It’s that time of year again when stores stock up on colorful notebooks and students slowly walk back onto campus. The few weeks before school can be bittersweet with the sadness of losing free time but the excitement for what the upcoming semester has to offer. This year is especially exciting for me as I start at a completely new school – the Larner College of Medicine.
There’s a lot to do before going back to school including packing (if you go to university), buying supplies, and catching up on summer reading. Today, I thought I’d share some of the tricks I use so that by the time that first morning lecture rolls around, I’m feeling totally prepared.
Organize your desk
Clear off your desk and make sure all of your newly purchased supplies are easily accessible so that you’ll actually want to study. I also recommend adding something a little cute or whimsical so that the desk isn’t too serious and is more inviting. On my own, I have beautiful teal elephant book ends that I love.
Clean out your room (especially your closet)
Most likely, you purchased some new items for the year so going through your clothes and throwing out or donating old and worn out items is a must. It’ll be easier to pick first-day outfits if you know what you have. Additionally, having a de-cluttered and clean room will give you peace of mind and more confidence to start the semester.
Get a planner that works for you
As I have mentioned, I LOVE bullet journaling so I always look up different layouts to try during the first months of school. The past year I have always included a ‘semester overview’ page dedicated to showing just the big test and project dates for all of my classes. If bullet journals aren’t your thing, do some research about what kind of planner you want and don’t just buy the first one you see. Ask your friends what kinds they use and what they like or don’t like them.
Print off all syllabi and materials prior to class
Reading these prior to the first day of class will help you feel prepared and will give you a better idea of how big of a time commitment this course will be and how to prioritize it.
Identify semester goals
This is so important to having a great semester! I recommend having two-three general goals with more specific sub-goals underneath. Write them down. Put them in your phone. But check back in throughout the next few months to see how you’re doing and make adjustments as needed.
This year, my two goals are to focus on my wellness while starting medical school and to stay on top of my studying. For the wellness goal, my more specific goals are to find time to write (a favorite past time and stress relief of mine) at least one hour every week and to exercise three times a week on average. For studying, my specific goals are to create biweekly specific study schedules and to participate in a study group a few times a month.
I hope these have been helpful. Please comment below with tips of your own and have a fantastic start of school!!