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Jump-Start the New Year: Tips to Get Back into the Academic Groove

By Vaughn College   |   January 17, 2020

Winter break may have given your brain a much-needed rest. But now it’s time to start a new semester. So, how do you get yourself back into the academic groove? First, let’s embrace the fact that it’s a new year and a new decade, which presents us with an opportunity to start off the semester with a clean slate.

This month, Vaughn College has outlined some great ways to jump-start the semester with helpful tips that can keep you inspired and motivated―now and throughout the academic year.

Read the syllabus

Think of your syllabus as a roadmap to the semester. Reading it and understanding the workload and assignment deadlines is one of the best ways to navigate through the class with confidence and help put you at ease.

Set a schedule and stick to it

We’ve all been known to procrastinate―some of us more than others. Now is a great time to make a resolution to set a schedule and stick to it. Planning not only allows you to see what needs to get done and when, but it helps you to develop good study habits along the way. Here are some ways setting a schedule can help keep you on track to:

  • Complete assignments on time
  • Manage your study routine to prepare for exams and presentations
  • Remain motivated and promote a positive attitude
  • Allow for some “me” time to avoid burnout
  • Create and maintain good sleep habits

Get enough sleep and wake up early

Burning the midnight oil can burn you out while a rested body and a rested brain is a no-brainer for success. This year try resetting your internal clock from break habits and stick to a strict sleep schedule that includes waking up early. Here are some benefits of being an early bird―and no, it’s not about catching the worm:

  • Gives you time in the morning to review before class
  • Avoids having to rush to class by arriving at campus early
  • Allows time to meet with friends for coffee or a quick chat to catch up
  • Provides time for a visit to the gym for a quick cardio workout before class
  • Rejuvenates your body and spirit to prepare for the day

Make a motivational playlist

Music has a way of easing the mind and putting us in the right mindset for any occasion. Take some time this month to sift through your favorite tunes and create a playlist to keep you inspired and motivated. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone either. Check out our blog―Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind―for more inspiration!

Identify study buddies

Before you say that you like to study alone, you may want to try switching up your study routine for a change. Having study partners can be a great way to sort through difficult courses and reduce the stress of figuring it all out on your own. Another great benefit is you can make new friends along the way who share similar interests and have like-minded concerns. If you’ve never had study partners, this may be the year to give it a try.

Create a vision board

“Vision boards”―also known as “mood boards” or “storyboards”―are a great way to display your goals while keeping you motivated to live your dreams. Take some time over school break to lay out your plans for the semester. You can start with a cork board, and then add pictures or sayings that represent your goals and dreams. Display it over your desk or somewhere where you will see it every day.

Stay motivated

One reason to remain motivated about attending classes and working towards earning your degree is your dream job is at the end of it, right? Well, Vaughn is so confident that it prepares its graduates to be employed in their field of study within one year of graduation, that it offers the Vaughn Guarantee. And if you aren’t? Vaughn College will provide reimbursement for one year’s worth of federal direct undergraduate student loan payments. Now that’s great motivation to keep your eye on the prize! Speak with a Vaughn admissions counselor to learn about your eligibility today.

Go shopping

You might be “shopped out” after the holidays, but this time it’s for you! Treat yourself to a cool notebook, notepad or even a new outfit. Even the smallest thing can make a big impact on your mood, confidence and overall outlook.

Learn more about earning a degree in engineering and technology, aviation or management at Vaughn College.