How to Prepare For a New Semester

Hey, everyone! It’s been quite some time since I posted, but I’m finally back and it’s one of my favorite times of the year- back to school time! I’m usually pretty excited to go back to school as well as begin welcoming the cooler weather and holiday season. I’m going to share some tips and tricks with you today that will hopefully help you to prepare for the upcoming semester. Enough rambling, let’s get on with it!

1.Buy your textbooks. – I’m a huge believer in being prepared for the first day of class. Even though most professors use the first class meeting to go over the syllabus and to answer any questions about the course, you may have a professor who gets down to business and starts lecturing on the very first day. Instead of assuming that you won’t be doing anything, come to class with all of the necessary materials. Most professors will give you lenience on not having your textbook the first week, but you really never know. Your best bet is to order them early and have them by the time classes begin. (If you want to save some money when ordering textbooks, I highly recommend checking out Big Words. I wrote a whole blog post about it that you can read here if you’re interested.)

2. Look over the syllabus. – Most of the time you can get ahold of your syllabus early. If your professor hasn’t posted it and school is getting close, you can always send them an email and ask if they have it finished (DO NOT bug them though. You don’t want to annoy them and get on their bad side before classes even begin). Having your syllabus before the course begins gives you an awesome advantage. I really recommend taking the time to read through it (yes, read the whole thing) and highlighting important things like test dates and due dates. Other important things to look for include whether they take attendance, whether there’s a participation grade, the professor’s office hours, and things like that. After looking through it, keep it in some place where you are able to refer back to it throughout the semester.

3. Put important dates in your planner. – This one is pretty self-explanatory and goes along with the previous tip. I literally do this before every single semester and it is super helpful! Basically, make time to sit down before classes start and transfer all the important dates (due dates, quizzes, tests, etc.) from your syllabus into your planner. It might take a little while to do this for all of your classes, but I think it is so worth it. You will then have everything in one place, and you won’t have to worry about missing a due date.

4. Figure out where your classes are and scope out the campus. – This is a great tip for the freshman, someone transferring to a new school, or even for someone that goes to a school with a big campus. A few days before school starts, I recommend finding out what building your classes are in and going and finding where those buildings are. While professors are usually pretty lenient about this on the first day and won’t dock you for coming in late, it avoids so much stress. It keeps you from having to wander around while trying to find the building you’re looking for.

5. Set specific study times. – This is a new one for me, but I tried it towards the end of last semester, and it helped me so much. Take a look your school schedule, and find slots of free time you could use as study time. You should try to keep this the same each week so that it becomes routine. Be sure to not schedule these slots of time for more than two hours at a time. If you have work or other responsibilities, you will obviously need to work it around that as well. Give this little trick a shot and see if it works out for you!

I hope you enjoyed these five tips on how to prepare for a new semester! I know I would’ve loved for someone to tell me these before I started college. If you enjoyed this post be sure to let me know, and I can start making more college related/back to school posts. If there is anything, in particular, you want to see me post, tell me in the comments. Thanks for reading and good luck this semester!

-Shelby D. ❤️