Published: Jan. 18, 2022

winter sceneIt can be exciting to begin a new semester and it’s also okay if it takes some time to adjust to your new environment. We put together some tips to help you start the semester on the right note.   

Plan your commute

How you spend your time before you get to class can be as important as the time you spend during class. Whether you live on or off campus, planning what you do during your commute can be beneficial for your mental or physical health. No matter how you get to class, here are some suggestions for things to do during your commute: 

  • Taking public transportation. Read your favorite book, review your class notes or make a bold move and talk to someone new. When you’re not driving, you can focus on doing other things on your priority list.

  • Driving to campus. Listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook, listen to the radio or tune into a morning show. By listening to something you enjoy, it can be a great way to clear your mind and allow yourself to relax before the day begins.

  • Riding to class. Whether you’re biking, skateboarding or using any other form of wheel transport, you can enjoy this time for your headspace. Look around you and point out to yourself something you hadn’t noticed before. It could be a new building, trying a new route or timing the exact minutes it takes to get to class. 

Get to know campus

Time is the most valuable currency you’ll have as a college student. As you may or may not know, practicing time management, setting a routine and making time to get involved can help you adjust to life at CU Boulder and your classes. 

Here are some things to try to help you:

  • Manage your time. Write down a list of all the things you want to do or plan to do for the week. Projects, deadlines, meal times, study times, exercise time and even nap time. Start creating habits that help you stay focused and motivated to be successful in your classes. 

  • Get to know campus. Create goals to help you find community at CU Boulder. This can be as simple as finding one extracurricular activity to be part of this semester.

  • Set a routine. This can include finding the best route to your classes, visiting your favorite study spot or being intentional about how you want to plan your day. 

  • Create a schedule. Create a schedule that will take into account every hour of your day—yes, sleeping counts too. Being specific about how you spend your time will help you not waste it and stay on track with your responsibilities. Here is a sample daily schedule:


  • 7-7:50 a.m. Wake up and get ready for the day
  • 7:50-8 a.m. Bike to Chemistry class
  • 8-8:50 a.m. Chemistry class
  • 8:50-9 a.m. Walk to UMC building
  • 9-9:50 a.m. Breakfast and review notes at the UMC
  • 10-11 a.m. Study break
  • 11-12:50 p.m. Sociology review
  • 12:50-1 p.m. Bike to Sociology building
  • 1-1:50 p.m. Sociology class
  • 2-3 p.m. Lunch time
  • 3-5 p.m. Try a new class at the Rec Center
  • 5-6 p.m. Dinner at home
  • 6-7 p.m. Attend an event with CSI
  • 7-8 p.m. Review Chemistry notes
  • 9-10 p.m. Get ready for bed

Try different organizational methods

One of the best ways to plan your days is to get organized. Remember that for every one hour of class you have, you should be spending two-three hours studying or reviewing your notes and class materials. Here are some ideas to keep your schedule and your to-do activities all in one place. You can:

  • Use your phone. Add your classes, exams, deadlines, etc. to your calendar on your phone. Most of us have our phones with us at all times, making it easier to check and adjust our schedule. 

  • Try a planner. Having a physical planner can help you jot things down and review what’s coming up to help you stay up to date with responsibilities.

  • Print your own weekly calendar. Get out your colored pencils and get creative! Print out a weekly calendar that includes hours of the day so that you can block off when you have classes, when you will study and when you are working if you have a job. Then you can add in additional things like time to exercise, relax, hang out with friends and even meal times. Knowing what you are going to do before you do it can help maximize your time and keep you on track.   

For more general tips, visit the Student Affairs website and be sure to follow @CUBoulderLife on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!