Coming back from the two-week trimester break can be difficult. You just started to get used to the idea of Netflix binging without having to worry about studying or spending every waking moment with your family. I have been asked many times if I wish that trimester breaks were longer? Every time I say, “no.” In my mind, it’s just enough time to catch your breath. Two weeks of complete mind relaxation, followed by easing your way into the trimester with about three weeks of courses before exams.
Notice I said easing your way in. You cannot completely tune-out during those first three weeks or you’ll be in for a world of hurt when your first round of exams rolls around. Today I would like to share with you how I gradually ease myself back into the trimester. The first week is what I refer to as syllabus week because the majority of professors will spend at least one class period reviewing their syllabus and setting the expectations for the trimester. Afterward, they begin to dive into the material.
The majority of the time I will take limited or little hardcopy notes the first week. Instead, I listen to the professor lecture. Also during this week, I begin to figure out if I will need to take notes by pen and paper or if I will do better just following along on my iPad. It will vary from one instructor to the next. Lastly, I get organized early before exam time rolls around.
Once I’m organized and have determined exactly how I am going to approach the class, I dive fully in note-taking mode, if that is was I deem fit for the course. Sure, some may think it seems a little unorthodox to wait until the second week of classes to start taking notes but it works for me since I have been listening and absorbing the information during class.
Plus, I find that I want to catch up with all my friends when I get back to school. Over the trimester breaks, I spend my time enjoying the moments I have with my family. So of course, when I get back to school I have all sorts of catching up to do which always has to happen before getting down to the nitty-gritty, studying.
Megan McRell is a CUKC campus ambassador and student blogger sharing personal experiences and perspectives. To learn more about CUKC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.