5 ways to start the school year off right

Students make their way past a red clock near Woodburn Hall during the first day of classes at Indiana University Bloomington on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.

Students make their way past a red clock near Woodburn Hall during the first day of classes at Indiana University Bloomington in 2015.

Post by IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

It’s the beginning of a new semester. Between moving, classes and socializing, IU students have a lot going on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about all the things you want to accomplish this year, so we made a list of some of the things you can focus on to start your semester off right.

1. Take charge and be involved in classes

Everybody says “start the semester off strong.” But what does that mean? “Don’t wait to form good study habits,” said Leslie Robinson, Director for the Academic Support Center. “Be proactive rather than reactive if you can.” First off, go to class. Showing up and being actively involved in the classroom will help you to pay attention and even meet classmates you can study with during the semester. Get to know your professors and AIs, too, and don’t be afraid to approach them with questions as soon as you have them. And if you need help, or you simply want to improve even more, seek it out right away through your professors or the Academic Support Center. “The ASC isn’t just for people who are struggling,” Robinson said. “For many students, it’s turning a B into an A.

2. Get to know campus

Studying is important, but make sure to venture outside your dorm room. With football games, fall plays or movies at the IU Cinema, campus sponsored events are a great way to get out, meet people and enjoy the campus. Those looking for late night fun can check out IU Late Nite events at the Indiana Memorial Union, where you can find a wide variety of activities, like roller skating or arcade games. They even turned the IMU into a haunted house on Halloween. “You’ll never expect how much fun you’ll have through these programs,” said Late Nite director and IU student Aaron Ye. (Did I mention a lot of these events are free?)

Students perusing booths at the 2015 Student Involvement Fair.

Just a snapshot of the numerous, different clubs students can join at IU. Photo by IU Communications at the 2015 Student Involvement Fair.

3. Join a club (or seven)

Whatever you’re interested in, there’s probably a group of people already meeting somewhere on campus that loves it, too. Seriously, with groups that bond over things like sweet potatoes, Harry Potter or log rolling, there are over 750 clubs on IU’s campus. Just browse the BeINvolved website to find the perfect club for you, or attend this year’s Student Involvement Fair in Dunn Meadow on Aug. 29. “Different students get involved for different reasons,” said Valerie Nettleson, senior assistant director of student organizations. “The benefits are endless.” Whether it’s your first year, last year or something in between, it’s never too late to get involved in something you enjoy. Can’t find what you you’re looking for? Grab some friends and a faculty sponsor and start your own club! You’ll be glad you did.

4. Take care of yourself physically and mentally (and be safe)

Throughout the semester and the school year, it’s important to stay happy, healthy and safe. Your health and wellness are a big part of your overall academic success, and IU has all the resources you need to make sure you are feeling great. First, pay attention to what you put in your mouth. There are a variety of ways to stay healthy, like planning meal times and snacking well. “Consider snacks [as] mini meals that are another opportunity for great nutrition,” said IU dietitian Catherine Shepherd. Need help? Take advantage of your one free nutrition visit with a registered dietitian at the IU Health Center, a benefit for all students who have paid the health fee. Feeling stressed? The Health Center also provides counseling services. Two free counseling sessions are available to IU students each semester. From stress management to study skills, making use of these meetings can have a huge impact on your health. Along with your health, your safety on and off campus is super important. Being aware of your surroundings and your limits is an important start, but after that, it helps to know what resources are available to you. There are plenty of ways to make sure you stay safe on campus, including rides home and the IU Police.

5. Stay in touch with us

Now that you’re here, you don’t want to miss a thing! Make sure you follow IU on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, Snapchat and at our Viewpoints blogs so that you can stay up to date on all things IU.

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