5 Ways to Start the Semester Off Right (With Checklist!)

Monday, January 4, 2016

A new year for college students means a new semester. With a new semester comes new memories and opportunities... and unfortunately stress. I'm here today to provide a list of 5 things you can do as soon as the semester starts in order to hit the ground running and keep you from worrying too much - all in an ordered checklist that you can even save to your computer/phone or print out for memory!

1. Cleanse and Prep to Start Over
Clean out your backpack/tote, folders, and even your laptop files and email accounts. This is the first step to starting off your semester organized and ready to go! Additionally back up/store any old course work or notes that you think you may need in the future, you never know when they could come in handy again one day.

2. Buy The Supplies You Know You'll Need
When it comes to school, all I ever really need are the basic necessities: pencils, pens, a 5-subject notebook, printer paper and ink. Flashcards are additionally nice to use for studying purposes and a planner is always a plus for sorting out my hectic schedule. It's easy to know what I'll need before even entering the class most of the time, because most courses don't really require too much in this day and age besides a steady internet connection and Microsoft Office applications. Get the basic things that have always worked for you so that you have items to start off with, and if there end up being other items on your syllabi that you need, you can just go out and grab them later!

3. Utilize Your Syllabi
As soon as you receive your class syllabi, start filling dates in on your calendar or agenda. If you prefer not filling that kind of stuff in ahead of time, keep the assignment schedule parts of your syllabi in a safe place that you know you'll look at often; I like to hang mine on my bulletin board above my desk, that way I can see them every single day and cross off completed assignments as I go. Creating a combined assignment schedule of all your classes is also a great idea that I have heard works for many students that I will be trying out this semester.

4. Order Your Textbooks
If there is anything I learned my first semester of college, it's to make sure to not order my textbooks until after my first class when my professor expresses whether or not I truly need the textbook(s) listed for the course. Had I waited and also chosen to purchase from other outlets besides my school bookstore, I could have saved hundreds of dollars. Don't make the same mistake I did - wait until you know for sure that you need the book before you purchase it, but also don't wait too long.

5. Schedule The Extra Time Around Your Classes
Now that you know when your classes are and how much time you should dedicate to completing each course's assignments each week, you can finally schedule any extra time you want to leave yourself for all the other stuff in your life. From extracurricular activities to me-time, make sure you provide yourself with opportunities to have a break from your everyday life of school work. A consistent schedule will keep you balanced and less stressed!

What actions are you taking to make this semester your best one yet?
With a productive and positive attitude, remember that you can do anything. Get out there and make this term great!


  1. A subpoint that I would add under Textbooks is that you should always compare prices before opening your wallet! Use the Textbook Save Engine to compare the prices of textbooks in real time and save the most! http://www.tun.com/index.php/book

    Good luck textbook hunting !

    1. Definitely a great tip, I'll be sure to add that in! Thank you for that!


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