As we venture into the first days of the spring 2021 semester, students have the chance for a fresh start.
Looking back on the last semester and what they have learned, some students are evaluating what they would like to change going forward and setting goals to guide them through this next chapter of their college careers.
This chance for a fresh start is greatly appreciated by many students. Kyle Costa (senior, Psychology) says that he’s feeling good about the brand new semester. “I like to think of it as a clean slate and it allows us to regroup and clear our minds,” Costa says.
Modesto local and UCLA student Tess Kara (sophomore, Economics) agrees, saying that she is feeling optimistic because of her love for fresh starts.
A few students shared the goals that they have set for themselves for this semester.
Stan State student Noemi Acosta (senior, Psychology) intends to “stay on track as much as possible and become more organized.”
This goal of increased organization is one that is shared by Costa, whose goals include “becoming more organized and bettering myself for the future.”
The focus on organization has become increasingly important as our learning experiences have transitioned to being entirely virtual. According to Tips for Virtual Learning, an online resource provided by Stan State, staying organized is one of the key components to being successful while managing your classes from home.
Specifically, the resource suggests creating a schedule for each class, so that you are aware of any upcoming obligations and are able to plan your time accordingly. Additionally, this will allow you to prioritize what you need to do first, and what can wait for another time.
Kara’s goals include taking steps to take care of her mental state this semester by managing her stress more effectively. “I intend to manage my stress by prioritizing time for exercise and hobbies I enjoy.”
Additionally, Kara states that she will “try to be aware of my reactions in stressful moments and... practice letting go.”
This goal touches on another suggestion provided by Stan State’s website, which is to take care of yourself. This means taking care of both physical and mental needs.
Physically, Tips for Virtual Learning suggests getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious food. For mental health, the focus is on paying attention to your self-talk and staying positive. Additional support for students’ mental health can be found at the Psychological Counseling Services website.
It’s no secret that last semester was stressful for many students. With the tense political climate and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, students had many stressors weighing on them as they made the unique transition to fully virtual learning.
For those who may have struggled last semester, Kara has some words of advice. “View this semester as a new chance to make sure to get all the help that you need and to reach out to TAs and counselors.”
Costa agrees, saying “don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from your professor or your classmates because they have to go through the same thing that you’re going through. I am that type of person that doesn’t like to ask for help, but it cost me, so there is no shame in asking for help.”
Costa also acknowledges the difficulty of last semester, saying, “As a person who struggled myself, it is very easy to just give up and feel like you don’t have any motivation to keep going, but remember it’s all worth it when you get a degree.”
As these students have shown, we have the opportunity to learn from the struggles of the past, and to set goals for a better future. Whether you aim to be more organized, manage your stress more effectively, or simply to stay on track with your classes, remember that you are not alone. Our campus community has resources to support you in your academics, your mental wellbeing, and even your physical health.
If you are interested in exploring these resources, you can visit the Stan State website or explore any of the links below.