7 Tips for starting school with your best foot forward
Today was my first day back after winter break, and the first day of my last semester of university. My first semester of university I was very organized putting everything into my calendar and setting reminders for my homework but as time went on I got a bit lazy. This always results in me being way more stressed than necessary and I end up cramming right before exams. I decided that this semester I needed to get my sh*t together and finish my degree off strong, and the only way to do that is to hit the ground running.
So maybe this is something that happens to you or maybe you are just getting ready to start your first year and university and want to start off strong. Either way, here are some of the things I found help keep me organized and ready to start off the new semester.
Now to just remember to actually do them all …..
1. Reset your sleep schedule
So if you are like me the over the break your sleep schedule got absolutely f**ked. I was staying up until 3am and not getting out of bed until noon or later. Not cool when come the beginning of the semester I have 9am classes 😑. I just started by trying to get to bed 30 minutes to hour earlier each night and getting up earlier each day. Slowly working your way towards your goal will be easier than just trying to drag your a** out of bed after 4 hours of sleep one morning.
Another change I made this semester to help me sleep is caffeine. I am a big tea drinker and often will have a cup of black tea at literally 10pm. So this semester I am going to try to commit to only drinking decaf after 5pm so that I’m actually tried when it ones time for bed.
While we all know sleep deprivation is inevitable when it comes to uni let’s try and keep it as limited as possible.
2. Get your schedule organized
Once you have you class schedule make sure you keep it somewhere that you can access it easily. If you are someone that has all their notes on paper maybe print a copy and tape it to the inside of your notebook or even better inside the cover of your planner if you have one. Personally I put all my classes into google calendar that way I get a notification on my phone before class with the class location so I know where to go. Speaking of location…
3. Figure out where all your classes are ahead of time
If this is your first time at university (Or just at this school) this is especially important. You don’t want to walk into class 10 minutes late because you got lost or even worse sit down in the wrong class and not realize until the prof starts talking about genetics when you’re supposed to be in intro psychology (only happened to me once and luckily I realized before the class started, but one of my friends sat through an entire lecture in the wrong class because they were sitting right in the middle of a big lecture theatre and they didn’t want to disrupt everyone around them 😂). If it is your first semester I would even suggest walking around the day before and getting familiar with where your classes are.
If on the other hand this is not a new school for you then maybe just take a look at where your classes are and if they’re in a building you are not familiar with look it up on your campus map (if you have one, I suppose some schools might not?) It’s better than trying to figure it out as you are walking between classes.
4. Plan Ahead
Read through your syllabus and make note of important dates. Now I don’t just mean browse through your syllabus and go ‘cool I have a midterm next month’ but actually sit down and make note of everything. My cousin got me this really cute planner for Christmas this year so I sat down with it and all my syllabi and wrote in all my exam dates and any dues dates for assignments. This is also something you could add to your google calendar.
The reason I find this really helpful is that rather than looking at each course individually and being like yea all my exams are nicely spaced out (for that one class) I can see what weeks are gonna have multiple exams or multiple things due and plan my time accordingly
5. Get other aspects of your life organized before term starts
For me this meant cleaning my room (which I’m not gonna lie was a disaster) and getting all my laundry done before classes started. Starting the semester off this way helped me feel more organized and prepared. If you are someone who likes to study at home make sure your study space is also tidy and free of distractions.
6. Make time for studying
Rather than waiting for readings to get assigned or assignments to be due set up a specific time to study right away. Use this time to go over notes from class, rewrite them if you find it useful, and do any readings you need to do. Again this is something you can add right to you calendar so you have a schedule to stick to.
What I find happens for me if I don’t do this is that I end up focusing all my time on a few classes and neglecting one or more of my other ones. If I have a study schedule set up then I give my self a set time to get stuff done for each class and then move on to work on study for other classes.
7. Don’t forget to make time for yourself
When you are setting up your schedule don’t forget to set aside specific time for breaks. I find that if I don’t schedule my breaks I forget to take any and then when I eventually do I lose all motivation and get lost in Netflix…. So if you schedule your breaks ahead of time 1. You wont forget to actually take and break and 2. You won’t feel guilty about not being productive because you are actually sticking to you schedule.
I hope you find some of these tips helpful! If you have some of your own tips for starting of the semester the right wat let me know down in the comments.
Good luck and don’t stress too much!