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One of the nice things about getting into college is the ability to redefine yourself. The same can be said for each new semester. Naturally, as a student, it helps to keep a good grade-point average on a consistent basis but even if you have a semester that you feel wasn’t exactly your best, there is hope to start fresh when a new semester begins. 

The first thing would be to declutter and get organized. There are countless of self-help guides and seminars on the productivity effects surrounding a clean, fresh start in the literal sense. This can be something as tangible as cleaning out the binders or journals you carry around, or it could mean reinventing your actual workspace to feel like you’re getting a fresh start. De-cluttering your surroundings will give you a clear mind and help you relax and focus. 

Regardless of what your former attendance patterns were – make the decision and commitment to attend class no matter what. Make it a priority. Remind yourself that your primary job right now is to be a student. This means that no matter what other part-time jobs you might have, your studies should always come first. One way to help yourself will be to schedule classes for times you are most likely to attend. There is no point sabotaging yourself by choosing your worst time of day or the times you are least likely to have high energy levels. If you are a morning person, schedule yourself for an 8 am class. The plus side is that you will check something very important off your to-do list for the day before the morning is finished, and it will free you up to make productive choices for the rest of the day as well. 

When you are in class, it’s important to stay focused and be mindful of what’s happening around you. Just because you are physically seated in a chair does not mean you are mentally present. Take diligent notes and pay attention. If you feel your mind wandering, do your best to refocus and stay on track. 

Set up a study schedule, either alone or with a partner. Some people even study best under group conditions. You need to choose a method that will help you retain the most information. If you are someone likely to be too social, then perhaps a study group is a poor choice, for example.