Athletics and Recreation

4 Steps to Start a New Semester (The Right Way)

4 Steps to Start a New Semester (The Right Way)

don't you just love it when vacation ends and it's time to get back to school me too but in all seriousness it is time to get back into the groove and if you need help setting up your new quarter or new semester for success then this video is for you what's going on guys dr. Chabal med school insiders calm at the beginning of a new quarter or new semester you may feel amped and motivated to do things differently but more often than not we revert back to our old ways and once again we didn't exercise as much as we wanted to and our grades are still not where we want them to be this tendency of feeling good in the moment and allowing that burst of inspiration to positively color your future projections is called effective forecasting and it doesn't last I get it I've been there but this time we're gonna use that to our advantage first it is critical that you setup the systems that reduce friction throughout the quarter the most important one being to lay out all the important information in your calendar of choice this is the foundation upon which you will build your study schedule and good habits more on that shortly I opted for Google Calendar and would input a few critical pieces of information first my class calendar included my lecture and small group schedule in addition to the building name room number and professor second my exam calendar included midterms and final exams the reason I included this as a separate calendar is twofold first it could be a different color than the class calendar helping my exams to visually pop out from the rest of my schedule secondly I could schedule automatic reminders for all events in that specific calendar therefore for each exam Google would automatically send me a reminder one week in advance again one day in advance and then one hour in advance lastly I created a third calendar to include any other class related events which I creatively titled class parentheses other in this I my professors office hours again being careful to include the building and location as well as review sessions and other events that were not part of mandatory class or exam time second structure your days and your weeks now that you have a framework of what your class schedule is like it's time to fill in your calendar with how you will spend your time the key is to not get too ambitious at this step it's better to have a good plan that you can actually adhere to rather than a perfect plan that you ultimately give up on if you were to fill a jar with large rocks and sand you would first put in the rocks and then fill in the gaps with the sand we're going to do the same thing here with scheduling approach your schedule in the following order first make sure your classes and exams are set up from step one second schedule in regular exercise do not overlook this step as it will help your grades in the long term this is going to be your activity of choice something that you actually enjoy for me that's been weight training and cycling but for you it could be running or swimming or dancing or really anything else I aimed for four or five days per week but of course figure out what works best for you next schedule in your mealtimes you don't need more than 20 or 30 minutes per meal I still sometimes forget to eat meals because I get caught up with work or other things on my plate no pun intended last schedule in your study time again be realistic here are you actually going to marathon for five hours immediately after coming home from class probably not instead give yourself a short 30 minute break to unwind de-stress and then plan to do a couple of Pomodoro cycles now you may be wondering why I am suggesting to schedule your study time last while study time is critical for your school success your study schedule needs to work into your life to be sustainable rather than forcing your life to meet your study requirements so for example if you have dinner from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. it's easy to schedule study time before then use dinner as a break and then study some more after now in structuring your schedule there are three additional elements to keep in mind first regularly scheduled events are more likely to stick that means if you wake up at the same time eat breakfast at the same time and work out at the same time you're more likely to be successful than if your workouts are at 8 a.m. on Sundays and at 8 p.m. on others second use necessary chores or meals as breaks from studying I would often come back from class do a couple hours of studying and use laundry or groceries or dinner as a larger study break and then study more when I got back home third don't be too ambitious and make sure you schedule in enough time for relaxation and buffer time see if you can have either Sunday or Saturday completely free from any study this will require you to be very efficient during the week and it will also contribute to a healthy social life and healthy mind which ultimately is more sustainable in the long term remember we're going for a marathon here not a sprint number three get your materials in order it's key you get your materials in order before classes start you don't want to be falling behind because you don't have books yet that's a terrible way to start the quarter again minimize the chances of getting derailed early in the quarter or semester and you'll have a much better outcome that being said you should not blindly buy every textbook listed in the syllabus to most effectively prepare for your class I recommend you first speak with at least two separate friends who have already taken the course before ask them what the professor's testing style is like if they teach or test straight from the textbook and whether or not the book is necessary if your two friends have conflicting opinions then ask a third and when in doubt or on the side of buying a book versus not even better ask your friends if you can borrow their books for the quarter I did this multiple times and return the favor as well if you are on a budget consider going to the library when you need access to the textbook I personally did not do this because if another student is using the textbook when you intend to it can completely derail your studying PDFs or other digital copies of textbooks if available can be cheaper and more accessible alternatives I generally bought books from Amazon or the campus bookstore and would resell them used on Amazon when the quarter was done you can also opt to rent books if you'd rather not deal with the process of selling and number four keep busy but not too busy over the years I have become intimately familiar with Parkinson's law Parkinson's law states that work expands to fill the time allotted to it I found that there is a sweet spot during which I am most productive if I do not have a plan for the day and don't feel at least a little pushed for time I'm just not as efficient similarly if I have too many things lined up for the day my efficiency may be pushed to the limit on that day but the following day I'll be drained and burned out as with most things in life the middle is the sweet spot where there's a slight amount of stress to be helpful but not enough to be detrimental to achieve this balance I suggest you kill two birds with one stone by joining interesting and fulfilling extracurricular organizations if you're a pre-med student choosing your extracurriculars wisely is essential to bolster the strongest possible application for medical school do not look at this as a way to check a box instead see it as an opportunity to develop the skills and qualities necessary to be an effective future physician through these extracurriculars you'll learn additional skills make new friends and have a lot of fun while I did research and volunteer in the hospital I also competed on a dance team and was a graphic designer for my University's events organization if you need help figuring out which extracurriculars to pursue and at what points during your college career I recommend you check out our pre-med roadmap to medical school acceptance course in it you'll find everything you need to effectively plan out a successful college career to set yourself up for a Medical School acceptance it goes over everything from when and how to pursue research including the various types to the timeline of letters of recommendation optimal MCAT scheduling recommended extracurricular activities and much much more it was created from the ground up by our team of top doctors with combined dozens of years of medical school admissions experience this course comes with a 100% 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied for any reason we will give you a full refund talk about a good deal visit the courses section on our website to learn more you can find a direct link in the description below thank you all so much for watching and good luck with your new quarter or your new semester let me know what other videos you'd like to see by dropping a comment down below if you liked the video let me know with a thumbs up and if you are not a fan give it a thumbs down new videos every Saturday morning so hit subscribe if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one

