Ins And Outs To Have A Good Semester

Photos taken by McKenzie Rider

Tips on how to ensure the new semester is a successful one

At the end of 2023 there was a Tik Tok trend circulating: the ins and outs for the new year. This trend isn’t limited to just that; it can be applied to anything and everything. As a new semester starts, it can be helpful to set the tone with ins and outs for the spring semester. 

Typically, the” ins” are things that you plan on implementing, good habits or predictions for what’s going to be popular. The “outs” are things that should be left behind, like bad habits or things that weren’t working for you. 

These ins and outs can be physical things, like clothing trends and meals you cooked. It can be mindsets, health and wellness tips and TV shows to watch. 

As a new semester begins, it can be difficult to keep up with your New Year's resolutions and get back into the swing of things at school like balancing homework, seeing your friends and club meetings. Having a list of ins and outs can be helpful to ensure this semester will be a well rounded experience. 


Ins for this semester include: 

- Taking advantage of new study spots 

- Dressing up for class 

- Going to different Vols sports games 

- Sitting on HSS steps and listening to music 

- Solo lunch dates

- Friend study dates at the library 

- K Brew coffee and bagels

- Going to all of your classes

- Smiling at strangers

- Wearing orange and listening to Rocky Top (all year round)

- Reading Ablaze


Outs for this semester include: 

- Being on your phone in class 

- Gym anxiety

- Being loud on the quiet floors of the library 

- Procrastinating your homework

- Sitting in the back of the lecture hall 

- Not going to office hours

- Not waving to someone when they let you cross the street

- Going to class with a laptop on 20% 

- Not reading Ablaze


These are ins and outs that apply to everybody. It is a guide to leave you successful for the rest of the semester, as you are writing what stays and what goes. This list isn’t a one shoe fits all, so try making your own list.

I would even recommend writing out monthly ins and outs. It gives you a chance to reflect on the month by going through what went well and what  didn’t. Similarly, it would help set the intentions of the upcoming month. 

These also don’t have to be too complicated they could just be that you don’t want to wear sweatpants anymore for March. 

Reflecting gives us the opportunity to remind ourselves of the good things life has given us which is always nice.

It can be uplighting to think about what went well this past month or semester while also recognizing what areas need improvement. It’s no secret that college can be challenging and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t can be helpful to making positive changes in mindset and lifestyle.