Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like my breaks go by way too fast. It feel like it was just yesterday when I sat down to write Five Things To Do The Week After Finals. Since it quickly became this blog’s most popular post, I decided to create its counterpart….. I hope you enjoy and that this little list helps prepare you for the upcoming semester!
1. Make an inventory of your desk and study accessories. I don’t know if you have the same problem, but I always seem to run out of sticky tabs and flashcards within just a few weeks. Stock up on things like sticky-notes, whiteout, and paperclips before the new semester chaos reduces you to a puddle of tears when your favorite note-taking pen runs out of ink (may it rest in peace). Don’t be afraid to go a bit overboard–chances are you’ll use everything at some point in the next semester or two.
2. Skim through your textbooks. Yes, this means being a good student and reading ahead. Ask yourself questions–is it vocabulary intensive or something light that you can read between classes? Take note of any special sections or “extra” tools that the book might offer you and create a plan for how to outline/highlight/take notes. This isn’t something you have to go overboard on, but it’s nice to get a feel for the book’s structure before your professor assigns you four chapters on the first day of class.
3. Print off your syllabus. Your syllabus is your map to the rest of the semester, so it’s nice to peek at it before the start of lovely syllabus week. Take note of questions you might have ahead of time, that way you can promptly ask your professor for clarification. This is also a great time highlight your professor’s conference hours and email– while it seems a bit pointless now, you’ll certainly want to know where that information is by midterms.
4. Set up your notebooks and binders. Maybe you’re like me and enjoy those lovely six-subject notebooks, or maybe you have one for each class–either way, this is the time to figure out what subjects will go where. If you’re a big note-taker (which you really should be…more on that in an upcoming post) make sure to review your system. Find something that works for you and stick with it. Truly, starting the semester off with organized notebooks will save you when crunch time hits hard.
5. Pull out your Planner. Perhaps I’m just addicted (find my Five Confessions of a Planner Addict here), but there’s no way I can function without my lovely little planner. Really though, take an hour or two, grab your favorite pen, flip open to syllabus week, and have some fun. Write down your schedule and highlight any important start of the semester appointments. Anything and everything important goes in your planner, so review it a few times to make sure everything has been covered.
How do you prepare for a new semester?