of time if possible so you can go to the lectures and workshops ready to participate and be attentive. As soon as you’re assigned a reading or project, do everything in your power to get a head start and complete it early on. The semester is just getting started. Later on when midterms and finals roll around, things are going to get quite busy. 

Whether you are a fan of email or not, if you forgo checking it on a regular basis, you’ll regret it. Professors use email as well as Blackboard for updates and vital information necessary to upcoming exams, assignment due dates, and project presentations. There’s no need to constantly keep a tab opened, though you should definitely check at least twice or three times a day. It’s painless and takes no more than a minute.  

Get involved! Join a few clubs and organizations if you haven’t already. They make the time at college fly by. However, you do need to know your schedule and what you are able to balance between classes and work. If you want, you can start one of your own if you really want to.  

Here’s something few people—if any—have told you before. Spend a day in the library just going through books. Go back to the old way of doing research—whether it’s for yourself or for your studies—and discover what the literary world has to offer. Between the first and second floor of the library, there are thousands of books waiting to be read. Adopt a new relationship with books if you don’t have a good one already. They are there to widen your knowledge.  

This last note relates to the earlier mention of having goals for each day. Take it a few steps more than that. Have a vision for the end of the semester and year, which includes all you want to achieve in your personal and academic life. Whether it’s a job offer you have interest to land, a product you have ambition to patent, money you aim to save up, or grades you strive to achieve, make sure you set yourself up in a way that leads to the fulfillment of such prospects.  

To wrap up, continue to be the best version of yourself that you can be. Show the world who you are and what you’re capable of. Keep in mind there are plenty of resources on campus that, should the need arise, you can contact for help or support. And of course, there will be articles yet to come in the Variety section of the newspaper for guidance and self-improvement.

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I radiate both internally and externally, an infinitude of passion for creative thought, an unending lifelong code of self and peer-improvement, and an idiosyncratic perspective and outlook on all things good, bad, and in between. I believe that when we are, one day, gone, all that will have mattered is what we did to change this world, for better or worse.