Believe it or not but August is almost over, how crazy is that? That also means a lot of you are heading back to college very soon! Some of us are attending virtually during this pandemic while others are hybrid. Regardless I wanted to write a blog post helping and motivating you guys to prepare for a new semester so you can start off strong! So here are my best tips on how to prepare for your new college semester.
Invest In A Planner
I know not everyone is the planner type but I know I am and it’s kept me so organized and on top of my work during college, I highly recommend it. When choosing a planner I like to make sure mine has a lot of room to write on my weekly spreadsheet and also a monthly calendar view. I like to include work, school, and my blogging schedule in my planners so I need tons of room! I also feel that by having a cute and motivational planner it’s really fun for me and helps make things feel less hectic throughout the year. Also if you sign up for Amazon prime student here you can get all your school essentials within 2 days + students get the first 6 months of prime for free!
Here are some of my favorites:
Gather Essential Supplies Only
Summer is the best time to start gathering pencils, notebooks, lab materials, etc. Start planning out which binder or notebook you’ll use for each class. Even throughout college, I was big with color coding and having a different colored notebook for each class. I also like going through any syllabus I have and filling out my planner. One thing I don’t recommend doing is buying any textbooks! Always wait until the first day of class to see if you even need the textbook or if you can find a free version online. You can also check your school’s Facebook group because usually, upperclassmen are selling their old textbooks for very cheap.
Get Back Into A Schedule
During the summer most of us are waking up at different times and mess up our sleep schedules. A week before school starts is the best time to start sleeping and waking up earlier so you get back on track. It can be very hectic going from waking up at noon to 8am every morning and we want to make the transition into a new semester as smooth as possible.
Now is also the best time to organize and basically get your life together. Hence, why I’m writing this blog post. Start making lists of last-minute items you might need or things you have to complete before the start of the new semester. If you’re staying home for college and having classes online make sure you have the right computer + software and everything is up to date. I had a meeting on Zoom the other week and didn’t even realize my Zoom wasn’t updated and I had to scramble to get that sorted out. Don’t make the same mistake as me! Make sure all your apps for school are updated and working properly.
Finalize Your Class Schedule
Make sure by now you’ve planned out and signed up for your classes. You don’t want to wait last minute because chances are you won’t get your top picks. What I like to do when picking out classes is to go over my curriculum and see which requirements I need to fulfill and then find out which timings work best with my work schedule. When deciding which classes to choose from when you’re given multiple options that fit with your schedule, always use ratemyprofessors! I love this website and always research my professors before taking them and it’s been such a lifesaver. The professors you get really makes a huge difference in how much you enjoy your class.
Start Preparing For Move-in Day
Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning student, move-in day can be stressful. If you’re moving into a new apartment or back to the dorms make sure you have a time figured out as well as the parking situation. I know when I moved into my apartment in Boston parking was a nightmare. Also, make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. If you guys are interested I have a College Dorms Room Essentials blog post and 20 Best Decor Items On A Budget that you can checkout.
Get Your Finances In Order
Since we still have roughly 2 weeks of summer left, now is the final moment to save up some money from that summer job. If you’re like me and pay for college on your own, you know how stressful it is living paycheck to paycheck throughout the school year. Every summer in college I pick up tons of extra shifts so I have a few thousand dollars saved up at the beginning of the year and I’m not scrambling to pay rent, tuition, or for books.
I recommend making a spreadsheet or list on Google Docs and listing out all your expenses for the first month or two of the semester. This can include utilities, rent, and possible books and school supplies you’ll need. Create a budget and shop around for cheaper versions of school supplies and textbooks. The older you get the more you’ll realize how budgeting is crucial and spreadsheets make all the difference!
Those are 6 of my last-minute college planning tips for the new semester. What other ways are you guys preparing for the upcoming school year? Let me know in the comments below!
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**If you’re a student make sure to sign up for Amazon prime student with your .edu email to get free tv, music, and same-day delivery! Students get the first 6 months for free + you can check out my back to school amazon products here!