After an incredible summer of late nights, concerts, bonfires with friends, and vacations, it’s no wonder most of us are dragging our feet the first week … or should I say month of classes. Luckily for you, we’ve experienced a fall semester or two and are here to provide you all the things we wish we knew before starting back for syllabus week.
The best way to prepare for anything is to be proactive! Start early! Buy a planner! If you want to splurge, shop www.stilclassics.com or www.lillypulitzer.com. Want to save a few bucks? Shop Target! This will keep your organized and aware of deadlines. Tip Alert: Color code by class to highlight which class has due dates when or color code by types of assignments (ex. papers, assignments, quizzes, exams) to alert you of when certain assignments are due. This is an important skill to have in all parts of life weather it is school, work, clubs, activities, or meetings with friends. Look on your school’s portal to see if the syllabi are available. Print them out if you are someone who likes to have everything in front of you. Make sure you enter all due dates into your planner. School supplies are also important to have before the first day of school! You don’t want to be carrying around one notebook “planning” on transferring all those notes to different notebooks, but then in reality never doing so. Make sure you have the appropriate notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, binders, extra paper, calculators, etc. As far as textbooks go, those can be very expensive and each school and class are very different. For those I would wait until the first day of class, or if the teacher’s email is on the syllabus, reach out and send an email. It never hurts to ask a question, and this could end up saving you a couple hundred dollars – we all know how expensive textbooks are! Tip Alert: If you have friends who have taken these classes or will take these classes, pass around textbooks and save money! College is already expensive enough, little ways to save can put more money in your pocket later for campus activities to enjoy later!
Routine is key! A week before you head back to school for the fall semester, whether it be local or you’re traveling a distance to move back, reset your body’s clock into a normal sleep routine. Trust me when I say this, easier now when you have the time than later when you are trying to catch up, unpack, and used to staying up all night. This will help you reset your sleep cycle making it “easier”, and we say this lightly, to get up for those 8 or 9 am classes. For those of you who have noon starts, we all envy you! Sleep is so important for your health and well – being, so please don’t pull too many all – nighters! What does sleep actually do for you? Sleep helps your brain form new pathways that way when you are being taught new information you can learn and retain this information. Deficiency in sleep can decrease your problem solving abilities, decision making abilities in addition to emotions and behaviors. In addition to mental health, sleep plays a big part in physical health as well. Sleep helps repair the body, blood vessels and tissues, as well as maintain hormone balance.
Whether it’s a roommate, a friend, or just a classmate that happens to have similar interests, text them before the fall semester begins to see if they want to workout with you. Being physically fit is a good way to go into the school year and continue throughout the fall semester. With the help of a friend, roommate, or someone else, it makes you accountable to going to the gym or making it out for that run or spin class you said you would go to! Look into what classes your school’s gym provides. Tip Alert: Facebook is a good way to connect with people of the same interest. There may be run groups already started, intermural sports, club sports, etc. If you don’t see a sport available, contact the school’s gym – you may be able to start a new activity! If you are someone who works out at home, have no fear, with all the social media outlets available countless accounts are available for inspiration. Here’s a few to get you started; Instagram accounts: @alexia_clark, @kaliburns, @carlynewson, and @kaisafit.
Fuel your body the right way! How can you expect your body to do it all if you aren’t providing it with the proper nutrients? The answer is simple, you can’t. Here are a few things to consider when eating and preparing your meals for the day. What time are you eating your meals? Are you waiting until you are starving, thus over eating? This not only causes your body to feel starved, but your sugar level also decreases. Eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates and high protein diet will help you stay lean and fuel your body. Adding a few snacks throughout the day instead of larger meals will help hold you over and keep you fueled to get through the day! Prepack meals either in the morning, or the night before so you are prepared and not stuck in a “hangry” situation! Buying from the grocery store each week instead of buying from the nearby vendor should help your budget quite a bit as well! If nights and mornings don’t work, set a side a day to cook and meal prep for the week and portion size for the week. It is easy to think that because we are eating healthy we can have more, but portion control is also important. Tip alert: Practice making some recipes for the family the week before the fall semester. See what you like, don’t like, what is more time consuming, etc.
Plan out time to study! Make sure you carve out time in your busy schedules to nail that exam so you can enjoy that weekend celebration, football game, or girls night out without having to stress! Study a little each day so you are not cramming for the exam! This will help you also retain the information better. Get with a group of friends to keep you stay on task if you all have an exam coming up, or form a study group with classmates who will challenge you and who you can challenge so you can better yourselves for the exam! Along with budgeting your time, budgeting your money will not only help you in the long run, but may allow you to do more activities throughout the year, or splurge for that little black dress you were eyeing. An easy way to keep track of your expenses is to set up an excel sheet. Make a tab for each category, and document each receipt therefore you can document if you are over or under what you budgeted. These skills will come in handy later in life as well!
Remember to make time for your friends and school related activities! Get involved during your time at your university, whether it is with a sorority, clubs, fraternity, sports, philanthropy, student council, etc. be apart of your college community. This is literally the best years of your life, so make the most of it! Learn how to play the games that are native to the local bars. It’s okay to have a favorite late night spot, or be a regular at a sandwich place or a bar. DIY and make crop tops, or cut T – shirts and braid the backs or sides, making them unique to you and your crew. Make it through the tailgate to at least one game to support your school! Go, Fight, Win!
Take each day as it comes and make the best of it. Every day won’t be the best day ever, but how you react to each situation will set you up for the rest of your day. Set goals for yourself each week, they don’t have to be big, but little things you can work towards to make this the best fall semester ever. Finally, be yourself! No one is more you than you!