Are You Ready to Hit the Ground Running This Semester?
Tick-tock, tick-tock. The first day of UC Davis instruction draws ever closer. Are you ready? Here is a short and simple to-do list from Lifehacker.com, designed for kids, but equally applicable for kids at heart.
1. Plan Out and Reset Your Daily Schedule
Many adults and children have different schedules during summer vacation than they do during the school year. Bedtimes and wakeup times creep later or simply become irregular. Two of the biggest keys to a student’s success, though, are getting enough sleep and sticking to a consistent routine, so now’s the time to ease into the new fall schedule.
- Slowly move bedtimes and wakeup times back to what they should be during the school year. You can do this gradually over one or two weeks. If meal times or other regular routines have changed over the summer vacation, reset those as well.
- Block out the school schedule (holidays, test days, etc.) on a calendar. College students should map out their class schedule for the next semester and also block out times for studying, meal, exercise, and other essentials, as this 8-hour college day planner recommends. Web-based Semester Planner can help you organize the classes you’re taking and track assignments. Shoshiku is an alternative that also includes email alerts.
- Figure out where you’re going. One of the biggest stressors at the start of school is if you’re going to a new building or your classes are in different locations than last year. College students should look at a campus map and plot out how they’re going to get from one place to the next, based on their schedule. Other students/parents should know the route to school, where the classrooms are, and how long it takes to get there.
2. Organize Your Workspace and Supplies
- Declutter and streamline the workspace. Make sure it’s a quiet, distraction-free place. Older students might benefit from using one of the many distraction-killing apps and tricks people in the workforce use.
- Stock up on the supplies you need, including any organization accessories like file folders or desk trays.
- If you’re buying a new computer for school, you might want to set the computer up before the first day of school, so you’re not fumbling with the PC at the last minute.
- On the other hand, perhaps you shouldn’t buy textbooks ahead of time, depending on the class. Hack College offers this tip: “it may be wise to check ratemyprofessor.com to see if the professor of your class actually requires their students to use the textbook. If the site’s reviews say that you do not need the book for the class, then you can either not buy the book, or buy it from somewhere that you know you can return it, and receive a full refund.” Or rent or copy a textbook, perhaps.
- Make sure you have a system for processing school work (a file accordian? Scanner and laptop?) and keeping upcoming assignments front and center.
- Speaking of paperwork, there’s often lots needed at the start of the year, such as medical forms or immunization records. Now’s the time to get those medical and other appointments out of the way so you can have the forms ready when you need them.
3. Get in the Back-to-School Mindset
The new school year is a refreshing time, when you get to start anew. Then again, your mind might still be back at the beach. To get juiced up about the new semester:
- Review your previous academic achievements. The summer might have made you forget about that awesome term paper you wrote last fall or the straight A’s in math. A quick review can not only energize you for the new school year, it can help you identify areas you might want to work on more this semester.
- Set goals for yourself for this upcoming school year. Setting goals (and sticking with them) is an important skill students of all ages can learn.
Want more great getting-ready-for-school tips? Click on the link above.