After the holidays are over and you’ve filled up on too much food, it can be difficult to get back in the groove of studying. However, you don’t have to dread preparing for a new semester. With these five tips, you can take on the new semester with a positive outlook and a fresh perspective on learning.

1. Take care of buying your textbooks early. Email your professor to see if an older edition of your book would be acceptable for class. If a new one must be bought and you can’t find affordable ones locally, websites like or Chegg offer many new and used textbooks for low prices. In addition, if you have a Kindle or Nook you can check online to see if your book is available in an e-book format. This will save plenty of space on your bookshelf.

2. Join a club or sports team. When you’ve been in college for a few years, it can be easy to slip into a routine. However, joining intramural sports or an organization can help you branch out and make new friends while also increasing your skill set.

3. Start looking for internships. With a new year comes new jobs, and many employers are in search of students who are looking for ways to jump-start their career and learn new skills. Head to your college’s career resource center to find out when upcoming career or internship fairs are being held this semester. You should also update your resume with any new information. By doing this, you’ll be ahead of the game, and employers will be impressed by your dedication to preparing in advance.

4. Map out your schedule. It’s easy to just roll out of bed and walk to class, but once you have an entirely different schedule, it’s not that easy. The day before classes start, go to each building and track your path. Knowing where your classes are in advance can prevent you from getting lost on your first day back and possibly being late.

5. Spring cleaning! Go through all your old papers from last semester and do any cleaning that you might have neglected over the holidays. You’d be surprised at how much a clean room can make for a clear mind and higher productivity.