It’s difficult to believe that school is soon to start again.  Summer has come and gone, and now it is time to get back to business.  At times, re-focusing can be difficult so we thought it’d be best to get you started with 5 basic things to do before the semester starts.

1)      Set your GPA goal and write it somewhere that you will see it every day.  I remember writing my goal and placing it dead center on my college dorm room bulletin board.   I couldn’t miss it.  In doing this, I held myself accountable and had to face myself every day.  It wasn’t as if someone else had put the goal there for me, I placed it there myself.   There are a lot of things in life that can motivate a person; of which one of the greatest is their personal goal.  It is easy for students to set goals then forget about them, BUT it you write it in a very visible place, you are without excuse.

2)      Get your books!  I feel that I should not have to use a top 5 position for this, but you’d be surprised at how many students will wait until a few weeks into the semester to buy their class books.  The distractions of college life sometimes take precedence over buying the books, especially when there isn’t a test for several weeks.  The problems with this is that, by the time you finally do get your books, even though the test may not be for some weeks, you’ll already be behind those students who got their books and started to study on day 1!

3)      Plan your extracurricular activities.  It is very easy to get pulled into several organizations while in college.  Pre-med clubs, fraternities/sororities, cultural organizations, intramural sports, etc.  There are just so many fun things to do.  Because that is the case, you need to set your limit at the start of the semester.  3 extracurricular activities in which you are an active member will take up plenty of your time and committing to more than that may become detrimental to your studies.  It is important that you consider your current GPA and how much time you will need to study prior to over-committing yourself to various extracurricular activities.

4)      Email your professors.  There are few things that professors like more than invested students.  They want to know that you are a serious student and are trying very hard to do well in their class.  By sending them a quick introductory email at the start of the semester and even asking for study tips, they will automatically set you apart from the other students.  This in itself will not get you the ‘A’ in class, you will need to earn that.  What it will do is motivate you to do well, get you good study tips, and put you in great position to get one of their best rec letters.

5)      Get a Mentor!  This perhaps may be the most important of the five items listed.  Whether or not it is a DiverseMedicine mentor does not necessarily matter, but you need to be mentored by someone who knows what he or she is doing.  This person should be Available, should be Accomplished (meaning he or she should have achieved something you are working to achieve, example gotten a medical school interview), and should be Attached to your mission (meaning, your success is their success and your failure is their failure).

Our hope at DiverseMedicine is that all of our students will perform at an exceptional level.  Those of us who have worked hard to do so understand there are certain keys to success.  These are 5 of them, and they will help you build a rock solid foundation to start your semester.  Remember, it was the wise man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7:25).