Spring semester may be the last thing on your mind right now, but its arrival is imminent. With it, you’ll be tackling a new set of classes, joining different student organizations and going back to dorm life with your roommate. By following these steps to prepare for it at the start of a fresh semester, you’ll be better equipped to make this semester your best yet. 1. Assess Last SemesterNow that you have the first semester of this year under your belt, you have an idea of what worked and what didn’t. Are your grades reflective of the nights you spent procrastinating instead of studying? Did you have too much downtime or not enough? Was roommate drama distracting you from making better grades and getting more involved? There is a lot that you can learn from your first semester. With that, plan to make some changes during the spring semester. Maybe for you that means being more organized, and blocking out time every day to go to the library and study. It could also mean putting on a brave face and joining student organizations that sound interesting to you. Your plans could even include some drastic changes, like requesting a new roommate if yours was too distracting or the two of you didn’t get along. 2. Set New GoalsNow that you’ve looked back, it’s time to look forward. Take what you’ve learned from last semester, and push yourself to try harder and do better with a new set of goals. These can range in anything from getting a higher semester GPA to trying something new on campus or making an effort to carve in some downtime at the gym. College is just as much about personal growth as it is getting a degree. Make sure you’re working to make each semester better than the last.3. Get FAFSA Ready You may feel like you’ve heard about the FAFSA non-stop for months now, but the importance of getting this document submitted as soon after October 1 as possible can’t be stressed enough. The sooner you submit the FAFSA, the better your chances of receiving the financial aid you need in order to pay for school. After all, financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis for students that qualify. Therefore, you should gather all necessary documents now. These include your social security number or alien registration number, most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, records of investments and records of untaxed incomes. You’ll also need to create a FSA ID on the FAFSA website. This spring semester could be your best yet. Just use your winter break wisely to plan ahead, strategize and prepare.
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