School starts in a month! I couldn’t be more excited. I’m forcing myself to wait before I start buying school supplies and checking to see if my professors have uploaded the syllabus yet. In the mean time, there are other things that I can do to make sure I’m ready for my first week of classes.
Make a list of school supplies
Every year I change something about the way I take notes or study for my classes. This past spring semester has been my most successful so far, so I’m going to try to stick to some of the same study tactics but change my note-taking strategy. I really liked how I took notes last semester, in these super cute journals that I bought from a bookstore, but this upcoming semester half of my classes are online. In a past semester I used a binder for all my classes, and while I really enjoyed using that as well, at the end of the semester it was very heavy and full. This spring semester, I am going to use two binders, one for my in-person classes, and one for my online classes. I think this will be a very effective way for me to keep my classes organized!
Make sure you also have basic study supplies. Pencils, lead, erasers, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, folders, and flash cards are a very good place to get started. Try to wait until these go on sale, as it can add up and really hurt your wallet. For example, I always wait until flash cards go on sale and buy a bunch of them at a time. Because I did this, I have plenty for my entire junior year and won’t have to spend any money on them in the next year. Try and buy these before your first week of college, so you aren’t scrambling to get them right before classes are about to start.
Double check your dorm/apartment list
You can find a complete dorm guide here, and a complete list of items for your first apartment here. Don’t get to your dorm all ready to go and realize you forgot disinfecting wipes to clean out the nightstand with. Make a list and cross things off as you go. This makes sure you don’t buy three lamps for your bedroom when you only need one (like me, whoops). When you are packing your boxes, label them with what is inside so that when you can’t find the trash bags, you don’t need to go out and buy more just to find them in a box you hadn’t opened yet (again, like me. I’m very forgetful). This makes move-in day much easier because you have everything you need with you and don’t need to make several trips to the store, and you have more time to spend getting back into the school mindset for your first week of classes.
Write down your class schedule in your planner
This one is super simple to do. I write down my class schedule on a sticky note and go through my planner and copy it down. I usually do this in pencil so that if a class is cancelled I can just erase it instead of having to cross it out. If you have a set work schedule, go ahead and do this for that as well, and any club meetings you know about. Great way to start getting organized for the whole semester during your very first week at school!
Make your desk your perfect study area
I hated using my bed as a place to study. More often than not, I would just take a nap. That wasn’t useful for me at all, so I started using my desk for when I studied or did assignments. It’s the best place to study because you can set your area up specifically for that. I like my first drawer of my desk to have all my study materials so they’re easy to reach. I put sticky notes on the wall in front of me for reminders to do some research or to email someone back about something. Make the space inspiring and happy, but not so comfortable that you’ll fall asleep! You can read my post about creating the best studying space for optimal productivity here!
Pick out your wardrobe
I have mentioned so many times (in this Interview Ready post and this First Day of Work post) how much I enjoy picking out outfits to impress people. This summer I’ve had to dress professionally almost every single day except the weekend. It was nice to play dress up, but I’m excited to get back to wearing t-shirts and leggings again. Make sure to take the weather into account when you’re deciding on what clothes to wear. It can be really hot and humid here in central Indiana so I’ll have some shorts and capris as well as tank tops with short sleeve pullovers and light tees. If you are going to college in a colder climate, take advantage and wear cute sweaters and boots (and know that I’m jealous). I’m also thinking about the impression that I want to make upon my professors and classmates. As an officer in a small organization, I need to think about my position and how I reflect upon my group. So no sweats and three-day old makeup for me this year.
Welcome Week activities
Ball State, my college, has a week and half full of activities welcoming students back, like the Activities Fair where all the student organizations gather to recruit students, and Grocery Bingo, where if you win a free bingo game you win a bag of items from a local grocery store with food or necessities like toilet paper. They also have shuttles to the local Target, Meijer, and Wal-Mart stores so students who may have forgotten an important item can easily buy it. Find out what all these activities are and plan on attending a few of them! It’s great to meet new people and make a friend or two.
Remember, college is the one place you can make mistakes and bounce back easily. You won’t learn if you don’t make mistakes. Get involved, and meet and connect with new people. Have fun, stay safe, and I’ll be here if you need anything! Make time for yourself too, and you’ll have a great first week of classes!
What do you like to do to prep for your upcoming semester?
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