Tips for a Good Start to the New Semester

An advisor's encouragement for her students
students in masks talk around a table with UMKC giveaway items

Welcome back from winter break, Roos!

Here we are at the beginning of a new semester, another one that is starting under less than normal circumstances. Many of us look at the new year and new semester as a fresh start, the “factory reset,” the opportunity to grow and learn, to be better. For a lot of folks, it is a happy and hopeful time. The UMKC faculty and staff are happy to have you back on campus and hopeful that we all have a good semester.

We are also many months into a very weird and stressful time, living through a pandemic. Some of us are struggling, some of us are tired. Guilty, scared, overwhelmed. Doing completely okay, excited to get our first Pizza 51 slice of the semester, excited about our new campus job. As we start a new year and a new semester, know that all of the above and anything else you are feeling is completely valid.

As the semester starts back up and before things get crazy, busy, and occasionally stressful I want to remind you of a few things: 

Remember to be as kind to yourselves as you are to the other people in your lives. 

We have a lot of smart, driven people on this campus. Smart, driven people do amazing things; they also tend to be a little hard on themselves when things don’t go perfectly. I know many of you have heard me say “there is a difference between the best you can do under perfect circumstances and the best you can do under circumstances as they are.” Make sure you know the difference and are judging yourself accordingly. 

Know there are people and resources available to help you. 

Your academic advisor, the folks at Counseling Services, Academic Support and Mentoring and so many people on this campus are ready to help you succeed. We are all here so you don’t have to carry your burdens alone and so you don’t have to celebrate your triumphs alone (high fiving yourself just isn’t as much fun).

We're happy you're here! Make sure to find ways to connect.

I am happy you all are back on campus (it is so quiet when you are not here) and am hopeful to see what the spring brings us. And whether you’re a new or seasoned Roo, there’s always someone new and interesting to meet in class, at an event or through one of the many student organizations.

So for now, bundle up (seriously, it is so cold — hats and mittens folks, hats and mittens!), take a deep breath (or a few), and enjoy as many moments as you can of the weirdest college experience anyone has had in a while! 

Learn more about the UMKC Honors Program

Published: Jan 26, 2022

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