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10 Tips to Starting the Semester off Right

Whether you’re on an ADN or a BSN course, a brand new semester is right around the corner, and I felt like the most helpful tip I can give you to start out is to address the topic of organization. Below, I have listed some great ways to stay on top of your to-do lists and help you transition to “learner” quicker.

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  1. Read your syllabi. This is the golden ticket to put everything into perspective that will be expected of you during this semester. Your instructor expects you to know the information, and they usually reveal most of the answers to your questions. So, read it!
  2. Know your schedule. For nursing school, the schedules are fluid sometimes. Take time to sit down and review the entire schedule early on. Rewrite it in your own way if you need to. Stay on top of any changes.
  3. Get organized. There is one word you need to know here: planner. I love my planner and I would die without it. Write everything in it such as when assignments are due, when there is an exam, where to report for lab/clinical and on what days. This will save your life.
  4. Introduce yourself. Get to know your instructors on a personal level from the beginning. Tell them what you want out of their class. In your lab/clinical groups, let your fellow students know what kind of learner you are, and what you expect to gain from them.
  5. Get involved. You don’t have to join every club or participate in every single College-held function, but it’s encouraged to engage in these types of events. It helps connect you to other people and to the school.
  6. Eat right. Exercise right. Get enough sleep. Kind of a no-brainer. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll do better in school and in life. (If you would like some additional tips relating to eating right, staying active, and getting the recommender number of hours at night, refer to our previous blog How to Manage Your Time in Nursing School Part 1, How to Manage Your Time in Nursing School Part 2, and Combating Stress in Healthy Ways.
  7. Actually read your reading assignments. If the instructor says read pages 25-97, read pages 25-97. You might not feel like you’re retaining information that way, but studies have shown that your brain will remember key words that you’ve read in the past. Reading assignments are essential and help you grasp concepts, and are important for higher education learning.
  8. Utilize upper-level students. Want to know what’s in store for next semester? Ask someone in a higher level. They are the key to learning about what you’ll be facing the next few semesters.
  9. Get to know the College’s departments. Especially Learner Services. We can help you, and we love to do it! Every single department on campus can assist you in some way, shape, or form, so make it a point to get familiar with the college’s faculty and staff, and know what they can do for you.
  10. Seek help when needed. Never be afraid to ask for help. Everyone at Nightingale College, whether it be staff, faculty, or our wonderful students, are willing to help as much as possible. You just need to ask.

Now go out there, and make it an amazing semester.

– Author: Amanda Shoemaker (Assistant, Student Advising and Life Resources) 

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