Ah, the first week back to school. I just love the smell of new pencils and the way it feels to rip the plastic off new textbooks…okay, not really. I do love the start of a new school year, however, but one of the main reasons I do is because it means I get to start fresh and I have yet another chance to pick up my GPA or shine with a professor who might serve as a reference one day. To shine the way I want to, however, I have to be proactive and set myself up for success the first week.
Here are some of my tips for success in the first week:
- Put dates in your planner
I don’t care if you think you’re going to remember or if you are going to do it when you get home. Stop what you’re doing and put the dates in right away. The professor will be spending a lot of time going over the syllabus and while listening to his helpful hints on how to succeed in his class is important, you can still multitask. By putting the dates in your planner right away, you know they’re there and ready for when you look ahead to assignments and get ready for the next week.
***Don’t just write down mandatory assignments and quizzes though. I put all reading down the first day of the week that it’s due. Keeping up with the reading in class is just as important (if not more) as keeping up with assignments. Actually reading the chapters will help you retain the information so studying for tests isn’t so bad.
- Introduce yourself to your professor. The first time I did that I was SO nervous. I thought they would look at me like I was crazy or not want to have anything to do with me. The truth is, most professors teach because they care about their students. Making the effort to build a relationship with the professor will help in the long run when you need help or just give you someone who knows more than you about a subject you’re (hopefully) interested in.
- Try to set up a routine. I say this and I am TERRIBLE at this. Do your best to set up a time to go to sleep, time to eat breakfast and time for homework. Even if that just means loosely saying you’re going to wake up at a certain time to have time to eat breakfast or stay in for an extra hour so you can get some reading done, at least let the thought cross your mind.
- Clean! I hate having a messy thinking space. That doesn’t work for me. I will just stare at the mess until I finally decide to get up and clean it, which just takes away from the time I could have been studying. To help alleviate the problem, do your cleaning before classes get challenging.
- Look for a job. If you’re going to want to have a job while in school, the first couple weeks are the best times to look. While many other college students will be looking for a job at the same time, it means you won’t have to be looking when classes start to get harder. Also, you will probably have time to get training out of the way too!
- Join a club or organization. I’ve tried to search out a new club or organization each semester while in college. Being involved will give you more things to look forward to and will help you make connections for the future.
- Schedule time with friends. Looking at syllabi and assignments stresses me out even before they’re due. To help with that I like to schedule time with my friends, whether it’s going to see a movie or play Wii or just go out to eat together. Being with my friends helps me destress and look for solutions to the problem.
What do you like to do the first week back to school?