Cue the back to school commercials, the fall semester starts in just a few weeks! While the first day of school may seem like a while away, it is important to start getting prepared to make your first or last semester of school a success.
If you started preparing for back to school already, congrats – you’re ahead of the pack! Don’t fret if you’re still in summer mode though — there is ample time to still soak up the sunshine and get ready for the new school year. It’s important to start off the semester strong so you cruise through the year and don’t let anything catch you off guard. If there’s one thing I learned in my university days, it would be this: there’s no perfect way to do things, so find what works for you and adjust accordingly as courses become more complex. If you need some inspiration on getting started, read on for our top 5 suggestions on how to start the school year off on a bold foot!
1. Establish a Routine
Summer means long hours of sunlight, weekend BBQ parties, binge watching Netflix…but that may slowly change as the workload for school piles up. It’s important to establish a schedule to factor in time for enough hours of sleep (aim for around 7), exercise, school work, and of course relaxing! If you begin getting into a more structured routine including waking up early to prepare for those 9 AM classes, your transition into the school year will be that much easier! Start slow and pace yourself. Train yourself to wake up earlier and earlier to build good habits for the school year. Remember, it takes time to build habits and establish a routine.
2. Buy your school supplies
Do you have plenty of pens and paper for note-taking? How about a portable charger for the bus ride home to make sure you can listen to your music? Take a look at the supplies you already have from last year to evaluate what you need. That way when you go shopping you don’t buy the things you already have. Also, keep in mind — you may need to purchase some technology (like a laptop). Be sure to check out our article on budgeting to make sure you keep your spending on track!
3. Look into your books and course preparation
This may come as a surprise, but some professors begin emailing students well before class starts. If you need to enroll in online components of the course, be sure to do so early. If you have readings, don’t go to class unprepared! While it may seem tedious right now, you’ll thank yourself later for getting started on the readings. Speaking of readings, did you know you may be able to find your textbooks for cheaper if you buy them online through the publisher or spring for a second-hand version from your peers? Avoid long bookstore lineups by looking for your textbooks early! Just make sure you know exactly which ones you need (including the versions).
4. Prepare for on campus recruitment
As the school work begins to pile up, you may also begin to see job postings for full-time positions and internships, and this can get overwhelming. Take some time from now to research companies, update your resume, and even go on some coffee chats to prepare yourself for what is to come. With a set routine, a fresh resume, and a positive attitude, you’ll definitely be able to tackle applying for jobs and balancing school work. Plus, not many students think of this early on, so you’ll be ahead of the curve!
5. Reconnect with your peers
Did you lose touch with your classmates during the summer? Are you missing the first day of class because of a last minute vacation? Knowing your classmates is very important not only for when you are absent from class, but also because group work is a core part of many courses. Take some time to message your peers and familiarize yourself with your classmates for the next few weeks. It is always nice seeing familiar faces on the first day of class.
It may be overwhelming to think about school right now when all you want to do is soak up the sun in a pool, but taking proactive steps will set you up for success for the school year ahead. Remember — pace yourself, be prepared, and don’t forget to have fun!