The back-to-school season is upon us and although it may be a bit different this year, the basics for preparing to have a successful semester are the same.
COVID may have changed many things: how many classes, if any, we’re having in person, the need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing, and ultimately changing the way we live our daily lives. But, we still have a desire to do well in our classes and have the best grades possible.
Read Your Syllabus
I don’t mean to point out the obvious, but you really do need to read the class syllabus that your professor sent out.
Especially this year as there may be additional in-class guidelines that your professor expects you to adhere to. Additionally, if your class is online, your professor may have mapped out the entire semester already!
Related Post: How To Read Your Syllabus: 7 Things To Look For
Order Your Textbooks
If you’ve read your syllabus then you probably saw any required textbooks or literature books that you’ll need for your classes. Get those puppies ordered asap! You can usually get by with an older edition or a digital copy – this is a great hack to save some money!
Stock Up On School Supplies
If you’re a stationery junkie like me then this won’t be an issue for you at all. But if the thought of new school supplies doesn’t give you an exciting thrill, well… you still need to do it!
Figure out a method that works for you. Do you prefer to have one 5-subject notebook, looseleaf paper and a small 1/2 inch binder for each class, or do you like to take notes on a tablet? No matter how you take notes, you need to come to class prepared to take some!
Here’s a quick review of the in-class note-taking supplies you’ll probably need:
- Paper – looseleaf or notebook
- Pencil, pen, and highlighter
- Binder and/or folder
- Tablet and stylus with a notetaking app
- Calculator (math and science classes)
Use A Planner
College classes are literally monsters. There are literally so many different things to remember for every single class. Tests, quizzes, homework, reading assignments, lab reports, papers, etc. Add all of this on top of your favorite extracurriculars and time with friends. It’s a lot. So keep it all organized in a planner so you don’t get behind or forget an important assignment.
I recommend a paper planner from Erin Condren or utilizing a free Google Calendar. I actually prefer a mix of the two!
Set Your Goals
Each semester gives us a fresh start to look at how we’re approaching our classes and life in general. Use this time to map out any semsters goals you may have like studying in the library 2x a week or never skipping a lecture (I’ll admit, I’ve done this and it wasn’t really the best idea in the end). Outline 2 to 3 goals that will help you stay on track throughout the semester and keep you focused.
Lastly, just remember to smile and start your semester with a positive attitude! You specifically chose your school and degree program for a reason. Keep your end-goal in mind and make sure that it’s what makes you happy!