Have Your Best Semester Ever!

Anna Hadjitheodosiou

It’s a chance to start fresh, a chance to try again and a chance to do those things you swore you’d do last year but never did.  Aside from the usual New Year’s resolutions to study harder, to work out more, to get organized-Villanovans are hoping to make some more personal changes in 2009.

While we all try to live life with no regrets, sometimes these regrets can help us move in the right direction. For some seniors, a big regret is not getting involved.  Though it may be too late for those who will be graduating in May, the rest of us can still take advantage of all that Villanova has to offer.  Whether you apply to go on a mission trip, join a cultural club or join an intramural sports team, becoming more active on campus will not only broaden your horizons but also offer you the opportunity to get to know people you may not have normally met.

“Villanova has changed me like you wouldn’t believe,” senior Brett Snyder says. “I really found my own personal sense of self here … and I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had or will ever have.”

These friendships are important, and it’s essential to nourish them-spending time with friends greatly enhances both happiness and quality of life.  But don’t forget about the people who watched you grow from an awkward middle-schooler to a college-bound high school senior.  Some students get so caught up in life at ‘Nova that they fall out of touch with their high school friends.  While it can be tricky to maintain the strong bond you had with your best friend now that she is no longer a five-minute drive away, it can be done. 

“It takes effort,” junior Cassie Zaleski says.  “You can’t just expect to keep friends by not doing anything. Call them, IM them, whatever. Do something, friendship is a two way street.”

A useful tool for keeping in touch (whether it’s with friends at home or with those who are studying abroad) is Skype, a free, downloadable program that allows you to video-chat using a Webcam.

Something else Villanovans can do this semester is as simple as setting high standards for themselves.

“This year, I need to push myself harder,” freshman Kerry Schindler says. 

It’s easy to get caught up in other things, become complacent and let yourself get away with not working up to your potential. But the higher you set the bar, the higher you’ll have to jump, and, whether you succeed or not, you’re learning valuable lessons and ultimately improving yourself by striving to do better, run faster or score higher.

No matter what your specific goals are this semester, we can all benefit from keeping an open mind, trying new things, keeping our friends close to heart and aiming higher in all aspects of life.

Quick Tips for a successful semester:


Set aside a certain time every day to be your study time. Treat it as seriously as you would a class: you need a really important excuse to skip it.

Study in a quiet place. Get rid of all distractions: turn the TV off and stop checking your e-mail.


Make your planner your best friend. Be sure to write everything down.

If something will take less than two minutes to do (like folding the shirt you just threw onto your floor or washing the bowl you just ate from), then do it now.


Take advantage of Dining Services’ comprehensive web site which offers nutritional information for almost everything they serve.

Take the long way to class. You’ll burn a few calories AND get to say hi to a few more familiar faces!