Preparing for the Semester

Five Strategies for a Successful Semester

A successful semester begins with preparation and appropriately scheduling time. The tips in this guide are designed to help you get started.

1: Be prepared

As we return to campus, remember to be present and active in all your courses. Keep up to date on campus information by regularly reading your PantherMail. Stay up-to-date on classroom guidelines by participating in all your classes. Classmates and instructors are great resources for assistance. Be patient with yourself and reach out for help when needed. As the semester begins, now is a great time to set up a dedicated, well lit, clutter free study area.

2: Create a realistic schedule

Creating a schedule is the key to success. Begin by blocking off course time for each course (even online courses). It may be helpful to include travel time, if you will be traveling to/from campus for classes. Take the time to read the syllabus for each course. The syllabus helps you understand what you need to do, when it needs to get done, and how. Return to the schedule you created and add in study blocks, due dates for assignments and exams for each class. Remember to add extra study blocks before final exams. Consider sharing this schedule with your friends and family or post in your study area. Instructors are here to help, take note of their contact information and plan time to visit during office hours for additional help ⁠— don’t be afraid to ask questions.

3: Take advantage of all the great student support resources available to you

Georgia State University offers a wide range of student support services. First look inward: turn to the syllabus, instructor, classmates, & course content. Then look outward, consider bookmarking the Keep Learning Resources website. It offers deeper dives into Time Management, Organization, and Academic Integrity, including static videos and interactive webinars. You will also find information about iCollege, Technologies, and a host of college-wide Academic Supports.

4: Relate course content to your life

Thinking deeply about course content in a reflective way allows us to more readily remember the information we’re learning. When we can see the purpose of content, we are more likely to use it. Sharing what’s being taught with others, be it family, friends, or colleagues, we can directly relate our course work to our everyday experiences, thus deepening our understanding.

5: Be good to yourself

Your health is key to your success. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet, especially around test days. If you aren’t feeling well, make sure to use campus health services. And, since health includes social and emotional health, try your best to maintain your social relationships and utilize GSU counseling services when you need them.

For the latest information on the university’s COVID-19 response, visit