Happy new year, and welcome back to the University of Alberta. Did you resolve to increase your GPA, save money or get more involved? Let us help you crush your goals and make the most of the new year with these tips.

1. Set SMART goals

Don't just resolve to increase your grades this semester, get SMART about it. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic and Time-Based. Rather than saying, "I'm going to get better grades this semester," resolve to get at least an A- in your English course by spending five hours per week studying.

2. Get help

If you're struggling with a class, don't wait – ask for help as soon as you have an issue. Most professors at the U of A hold regular office hours, so take advantage of that time to stop in and ask questions that weren't addressed in class. If that's not enough, you can check out our Tutor Registry to find additional one-on-one assistance, or visit the University of Alberta's Academic Success Centre.

3. Make a plan

Whether you prefer to manage your calendar digitally or on paper (perhaps using the Handbook you picked up in September), make the most of your scheduling tools to break the semester down into manageable chunks. Write down all your major assignment deadlines and exams, and start scheduling in blocks of time to study and work on assignments. It's okay to move things around if you need to, but making regular time in your schedule to study or tackle assignments makes it more likely you'll stick to it, instead of procrastinating until the night before a deadline or final. 

4. Take time off

It's easy to get lost in your classes, doing nothing except sleeping, studying and going to class. Making time for fun activities and spending time with friends is essential to your mental health and continued success throughout the semester. January is a great time to find new things to keep you busy on campus, like joining a club, taking a fitness class or volunteering