The school year is a time for new beginnings, new opportunities, and new costs. From classes to text books and everything in between. Create your budget before the school year starts and it will be much easier to avoid temptations.
Reusing instead of rebuying
Before buying all new school supplies, go through what you already have and see what you can reuse. Not only will this reduce future clutter, it could save you a lot of money. You could also ask people with your major about buying their textbook off them for cheaper than the store would sell it to you, or trade them a book from a class you already took with a class you still have to take. Maybe recent graduates have some big ticket items that they no longer need, like a calculator or an iClicker.
Your sleep schedule
Those 8 a.m. classes are tough, and they can be even tougher if your body is used to falling asleep past 2 a.m. If you are not a morning person, try to build a schedule that is right for you. If you do have morning responsibilities, prepare your body for that kind of schedule. Doing this before the school year starts will help you to be successful at 8 a.m. on the first day of class.
Building your savings account
Going back to school usually means some unexpected expenses, both needs and wants, of course. Putting yourself in the position to be able to afford those extra things will make you successful before the school year starts. These extras could be anything from study group meet ups for dinner to footballs tickets to a poster and supplies for a presentation in a class.
Your goals for the year
The beginning of the school year brings a lot of enthusiasm and determination, but those feelings can sometimes fade as the year progresses on. Writing a list of goals and things you want to accomplish, or things you want to learn, can give you something to look back on when you get stressed. It’s a good way to remember why you started.
Creating your space
Haven’t you heard, the key to success is being organized? This is not the case for everybody, but it is still better to start with a nice, clean organized study place, regardless what it looks like after a few uses. You should have one place designated for text books, school supplies, and other study materials. That way you won’t waste precious study time looking for what you need and you’ll be able to get straight to studying.
Establishing your spot
Everyone has a favorite “study spot” as their go-to place strictly for getting work done. It could be a specific coffee shop, a room in a library, or your kitchen counter. Wherever this place is for you, it first needs to be established; you don’t want to spend half of your study time looking for a study spot and then getting acclimated to wherever you go. Secondly, you need to know the hours of the building. If you are a late night studier, a coffee shop is probably not your best bet. A good tip to keep in mind when finding your spot is location. If you study between classes, choose a place on campus. If you study late at night, choose a place closer to home, if not at home so you don’t have to walk too far at night.
For some people, being healthy comes naturally, for others it takes a little bit more work. If you get a gym membership or get comfortable at the gym you plan on going to before the school year starts, there’s a higher chance of you actually going during the year. Just get the first time out of the way.
If you are using a meal plan, think about the kinds of food you want to focus on and be mindful of how much you are eating. If you are buying groceries, make a plan of what you’re going to buy at the grocery store before you go. This will make your trip quicker, help you to avoid impulse purchases, and keep you in control of your diet.
Don’t over schedule yourself
The school year is like a blank canvas waiting to get painted with classes, clubs, extracurricular activities, volunteering hours, and maybe even a part time job. Don’t let the excitement of a new year be the reason you over schedule yourself. School can and will get stressful with studies and unexpected things. Make sure you keep at least one night a week free to relax and focus on school work. There is nothing wrong with taking it slow and signing up for some things after classes begin.
Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your time
This is one of the most important things to remember. Take risks, try new things, meet new people and have a good time. In college, only some of the learning is done inside the classroom while the rest is from the experience. This may be one of the most, if not the most, important thing to remember when starting the new school year!