It’s a New Year and New Semester! Welcome to Spring 2024! Whether it’s your first semester on campus or your last, there are many ways to jump in and make this semester one to remember. We gathered some great advice to help you get ahead, get organized, and get going on your journey through Ball State! Let’s jump into this semester!
It may seem silly, but the best way to set yourself up for success is to prepare and prevent digging yourself into a hole before classes even pick up the pace. To get prepared, it helps to do the following!:
- Put your classes on your calendar!
- Maybe this goes without saying, but Google Calendar, iCalendar, and your traditional calendar are great ways to make note of your schedule, both what time and days your classes are, where they are, who your professor is, and even what you need to bring each day.
- As the semester picks up, you can also begin to add deadlines and due dates of big projects, readings, and exams so you can visualize where it lines up with other events in your calendar like work, other classes, and extra events such as holidays, doctor’s appointments, etc.
- Reach out to your professor!
- Whether you send an email to your asynchronous professor or shake the hand of your professor after class, making a personal connection is an important way to set yourself up for success. Down the line you may need to get an excused absence from class, ask for an essay or project extension, or even need a scholarship letter of recommendation or employment reference. Making those connections now will help you stand out and lay down the building blocks of success. Don’t forget to nurture those relationships by attending office hours- ask for professional advice even if you don’t have questions about assignments or the course!
- Don’t forget to take a look at the textbooks your classes require! Whether you’re ordering from the Ball State Campus Bookstore or finding them used online, make sure you not only buy/rent the texts but use them throughout the semester!
- Find Your Organization Style
- Are you a to-do list maker, a task memorizer, a journaler, or another form of organizer? Knowing how you can stay organized throughout the semester is one way to set yourself up for success!
- Not sure of how you best stay organized? Try a few different methods, such as to-do lists and journaling, and see which one you find yourself gravitating to or best remember! Then, continue to practice those good habits as the weeks continue!
- Use Those Add-Ons and Websites!
- One of our favorite Canvas add-ons is “Tasks for Canvas” which is a software available that creates a nice lineup of all your assignments on a pie-chart style graphic on your Canvas homepage. As you complete your assignments throughout the week, that chart fills up and will send you a burst of confetti when all of your assignments are complete!
- Many students love using websites to get organized such as Notion or Coursicle! These online platforms allow you to personalize dashboards for to-do lists, checkboxes, calendars, and notes.
- Don’t forget your campus-designated apps that are here to help! Navigate is a great option to schedule advising appointments, view your class schedule, find study buddies in your classes, and more!
Tips & Tricks
- Stay up-to-date with Honors and your major program through social media and blog pages! With these, you can get the latest information about events, clubs/extracurriculars, scholarship opportunities, class offerings, job openings, study abroad resources, student features, and more! Be sure to follow the Honors College on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with us too!
- Don’t forget that we have plenty of previous blog posts that offer unique insight into Ball State and the Honors College! Whether it’s about classes, scholarships, study abroad, senior thesis projects, or more, we’ve got something to help you!
- Know when your advisor has walk-ins! In the Honors College, our advisors Sarah and Amanda have appointments all year, but also have walk-in availability on the first week of each semester as well as during course registration/scheduling! When your advisors are not hosting walk-ins, feel free to schedule a regular appointment through the Navigate app, or by visiting the desk at the Honors House!
- Familiarize yourself with your resources! Ball State offers so many resources for students! Whether it’s the OneSearch Database, the Counseling Center, the Lucina massage chairs and relaxation room, Yoga Classes at the Rec, etc!
A new semester can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Feel free to stop by the Honors House, call us, or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask questions at any time! We’re here for YOU! It’s time for a great semester!! We’re an Honors House, not a building because we’re an Honors Family, so don’t forget that we’re here to support you and help you succeed! Let’s jump into this semester!