Reader Comments

  1. Could you make a video on how you combine cooking/house chores with studying? I always say I will clean the house so that I will have a clean space to study, but it takes hours and then I am exhausted.. Or a video on how to not be intimidated by/how to understand things that seem too difficult/hard? Thanks 🙂

  2. How do you sync a new calendar you credited on your system by Google calendar with your Android device

  3. I use the Shovel app, it pretty much puts all of this together in one place for me and even shows me how much time I have each week to get what I need done and it can show me if I have too much on my plate a particular week and to maybe spend some extra time studying. It also helps keep me on my toes on my assignments as long as I've entered them all into it from the syllabus from day 1. It changed my life last semester and I'm so excited to use it again! They also have a book which is just a longer and more in-depth look at a lot of these ideas, so it was nice getting a refresher from this video.

  4. When you make the separate calendars, do you need to use different email account for each one? Also, do you plan your daily activities on Google's calendar too?

  5. Does anyone have advice for a 14 yo who wants to go to medical school? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks 😄

  6. One thing I am glad for, I don't need a resume, research or some fancy letter of recommendation to be accepted into medchool, dentistry or pharmacy. I just need enough points on my entry exam.

  7. Thank you! I’m in my 2nd semester as a 1st year med student and after the long break, I needed this vid!

  8. Nice video! What happens when you don't have a set schedule for anything? My days are very random and most days I don't really know what it is I'll be doing apart from schooling and classes, since distractions come often and I will be forced to run an errand and lose lots of time. Is there a way to learn how to schedule your time better overall?

  9. I am in high-school,and I will actually use this information for this semester to get better grades and sustain my mental health better, thanks for the video Dr.Jubbal.

  10. Hey Kevin, do you meal prep? How do you make cooking/eating efficient ? Any tips/advice would be super helpful

  11. Love how relevant these videos are — I start my spring semester in less than a week and this is incredibly helpful. Thanks for all the fantastic tips!

  12. Kevin this is a really helpful video! But I feel like a lot of college-related videos are geared towards traditional students who go to school and may or may not have a part-time job and essentially have more time to do everything mentioned in this video step by step. In the future, if possible, can you offer more tips for students who are "nontraditional" who may need more than 30 mins of downtime after working and going to school or those of us who would LOVE to join organizations but can't seem to find the time in our day to day schedules. I know you mentioned a few tips I could use when planning my schedule but some of these things just don't seem feasible for nontraditional students like myself.

  13. Absolutely love your videos. But, how do I manage time if I also have a job along with school. I am doing good in school (Got As and A+s in last two sems) but I am really struggling to get my life on grip. I really have to work because I pay for my school as I have no one else to support me but I also want to live healthy live. I have completely cut off social media consumption or any form of entertainment, but I seem to be loosing time anyway.
    Any advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
    PS: I can't take student loan because you have to have something to show for in my country.

  14. Thank you for your video. I have some questions for you and I would be grateful for your replies.
    Since you said you schedule your class time first in the calendar, your school are likely to have a rather stable and fixed schedule for at least a quarter of a year before the semester start, right? Could you give me some advice about how to deal with class schedules that can change any time, like just a day before or even right before the class begins? And does your school have classes on both morning and afternoon every weekday or just half of a day? I sometimes have all-day classes for the entire week ( may include Saturday or even Sunday if the lecturer cannot find any other day that available) which drains me for the following week. Thank you again.

  15. Can u do a video about how to stay calm, focused for final MBBS exam revision? I’m taking my final MBBS exams in 1 month and final OSCE exams in 2 months, the amount of studying requiring is quite overwhelming that sometimes make me difficult to concentrate and study efficiently or rest well. Wondering whether u would have any experience to share?

  16. Please make more videos on how to keep track of everything for college. My Monday schedule is packed. Starts from 12pm-8.30pm.

  17. Completely agree. I implement some of these tips myself and have had great success with them in college. Great content!

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