The week before the semester starts for me is always a mixture of exciting and nerve wracking. Thinking to myself, can I do this again? Can I handle it all? But you can! It just takes 10 simple easy steps to follow before the semester starts, to really start on a good note.
I am sharing these 10 steps with you because they are honestly what have helped me start the semester strong and be able to maintain my sanity the first week that classes start and become very hectic.
- PRINT OUT YOUR SYLLABUS
This step is so vital and crucial in being prepared for the semester ahead. Most courses syllabus can be lengthy, so understanding what your professor is expecting from you the week prior can help determine how you’ll plan to do the work throughout the semester. I also had some pretty strict professors who expected you to have the syllabus printed prior to attending the first day of classes. It’s always best practice to be prepared that way you start the semester on your professor’s good side.
I labeled this as the second step because you don’t want to be thrown off your first week by all he extra added expenses you may have from your classes. Getting the books required in the syllabus will help you to get ahead when it comes to the first week of classes. Especially when it comes to summer semester and winter session, they both come and go quickly and you can easily get behind. Including, my business and math majors having the correct calculator and tools needed for your classes is vital in staying ahead and maintaining your grade point average. If you want to save money it would be best practice to go to your school library and ask if you can make copies of the book your class requires and copy/print at least the first two chapters before the semester starts. That way you can get ahead of other students who will be doing the same thing the first week the semester starts and you won’t be waiting in line forever for the printer.
- LOCATE YOUR CLASSES
Locating your classes, the week before the semester starts will help you be less lost on the first day of classes. I remember my first semester back to school and I spent at least 30 minutes looking for the Mathematics building and then my class. It is not fun being the person late to class on the first day of classes. Even the local community colleges can be pretty big, so carving out time to locate your classes and understand how long it’s going to take for you to walk to each class every day will help keep you on track throughout your day.
- PARKING PASS/PARKING
I especially listed this step because of students like me… The ones who used to wait till the first week of classes to buy a parking pass and then was stuck paying $10 a day for parking when the pass only costs $40 for the semester and end up paying double. SO YES, if you live off campus like myself, get the parking pass the week prior that way you aren’t spending all of your money on daily parking passes. Or being so late for class that you park without a pass and get a ticket. (YEP I’VE DONE THAT BEFORE, NOT FUN.)
And for my commuters, look at the campus map, and find the best places to park the week prior to classes starting otherwise you’ll be lost on where to park and which lot is closest to the buildings, you’re going to be in the day classes start. Save yourself the time and frustration because things get hectic week one.
- GET A PLANNER OR DIGITIAL PLANNER
Having a planner or digital planner is super useful when it comes to already having your classes syllabi. You then the week prior to classes starting can start writing down all of your coursework, projects, and exams into your planner and visually see when things are due and if classes have similar due dates. The last thing you want to do is save this part for the first day and be overwhelmed with how much writing you’ll end up doing on your first day of classes.
I personally have gone from using a 365 planner to using a digital planner due to SO MANY THINGS being in my backpack and purse and I was carrying around way too much stuff everyday on campus. This helped reduce the number of things I needed to keep track of and made it versatile so that it could be shared to my laptop and phone as well.
- PLAN YOUR SEMESTER
This step goes hand in hand with getting a planner or digital planner. Planning time to study, when to do errands, important tasks, make time for yourself, etc. When you are able to visualize everything, you need to do that month, or the months ahead you will have a better understanding of what you have time for and what you don’t. Always make sure to carve out time for yourself and time to practice self-care. Taking time for self-care is important to follow throughout college and beyond to allow yourself time to relax and get ready to take on your next task.
- COLOR CODE YOUR COURSES
If you are a visual person like myself, color coding your notebooks, planner, and courses will help you easily navigate them when you need them. When you can visually see in your planner that your Math course is blue then once I see that in my planner my brain will then register that math homework is due that day. Or even knowing your math binder/notebook is blue and being able to readily grab it out of your bag or off your desk before class starts and not grabbing the wrong one.
Oh my, I certainly don’t know about you but the week of finals my LIFE and HOUSE is a M E S S. So, if you’re preparing for the next semester ahead, go ahead and spring clean and just declutter everything from the last semester. I promise you that having a clean and organized space will make you feel so much better when you start your classes. I know that it is easier for me to keep up with cleaning/laundry once everything is already organized. It also motivates me to keep my space clean because everything is in its place and has a place.
- PRACTICE A MORINING ROUTINE
Practicing your morning routine, the week prior to classes starting will make the first week of classes not be so hard. Especially if you have early morning classes, or classes in the morning. I know some people have a hard time even getting up at 8 am so practicing your morning routine will help you build good habits. They can include something like this:
5:00 am- Wake up
5:30 am- Exercise for 30 minutes/ Do some cardio
6:00 am- Get ready/ Shower/ Do Make-Up
6:30 am- Eat Breakfast
7:00 am- Get to class
It can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be, just do what is best for you. And, wake up on your first alarm. Don’t be the person who has 10 alarms to only wake up to the last alarm.
- PRACTICE A NIGHT-TIME ROUTINE
And lastly, practicing a bed time routine. Having both a good morning and bed time routine will help with the flow of your day. You can make your bed time routine whatever you want it to be, just try not to use electronics or anything that will prevent you from falling asleep. Here’s what mine looks like:
8:00 pm- Drink my magnesium
8:10 pm- Skin Care Routine/ Brush Teeth
8:20 pm- Go over planner to see what is going on tomorrow
8:30 pm- Lay in bed
Mine is as simple as that. Now everyone is going to be different but I like to keep mine simple and short. Especially because you’re supposed to lay down 30 minutes after taking magnesium as it helps to relax you and put you to sleep.
I have been taking magnesium now for two months and I entirely believe it has helped me sleep better and reduced a lot of the anxiety I was having prior to taking anxiety.
So, there it is 10 easy steps and tips of what to do the week before classes start. If you liked this post or have any questions about something I wrote about or want me to talk more about something, leave a comment below and let me know.