Sometimes we get so focused on what we are doing right now that we forget to plan ahead; this is especially true during the semester break. It’s easy to want to forget about your classes and just relax with family and friends, but it’s also the best time for you to start preparing for the semester ahead.
In just a few days, I will graduate from Herzing’s medical assisting program and I could not be more excited. Life can be pretty busy when you’re a full-time student and a mother, and planning ahead is critical if you want to be successful.
So, as a student who is in just a matter of days becoming an alum, I’d like to share with you how I prepared for each upcoming semester.
1. Stick to your routine
Whenever I had a break between semesters, I would stick to my routine from the school year. I would even review my notes from previous courses and reread chapters of my textbooks. I would also start reading ahead for next semester if my books were available ahead of time. I did this so I could keep information fresh in my mind and it actually proved very helpful for me. By sticking to my routine during breaks, I was able to stay focused when a new semester began and I didn’t have to worry about trying to force myself back on a schedule.
2. Read the course syllabus
As soon I could view my courses online in Blackboard, I printed out and reviewed the course syllabus. The syllabus tells you everything you need to know about the course, including deadlines, points possible for each assignment and details about what is expected each week. If you want to be extra prepared, you can start writing down deadlines for each course in your planner. This will help when you get busier, and it’s easier for you to plan ahead for major assignments.
3. Stock up on supplies
Before each new semester started, I always took time during my break to restock school supplies. For example, for my clinical medical assisting course, I made sure to have plenty of pens and paper to take notes, as well as index cards, because I knew I’d need to make flashcards for studying. I also double-checked that I had plenty of paper and ink in my printer, knowing that I’d need to print off diagrams for class. These may seem like last-minute details, but I can assure you that they really do make a difference and save you time in the long run!
As I transition from being a student to an alum, I look back and ask myself if I was always as prepared as I could have been. In hindsight, I truly believe I was! Using your breaks to prepare for the next semester will help you stay focused, reduce stress and allow you to do your best work.
If you ever do feel overwhelmed or burned out, just remember your goals and why you began this journey. It is worth it!