Start off your semester right

In true Florida fashion, it’s still 100 degrees outside, but summer is over, and most of us have made our way to campus through the seemingly endless stream of traffic on U.S. 1. As usual, campus is bursting with many new faces, whether it be transfer students or the class of 2023. To them, we say welcome to the Canes family, and we sincerely hope that you enjoy your stay.

For returning students, welcome back! Many of us are already dreading the long semester ahead of us. Those 8 a.m. classes or hours-long lectures might be all over your schedule, but trust that you got this. We have an opportunity to make this semester and year even better than the last (or if you’re new, a great first semester and year), and there are several ways you can do that.

We should not underestimate the power of our mind. Some of us have already told ourselves that this semester will be different, and that is the first step. Acknowledging that things need to be different is powerful. Maybe you didn’t make the dean’s list last semester or you had bad study habits in high school. Manifesting changes that you want to see definitely helps you start the semester strong. After all, our voice is the one we listen to the most.

We are still in syllabus week so it goes without saying: read your syllabus. And not just a quick glance either; read over it thoroughly. You might still be catching up with old friends or making new ones, but don’t let this week go by without devoting some attention to your new syllabi. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get yourself settled into class and start planning for upcoming assignments.

As college students, we are often plagued with forgetting the responsibilities we have, which is why we urge everyone to schedule and organize, and then schedule and organize a little bit more. After the first week of classes, the pace of academic life speeds up, and it’s almost too easy to fall behind. Be proactive by writing things down on sticky notes, a planner, the Notes app on your iPhone or whatever stationery that works for you. You will not only find that you will actually remember to do your homework, but you’ll even have time to make a spontaneous trip with your friends to the Grove on a weekday.

Make this semester great by getting involved. Administration, advisors and even professors bombard us with the claim that joining clubs and organizations will enrich our campus life, and we always absentmindedly agree. But, it is true. Joining a community can make the time you spend on campus 10 times better.

UM has so many clubs that could suit your interest, and they are all open for participation. If you love to dance, we have several dance groups such as Kaos or Hurricane Bhangra. If you’re more like us and love to write, UM has several student publications such as Distraction magazine, Scientifica magazine, the Ibis yearbook and us, The Miami Hurricane. Do whatever you can to start off fresh. Have a good time and a great year.