Back to school shopping has always been my favorite part of the year. There’s just something about the smell of new school supplies when you go down the back to school section. Even now at almost 23, the memories of picking out a backpack and a cute pencil-case still stand out.
The start of a new semester is the time that I always try to get a jump-start. I don’t like having things come up later that I’ve forgotten to do!
So without further ado, here is my list of tips and tricks that help make the semester go by much smoother. Let’s get back to school with a bang!
1. Being organized is key. Whether you keep all of your notes and assignments on your computer or in a binder if you don’t keep it organized it will come back to bite you in the butt later. Digging through papers or frantically searching your files on your computer for an assignment from the beginning of the semester is never fun.
- I prefer to have files on my computer AND printed copies of everything I need for my classes.
- You can make it fun by assigning each class a color or customizing the cover of your binder/folder/notebook for each class.
2. The syllabus is your best friend. I repeat THE SYLLABUS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. I always pay attention the professor and take notes on the syllabus as they’re explaining it on the first day back to school. Keep a copy in your folder, on your phone, on your laptop, wherever you can easily access it. It just might save your grade one day.
- I took finite math over the summer and would have had a C instead of a B but according to the syllabus, my professor would drop your lowest test grade if you showed up for class and made it to every test. I totally forgot everything I had learned when it came time to take the last test before the final.
3. I highly recommend purchasing a laser printer. My anatomy & physiology 1 class required printed out power point slides to bring to class for notes. While my school gives you a certain amount of printing free per semester, it’s time-consuming and pretty busy to print in the library. I still have toner left from the introductory pack that came with the printer and that’s after two semesters and regular non-school related printing.
Doing assignments early is better than doing them late!
4. If assignments are available at the start of the semester, do as many as you can now. That way you have a bunch knocked out ahead of time.
- My English class had a lot of online discussions so I knocked those out-of-the-way asap.
- My psychology class had a group of assignments using the textbook but the professor didn’t use the textbook in her lectures. Luckily the textbook company had a complimentary two-week access, so I did all of the assignments in the first two days and didn’t have to pay for the book!
5. Wait until the first day of class to buy the textbooks. My first semester, I went according to the books listed in the bookstore for each course and I only needed two of the four!
6. Speaking of textbooks, getting an Amazon Prime Student membership will help with renting your textbooks and more. Free two-day shipping, Prime video, and a seemingly limitless offering of products are just a few of the benefits of a Prime membership.
Studying is important!
7. Set aside a designated study space and time.
8. Take quick breaks every so often so you don’t end up just reading the same sentence over and over.
9. Invest in a good alarm clock or get on a good sleep schedule if you’re a heavy sleeper like I am. A lot of professors won’t let you in even if you’re only two minutes late to class.
10. Don’t forget to have fun now and then. While school is important, so is taking the time to enjoy yourself.
What are some of your best tricks to have a productive semester? Let me know in the comments below!