When you’re lying on the beach enjoying your summer vacation, thoughts of going back to school or college are far from your mind. You’re feeling the sand between your toes, and you’ve got your head buried in the latest novel, and there’s no stress about deadlines, midterms or finding the right textbooks. Everything must feel pretty idyllic, but it’s not going to be long before you’ve got to face the music and get your college act together. Before you start panicking, here are some tips to get you started. Being prepared before the term gets underway will allow you to concentrate on your studies, rather than running around like a headless chicken.
Organize Your Accommodation
Are you going to be sharing this year for the first time? Why not start a Facebook group and get things organized? Work out who’s bringing what so you can start off the semester well prepared. If nobody has yet decided what they’re going to bring make a list of the essentials and then divide it up equally. If you’ve been staying on campus for a while and haven’t seen your roomies all summer now is the time for a catch-up. You’ll have plenty to talk about including stories of the fun times you’ve had over the summer. Get this all out of the way before college starts, and you’ll be able to concentrate on more important things.
Reset Your Body Clock
It’s a pretty safe bet to presume that you’ve not been getting up all that early during the summer months, and who would blame you. Unfortunately, you need to get your body clock back on track and prepared for early morning rising. One of the great things about the summer is you get to lie in, and your schedule is a flexible one. Everything is going to change within a few short weeks. You’ll need to be an early riser, and there will be a tight schedule to follow. Give yourself a few days before your first classes to get up early and remember you’ll need to make adjustments at the other end of the day.
Check Out Your Fall Schedule
It’s a good idea to check out your schedule before the start of term as this will allow you to make plans. Knowing what is going to be expected of you will help you to see if you’ve picked the right course. If you’re a first-year student finding out the schedule will be a little more difficult, but the best place to look is the college website. Alternatively, get in touch with an academic adviser. One other option is to email your professor directly and ask whether a copy of the syllabus is available. Don’t think your professor will be annoyed or be nervous about making such a request. Being pro-active will be seen as a positive thing.
There are going to be lots of things going on during the semester, and you don’t want to miss out on any of it. Fill out your calendar early with the most important things to do. Give yourself some things to look forward to. Check out events that are happening on campus as well as in the local area and fit in a few nights out with your friends.
If you really need an excuse to go shopping, the upcoming fall semester is a great one. There are plenty of things you’re going to need to buy. Hit the mall or do your shopping online, it’s entirely up to you. Stylinity, for example, has some great outfits for the fall. It’s amazing how a new wardrobe of clothes can make you feel like a new person. As well as refreshing your wardrobe, you’re also going to need to think about purchasing new textbooks, school supplies, and equipment. To stop you from going overboard think about creating a budget.
Check on Your Finances
Managing your finances is an important skill to learn. Not just for your time at college, but for the future as well. Don’t worry if you find money matters stressful; you’re not alone. Knowing where you stand financially, means you’re not going to get caught out by any unexpected expenses or bills. If you’re stressed now, the level is only going to increase if you find you can’t pay your bills. Things you need to check include whether your scholarship is going to cover your bills. Whether you need to take out a loan or get a part-time job. Get all your finances sorted before college starts again, because you’ll have far more important things to worry about.
Freshen Up Your Room
When you’re chatting with your roommates and making plans for the upcoming term, see if you can decide on a color scheme for your apartment. If any of you are particularly crafty, take the opportunity to add a touch of style. Here are some more suggestions:
- Hang a dry erase board
- Make an organizer
- Make a photo collage of some of your memorable moments
- Add some colorful lights
Set Some Goals for the Year
If you’re heading back to school in a few weeks, now is the time to think about setting yourself some goals. Think about the things you want to achieve in the upcoming school year. You’ve got a new wardrobe to get the ball rolling, so work on how you can become a new you. A good way to think about them is by following the SMART goal format. Your goals should be:
Let’s give you an example. Do better in school is a goal, but a rather vague one. As it’s so vague, you’re not going to be able to tell whether you’ve achieved it. Thinking about the actual grades you want to get is a much better way of looking at it. You might want to think about getting in shape or getting a new hobby.
You’re only going to be at college for a few years, so look to make the best of them. Creating special memories that last a lifetime should also play a part.