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Whether you’re a fresh-faced freshman or a weathered, wise senior, the start spring semester can seem daunting and tiresome. Below, are 7 sure-fire ways to kick some serious booty at Pitt during the spring semester even when all you wanna do is curl up with your dog somewhere away from the snow!

1. Make A List

Whether you admit it or not, a list makes everyone feel more productive and directed especially when it comes to school. The list could be your goals for the semester, your materials and resources needed, or even as specific as a study plan for every class. Whatever the list is for, making it, and checking off all those boxes, will surely give you some confidence to start your semester off right!

2. Plan Ahead

Maybe you’re a science major taking Organic Chem and Calculus… maybe you’re an English major taking Shakespeare and Public Writing… either way, the Spring semester is filled with exams and papers for all students at Pitt. What’s the best way to ace all of those? Plan ahead! If you know when your tests are and when your papers are due then you can  (and should) map out your semester and carve out the time you will need to properly study for them in advance! This way, when the test comes around, you don’t have to waste time trying to find the hours to study in your busy schedule, they’re already there!

3. Meet Your Professors

I know that everyone tells underclassmen to do this but seriously… it’s one of the best things you can do as a student! Huge class or tiny seminar, meeting your professors personally forms a connection between the two of you and can really help you learn better and your professors judge your performance better too. Also, you may be meeting a professor who could write you the recommendation letter that gets you into grad school or lands you that dream job…why wouldn’t you take advantage early??

4. Research Other Study Methods

Not everyone can learn from a textbook or off of shaky lecture notes that are barely legible. If you can, great! If you can’t… no worries! There are thousands of resources online that can provide second lessons, examples, and study sets to ensure that you ace your classes this semester! Take advantage of them!!

5. Make Friends

In any class, you should try and make friends with at least a few people because when that exam week rolls around those people will be there to answer questions and bounce ideas off of which is an invaluable resource to you! And who knows?? Those study buddies could become so much more to you as your college career continues!

6. Make Flashcards

In advance. That’s the key! Whether you’re a Quizlet advocate (like myself) or stick to the old-fashioned notecards, waiting until the night before the test to make 4 chapters worth of flashcards is never a good call. It’s stressful, rushed, and just poor study technique. Instead, as your chapters continue, make the time to review your notes or readings and make those flashcards early so that you can review them as the unit goes on and so that they’re already made and ready to go when the exam time comes!

7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

School is stressful and there’s a lot of pressure from a lot of different places to excel and to make it look easy. That’s just impractical if you want to balance your life with friends and parties and fun, which you should! Spending time with your friends is a great stress-relief and going out or even just staying in with your pals is where the memories you leave college with will come from. Yes, it is important to do well in school, but it is also important to be social, have fun, and make long-lasting memories with the people you love!

Hopefully, these 7 tips on success in your spring semester at Pitt will shake those inhibitions and dreads and will encourage you to kick butt during the rest of this school year!


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Sofia Russo

I am a sophomore Biology student at the University of Pittsburgh with plans on going to medical school for pediatrics. I was born in northern Italy and have an active passion for the language and culture. I also love glow bowling, rainy movie days, and Candy Crush.


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