The fall semester either already started or is about to start for college students across the country. As we all simmer down from our summer highs and begin to buckle down for school, we’re remembered of the extreme chaotic mess the semester can turn into and the stress levels that come with it. As I approach my fourth and final year of school, the stress has become less prominent because I know exactly how to prepare for the year ahead. Here are tips to prepare for the upcoming semester.
Make a budget
Going into my sophomore year and living off campus for the first time, I didn’t realize how important it would be to create a budget and stick to it. College, class-wise, is not easy and you need to actively stay on top of things at all times if you want to get good grades. That being said, there is little to no room to worry about paying bills at the same time and I found that laying out my costs by the month really helped me be prepared. Before the school year starts, I sit down and calculate my costs per month (utilities, groceries, other bills, etc.) and determine my monthly income. This just helps me be prepared in the beginning of each month rather than scramble to pull together my money at the end of the month, and to make sure I’m not spending above my means.
Print Your Syllabuses
This is so important to do before classes start. Most professors will have their syllabus ready to print online to go over on the first day of class. I always print them out for each class, so that I can have an idea of how my semester will be mapped out. And, most of the time they are detailed down to the day so you can really get an idea of your workload, giving you more time to process and prepare to be your best.
Get a Planner
This can be anything from a planner, to a calendar dry-erase board. When you write important reminders down, you will be more likely to remember them. That is why it is so crucial to have some sort of organizational tool where you can write down exam dates, due dates, events, and other important reminders. I live and breathe by my planner during the school year. It helps me stay on top of both my work and school schedule in one place. I also have a weekly dry-erase calendar in my room where I can make sure I’m on top of the things happening in the immediate future.
This has helped me immensely throughout the past three years. Basically, I give every subject and obligations a defining color to use across my multiple organizational platforms. For example, I’ll give a specific subject a color, and then write reminders for that class in that same color in both my planner and dry-erase calendar. Simple things like this can really help in the long run and ensure you never miss an exam or due date.