Case Western Reserve University Winter

As students at Case Western Reserve University, we set our goals high and go into each semester hoping to emerge from our challenging set of courses with a story of academic success. Though the desire is common and the opportunity achievable, there are a few things to keep in mind that can help any Case student begin the path to victorious semester.

1. Balance

Being a successful student isn’t just about academics, it also involves staying healthy, being happy and being involved in your interests. Think about yourself holistically and keep in mind all aspects of your life as you begin the semester. For example, make time for whatever keeps you healthy  such as yoga, running, hiking, lifting, dancing or sports. Clubs and volunteering are also important to make time for, but keep in mind that overloading on clubs can cause just as much stress an extra class. 

Many Case students were used to being involved in many activities during high school, but now that we are here it is important to choose the ones that we feel passionate for rather than the ones that will look good on applications. If you aren’t yet sure what that is, keep going to the ones you enjoy! Some excellent volunteering opportunities can be explored on org sync or in the CCEL office as well. Aside from what keeps you healthy and your extracurricular, there are two other very important aspects to balancing your life: sleeping and spending time with friends. In my life, sleeping keeps everything that I have going on together. It helps me to not get sick (even in the freezing temperatures of Cleveland) and not get stressed (sleep is key to memory and makes studying so much easier).

any Case students were used to being involved in many activities during high school, but now that we are here it is important to choose the ones that we feel passionate for rather than the ones that will look good on applications. If you aren’t yet sure what that is, keep going to the ones you enjoy! Some excellent volunteering opportunities can be explored on org sync or in the CCEL office as well. Aside from what keeps you healthy and your extracurricular, there are two other very important aspects to balancing your life: sleeping and spending time with friends. In my life, sleeping keeps everything that I have going on together. It helps me to not get sick (even in the freezing temperatures of Cleveland) and not get stressed (sleep is key to memory and makes studying so much easier).

2. Build Habits Now

Sure, things seem to get even crazier midterms and finals, but strong preparation in the beginning of the semester can help to alleviate some of the stress. Find a study spot that works for you now. Personally, it helps me focus if I change locations daily from the different floors of the library to the second floor of Wyant to an outside location on the off chance it is warm out. In fact, I keep a list and pick a study location based on my needs for the day. Forming a schedule that utilizes the time in breaks between classes for studying is a good way to ensure that you are able to keep up with your work. Establishing habits such as these early in the semester and going the distance to keep up with them can be a way to alleviate stress throughout the semester.

3. Write it all down

During the first week of the semester, pages and pages of syllabuses are handed out crammed full of assignments, papers and exam dates, which seem all but impossible. Before you get too overwhelmed by your new classes and the work that is too come, write each date of upcoming assignments in your planner. This action will help you not only visualize just how much time you will have to do each task, but will organize you in a manner that will allow you to check in with these dates as you plan throughout the semester. Personally, I said to write it in a planner specifically because that is the method that works for me. I know that others have been successful using google calendars or even a combination of several types of schedules. Find what works for you!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Use your resources! Teachers have office hours, there is tutoring, there are study groups, we each have advisors and information about all of these resources are easily accessible through the Case website. If you are able to study with other people, that can also be a great opportunity to help each other understand course concepts in new ways. Besides, through asking questions you may build a network not only for academic support, but that may lead you to have connections that can assist you with jobs and internships. Professors and advisors like seeing initiative and passion in their students, and asking questions about your courses can show just that.

5. Create goals

Remember why you are at Case! Why did you go here? What are you aspiring to be in the future? What are your dreams? It may sound cliche, but it is important to reflect and give your daily actions direction. I find that regardless of how interesting my classes are, if I forget why I am taking them it brings me to a more monotonous life style where I don’t appreciate the life at Case quite as much as I should. Think about your goals for your classes, your extracurriculars, your health and your relationships. As I mentioned before, balance is key so don’t forget to give thought to each of these things.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply