New semester in college could be a little bit intimidating, don’t you agree? You will step to a higher level from where you stand right now, and you wonder will it be harder than before or not. If you prepare these things below, you will feel more confident.
My new semester is coming soon. I’m a little bit nervous but also feel excited. Yes, some university has already started its academic year since last month or a couple week ago, maybe. However, my university will begin its even semester in the middle of February. Mine has always been started late than other universities in town. And, last month was a chaotic month for me, that’s why I wasn’t able to manage this blog regularly. If your university has not started yet, I hope this post could be helpful for you.
The list below is everything I usually prepare for the new semester.
1. Check your university website
If your university has a website, you have to check your schedule regularly. You have to check it at least one week before the new semester begins. Also, you need to re-check it two days or one day before the class starts because sometimes they could change our schedule without our awareness.
2. Download all the materials from the website.
In my university, they’ve prepared us with downloadable material of which classes we’ve taken. If your university gave you downloadable materials, you should download all of them into your PC or laptop before the new semester starts. Then, you should separate them based on the subjects’ name. I also backup these materials on my google drive and my flash disk in case I need to open it on other devices.
You can read the material before the class starts. But, remember: Some lecturers don’t use the shared material downloaded from the website. This type of lecturers makes their own powerpoint and will show it to you in the class. Unless you are sure and have known how your lecturer teaches, don’t copy the powerpoint slide from your website to your notebook yet. You can ask them politely to share with you the copy of the materials they’ve taught at class, and they will give you from either flash disk, e-mail, or google drive (or other storage clouds they use).
3. Read the learning outcomes and the assessment rubrics
Those two things seem useless, aren’t they? But, please don’t underestimate them. Learning outcomes are the goals and purposes of the course you’ve taken. Moreover, It will give you a bigger picture of what are you trying to understand in the class. While learning outcome gives you target by the end of the semester, the assessment rubrics tell you the requirement of grades you want to achieve. It basically informs the level of understanding you need to know based on the learning outcomes. For example, if you want to get an A in your quiz, you should follow the criteria described in it. Assessment rubrics are shown in the form of a table. You can print every rubric assessment of each course and paste it on your notebook so you can read it every time you open it.
Sometimes, in the middle of the semester, I found people tell me they don’t really understand the purpose of the course they’ve taken. I also had experienced this before, and I know you too. Don’t worry, it’s normal. And by the way, that’s why we should read the learning outcomes before the new semester starts: to understand the purpose of the subjects we’re going to learn, of course.
4. Get your textbook immediately
You can find the title of the book you will need on your university website. First, you have to check whether those books are available in your university library or not. You can check it on the library website. Make sure to see if there is a free pdf file or an e-book that you can download. You also need to note the bookshelf number in the library in case you need to borrow it. After that, you can download the e-book from there. When downloading an e-book from the library, I always save it to my laptop, google drive, and also my flash disk. And… this is why I told you to note the bookshelf number, if the pdf file is not available, you can borrow the books in the library.
However, for the second options, don’t rush your time to borrow the book. Wait at least until your lecturer tell you at your first meeting whether you will need that book or not. Then, if he or she approves that book, you can go to the library immediately before other people borrow it.
There are also lecturers who recommend a book besides the title recommended on your website. It means you need to buy the book and you don’t have to download the pdf files that suggested on it. However, I can’t recommend you websites that sell cheap textbooks as I never bought them outside the campus.
5. Get yourself a notebook and pen
The last but not least, stationery. This is essential for your study. I use an A5 binder because I can refill them with refill paper easily. Moreover, the size is handy to carry around. I suggest you buy stationery that you will definitely use at your campus, for example, notebook/binder, binder divider, pens or pencils. You should find the most perfect pen that suits you. My tip is you should avoid buying excessive stationery before the semester starts. Only buy the rest after you’ve studied at class for one week or two weeks.
In conclusion, things that you need to prepare before the new semester starts are checking your university website, download all the materials, read or print out the assessment rubrics and the learning outcomes, get your textbooks, and lastly get your school supplies. I know some of the university doesn’t provide you with college information such as things above. If your university is one of them, I suggest that you adjust these tips. Overall, these are basic things you need to prepare before the new semester in college starts.