Sidelines Guidelines: 5 tips to conquer the semester

Photo courtesy of Flickr
After a delayed start, semester is officially underway, and we all know what that means: You’ll plan to make this semester the one where you stay organized, stop procrastinating and escape the infamous all-nighter. However, by the second or third week, things start to slip and you fall back into your old habits. It’s a horrible, endless cycle. So, in hopes of keeping your life on track this semester, here’s a list of some tips and tricks.

Stay Organized

Purchasing a three-ring binder can help manage the clutter of class assignments. (Courtesy of Flickr)
There are a million different ways to organize your life each semester, but the trick is to find what works best for you. Start by designating a notebook or binder for each class and label each of them. That’ll ensure that your assignments and notes don’t get mixed up, or worse, lost forever.
Next, depending on what works best for you, look into purchasing either a planner or bullet journal. They can be helpful when it comes to keeping events, assignments, tests and thoughts organized, because simply writing everything down is a great way to help you remember what you have coming up.
Pro tip: Investing in a smart notebook, like Rocket Book, is also helpful when it comes to keeping track of your notes. You write on the pages, just like any other regular notebook, but then you can upload the information from those pages onto your phone through an app. Then, you erase the information and reuse the pages so it’s also cost effective.

Manage Your Time

It’s crucial to manage your time as a busy college student. (Courtesy of Flickr)

There are some little things you can do to win the procrastination battle. Try setting reminders on your phone for upcoming assignments. Make sure to set them far enough in advance of your deadline so you have plenty of time to do them, and keep the reminders set until you’ve completed your work. If you want to get a little more serious, start taking advantage of Google calendar! It’s perfect for laying out your schedule, and it’ll also send you notifications.

Stay Healthy

Staying healthy can boost your energy level. (Courtesy of Flickr)
Eating healthy, staying active and getting enough sleep often aren’t categories college students excel in because they already have enough on their plates. But, you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to work healthy habits into your daily routine and how much they can impact your energy level and overall day-to-day life.
For starters, meal-prepping is an easy way to get started on a healthy trajectory. Often times it’s so much easier to grab fast food — and Taco Bell truly knows how to pull on your heartstrings — but by making some meals ahead of time you’ll not only make healthier decisions, you’ll also save money. Next, try and find a spare 20 or 30 minutes in your day to visit the recreation center for a run. If you have no time to spare, you could even do some quick exercises in your room. After all, getting your heart rate up for a little bit each day can really impact your overall mood.
Finally, try and get a solid eight hours of sleep at night. This is probably the hardest thing to accomplish, as many students already juggle classwork, jobs and social life. However, by not procrastinating and not staying out late every night, you can allow yourself some extra time to catch more of those much-needed “Zs.” On top of this, a lot of students find it hard to get to sleep when they do retire to bed so they struggle to get enough sleep more than other students. If this is the case for you then it would be beneficial to look at your night routine and bedroom set up to see if there is anything you can change about it. If you can persuade your parents to invest in a memory foam mattress for you then this would be extremely beneficial for your sleep. We know that it won’t fit into your budget but if you’re struggling to sleep, a memory foam mattress has so many positives. Not only can it help you get to sleep easier, but it can also help with other ailments that students suffer from, such as a bad back from heavy rucksacks. By having a high-quality base to sleep on top of then you will find a lot of other issues just simply don’t affect you anymore. Sleep is vital for students so make sure you’re making an effort to improve your sleeping experience every night with better mattresses, comfier bedding, and an optimal sleeping environment.

Reward Yourself

Setting goals can be fun when you reward yourself for those goals. (Courtesy of Flickr)
This is a fun way to pat yourself on the back every now and again, and the promise of a reward will encourage you to continue setting goals throughout the semester. The goals don’t have to be major accomplishments, although they certainly can be. Some examples include turning in a big assignment early or making an A on a test. Once that’s done, you can move on to the best part: the reward. Treat yourself to something you really enjoy, whether that’s going to a movie or splurging on a freshly baked cupcake. Another bonus is that it will help break up the monotony of the semester, allowing time to pass a little faster.

Download the MTSU App

The MT Mobile App comes in handy for students of all majors and concentrations. (Courtesy of Tumblr)
Finally, download the MTSU mobile app! All you have to do is enter your MTSU information, and the app will automatically display your schedule on the home screen. It’ll also keep you up to date on upcoming events, notify you if classes are canceled, help you find buildings on campus, navigate the bus routes and give you access to a load of other helpful resources all in one app.
These are just a few ideas to get you on the right track this semester, but it’s important to remember that it’s up to you to actually implement these strategies. Stay committed and make this semester a little easier on yourself!
To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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