School is only a few days away (where did summer go?!) and it is time for me to get mentally prepared for it. I am an organizer and am happiest and the least stressed when I know I have it together (visually at least, ha!). We, as students, all handle the stress of classes differently. Some of us do our best, completing our assignments at the last minute and having all night cram sessions for tests. Then there are those, like me, who want to complete assignments early, and the thought of doing something last minute makes us break out in a sweat. No matter what your style is, one thing we can't deny is that staying organized is key to succeeding. Below I will share a few of my tips for staying organized. Take what you think will work for you and good luck with your classes this semester!
Stress Free Return to School
1. Plan ahead: As soon as I get my syllabus for my courses, I jump onto Google Calendar and make note of assignment due dates. If the work load is starting to overwhelm me, I may just write down the first 1-2 months of assignments. I want something that is on my laptop, so no matter where I am, I can jump online and check out how my day/week/month looks like.
2. Get a planner: I use my handy-dandy bullet journal to write down my daily to-dos, as well as big assignments or tests that are coming up. This helps keep me organized and stay on top of my work load.
3. Review syllabus before first day of class: I sound like a total nerd, but reviewing the course work and expectations before class will help keep down some of the stress levels during the first day of classes. Summer break is long, and we tend to forget how much work school can be. Being as mentally prepared as possible will ensure no "first day of class blues" (yes I just made that up, but it should totally be a thing).
4. Get basic supplies: Show up with at least some paper and a pencil. I try to wait until after the first day of classes to buy any major school supplies, but I know I will always need a binder, notebook, and pen/pencils, so I usually get those before classes start.
5. Prepare a study area: Whether you have a desk or an area of your room where you keep your schoolwork and textbooks, try to organize it in preparation for the semester ahead. This includes getting rid of your old schoolwork. I usually go through my laptop and organize that as well. I like starting the semester with a clean slate, and that includes my physical study area.
6. Rent your textbooks: this one won't be new for most of you, but if possible, rent your textbooks instead of purchasing them. This is a huge money saver! I have used Chegg and BookRenter.
7. Fill your pantry/fridge with healthy snacks: If your schedule is anything like mine, most of your days you will be running around the city completing volunteer hours and making it to class on time. To stay on a budget and not starve, I try to always have easy to-go snacks with me for the day. Most days, I even pack a lunch. Getting your grocery shopping down before classes start will ensure one less thing to stress about.
8. Be ready the night before: Yes, we are all grown-ups here, but sometimes it is nice to get everything ready for the next day, the night before. The first day of classes can be stressful, so pack a lunch and lay out your clothes for the day. This ensures that at least your morning won't be stressful, unless you sleep through your alarm!
9. Relax: School can be stressful, whether due to work load or lack of organization, but nothing major will be due during the first few days of classes. Be present, listen, and remember to breathe. You will get through the semester, one day at a time, even if it looks daunting at the starting point.
10. Remember why you are doing this: You are here to further your education, so make the best of it. At the end of the day, you have to have your own back, but no matter what the obstacles are, it will all work out!