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Admissions, Tips-and-Tricks

13 Tips for How To Prepare for a New Semester in College

July 20, 2021
VorTex at CTX

Woosh! It's me, VorTex the Tornado, the official Concordia University Texas mascot.

I'm incredibly excited because the new semester is just around the corner. I can't wait to see all of the Concordia Tornados spinning around campus once again!

I've compiled my 13 top tips for how to prepare for a new semester in college.

Tip 1: Pay Your Tuition In Person or By Mail to Avoid Extra Fees

Tuition is due before you begin a new semester in college.

At Concordia, payment is due two weeks before classes start. The University offers multiple ways to pay, including in person, online, by mail, and through a payment plan.

Here's a helpful Concordia hack: pay your tuition either in person or by mail to avoid extra fees.

If you pay online with a credit or debit card, you will have to pay a service fee. If you use a payment plan, which spreads the tuition balance over the semester, you have to pay an enrollment fee of $25.

The best options are to pay your tuition in person at Student Central (C-256, second floor of Cedel Hall) or by mailing your money to the Accounting Office.

Learn more about paying tuition at Concordia.

Tip 2: Learn Your Semester Schedule.

Whether you're a freshman beginning your first-ever semester in college, a senior beginning your last year, or somewhere in between, it's always helpful to learn your class schedule to prepare for a new semester in college.

Your schedule has all of the information you need for your classes, including the location, meeting times, professor's name, number of credit hours you will earn, and more.

Keep a digital or physical copy of your schedule close during the first few weeks of class. That way, you won't forget when or where your classes meet.

At Concordia, you can find your schedule on MyInfo:

  1. Log into MyInfo.
  2. Click "Student Records."
  3. Click "Registration."
  4. Click either "Week at a Glance" or "Student Detail Schedule."

Tip 3: Introduce Yourself to Your Professors.

A great way to prepare for a new semester in college is to get to know your professors as soon as possible. Send them a short email to introduce yourself. You can even tell them what you're looking forward to learning.

If your Concordia class schedule doesn't have your professors' contact information, use this template: firstname.lastname@concordia.edu. Just fill in their first and last names.

Tip 4: Make Sure You Have the Right Textbooks.

It can be confusing when you have the wrong edition of a textbook, especially if your professor references a specific page and the page in your book has something different.

Prepare for a new semester in college by double-checking that you have the correct editions of the required textbooks and any access codes if required.

Concordia's Tornado Textbooks program makes it a hassle-free process. Every CTX student is automatically enrolled in the program.

Here's how it works:

  • The Concordia Bookstore provides all of your required books for the semester at a rental fee of $25 per credit hour.
  • The program includes required access codes.
  • The bookstore will deliver all of your textbooks one week before the semester begins.

It's that easy! Learn more about the Tornado Textbooks program.

Tip 5: Read a Book You Enjoy Before the Semester Begins.

You may be thinking, "VorTex, I'm about to begin a semester of required reading. You want me to start reading during my break?"

Yes, that's right!

To prepare for a new semester in college, read a book. It will help you ease back into the habit of reading and prepare you for required reading.

You can choose anything, whether it's a fiction novel or non-fiction book about a topic that fascinates you, such as — here's a random idea — tornados.

As a student at Concordia, you have access to thousands of e-books through the CTX Library.

Tip 6: Look Over the Syllabus.

Another helpful way to prepare for a new semester in college is to look over each class syllabus.

The syllabus is a valuable document that includes the professor's expectations of you as a student, the coursework and projects you will complete throughout the course, and a schedule of due dates.

If you read through each syllabus ahead of time, you won't be as overwhelmed during the first few days of class.

Tip 7: Check Your School Supplies.

It may seem obvious, but many students forget to check their school supplies.

To prepare for a new semester in college, make sure you have the supplies you need. If you like to take hand-written notes, make sure you have plenty of paper/journals and pens or pencils. If you prefer to type your notes on your computer or tablet, ensure that you have your charging cable with you.

Nobody wants to be the student asking for a pen or paper. If you do have extra supplies, help out students who didn't plan ahead by lending them some of your supplies.

If you find yourself in need of supplies quickly, drop by the Concordia Bookstore in Building B, where you can find paper, journals, pens, pencils, and more.

Tip 8: Choose Your Seat Wisely.

Did you know that where you choose to sit in class can have an impact on how well you do and how much you learn?

Although this is a day-of-class task, it's a helpful tip to keep in mind as you prepare for a new semester in college. Get to each class early so that you can choose the seat that's best for you.

If you get distracted easily, sit in the front. When you're sitting right in front of the professor, you're more likely to pay attention.

If you use a computer or tablet, choose a seat by an electrical outlet. That way, if your device needs to charge, you don't have to move.

If you have strong self-discipline or tend to be claustrophobic, opt for a seat in the back near the doors.

Tip 9: Practice Your Commute.

To prepare for a new semester in college, you also need to find out how long it takes to get to each class, whether you live on or off campus. The best way to do that is to practice your commute.

If you live on campus, walk to class to determine how much time you need to make it there on time.

If you commute, drive to campus at the time you will typically head to class. It will help you determine how much traffic to expect and how long the drive will take you. Don't forget to include the time it takes to walk to class in your estimate.

Tip 10: Stock Up on Concordia Gear.

A great way to display your excitement to begin a new semester in college is with new university gear!

The Concordia Bookstore offers a range of CTX-themed shirts, hats, and other clothing, in addition to banners, decals, water bottles, and more.

The store even has a shirt featuring me, your mascot!

Tip 11: Check Your University Email Account Regularly.

Professors generally send you emails before classes begin.

To start the new semester in college off on the right foot, check your email account regularly so that you don't miss any important emails about your classes.

At CTX, every student has their own Concordia email account. And don't worry! If it's been a long break and you can't remember your password, you can reset it.

Tip 12: Discover New Student Organizations To Join.

An easy way to get involved in the campus community is to join a student organization.

As you prepare for a new semester in college, consider which new clubs you'd like to join.

CTX has student organizations for all sorts of activities, including the Communication Club, DECA, the Gaming Club, and more. View the complete list of student organizations at Concordia.

Tip 13: Most Importantly, Follow God.

The best way to prepare for a new semester in college and for anything else is to follow God's perfect will, which He has revealed to us in His Word.

The Bible is the sole authority of truth. It is the standard by which you should judge everything, including your life.

Concordia offers multiple ways for you to strengthen your faith in Christ and your knowledge of the Bible:

  • Daily chapel
  • Joining Jesus (discipleship program)
  • Life groups
  • Student organizations (e.g., Fellowship of Christian Athletes)
  • The Refuge (weekly student-led worship service)