Preparing for Second Semester

University of Massachusetts Lowell is the largest university in the Merrimac Valley. It is the third largest state institution following University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Massachusetts Boston. With more than 1,100 faculty members, 16,000 students and 120 degree choices, one can imagine how overwhelming entering a semester may feel to any student attending UMass Lowell. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to prepare for the incoming semester and several resources and locations at the University meant to support students and assist them in their preparation for the new semester.

Some great ways to prepare for the second semester of the 2012 to 2013 academic year can begin right now during vacation. In order to feel and be more equipped for your new classes, try to get your textbooks as soon as possible. You can order them online from the UMass Lowell bookstores from North or South campus and call their staff Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 4:00 pm with any questions, or you can order them from an online site such as Amazon or Chegg.

Another helpful task you can complete during this vacation to prepare for next semester is taking a good look at your class schedule. Print out a copy and take a long look at it. Highlight and organize the times in which you have few classes and the days where you will be the busiest. In doing so, you can plan out the time you will have free to work, to study and to do other recreational activities. This may sound like a silly task, but an organized schedule will serve as a solid base for your success this semester!

In returning to school, enter the semester with a strong start. Definitely take your time to settle back into the busyness of the school year, but don’t forget your mission in attending school: to learn! In order to do so, get plenty of sleep and meet your new classmates and teachers with a positive outlook. Also, if you have the time, try to learn a little bit about the course you are about to attend and the professor who will teach the class. The UMass Lowell website provides information on all of this and can assist you in becoming knowledgeable about all of your classes.

Upon looking at your schedule, if you see that you have free time, keep in mind that this time can be used to attend tutoring sessions or meetings with advisors. You can find both tutors and advisors at Southwick on North Campus. In room 308 is the Centers for Learning where there are many knowledgeable staff members who can assist you with your iSiS account, your class schedule, transfer details and much more. In room 321, there are numerous tutors who have taken the classes with which you may need help and can offer you suggestions and directions in best completing the work that brings you difficulty.

With all of this in mind, make sure to live happily and healthily second semester! All of the staff at the University is there to help you and there are many services put in place to guarantee your success. Rest up this winter break and plan well for the beginning of second semester and the ending of the school year!

Keeping Busy During Vacation

Are you excited to be on vacation, but not sure how to spend your time back at home? With your free time, try to make some extra money and to find future jobs for the summer. To use your vacation productively, spend this vacation looking for odd jobs and searching for internships for the summer. Almost all college students will be looking for jobs for the summer, so it is necessary to begin your searching as soon as possible. It is never too early to start preparing for the long summer break.

For students, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a job during the school year, which is why it is so crucial to set up a steady job for the summertime. More importantly, it is best to find a job for the summer that has to do with the knowledge you have gained throughout the school year involving your major. During vacation, though, you will more easily be able to find jobs such as babysitting, shoveling, temporary restaurant positions, etc. Try to think of other random jobs as well such as cleaning or helping a friend at an office. In your applications and interviews, don’t be nervous to mention your strengths. If you are particularly good with your hands, or if you enjoy doing math problems, tell your potential future employer and give them ample examples of your previous experiences.

Professional networking is a very convenient way to find both internships and jobs. Don’t be nervous to speak with family members and friends or neighbors and peers about their jobs and how you can find one that fits you. If you’re having difficulty finding a job on your own, your parents may have some suggestions, as well. It isn’t always the most fun working for your parents or for people they know, but very often doing so can give you experience and a strong start in the professional world. Additionally, once you have been hired at a professional job, learn how to use networking sites such as LinkedIn. When you do so, try to make your personal online sites clear of anything illegal or inappropriate!

When applying for jobs, make sure to do more than simply fill out an application. Make yourself unique, in whatever way you know how! When picking up an application, try your best to speak with a manager or owner. Smile and do your best to maintain eye contact and speak fluidly but appropriately. Even if you do not have the opportunity to have an interview, it is always useful to make yourself known when you have the chance, so always try to smile and be friendly with whomever you speak.

Also, make sure to stop by at the places where you applied on weekends when you visit home. It is also effective to call the store, restaurant or business to which you applied and to ask the status of your application. The more they see your face, the more likely they will realize your availability and dedication to work, therefore, the more likely you will be hired! Very often, the business managers and owners of the jobs available to college students do not intentionally avoid applications, but instead are too busy to look at every application they receive.

Enjoy your vacation and don’t overwork yourself, but always keep in mind ways to make money with your free time and prepare a job for the summertime!