Like many people, I’m heading back to school this fall. This isn’t my first time around the school yard since I’m starting graduate school, so I know some tips and tricks to make the school year get off to a great start.
1. Organize Materials: Depending on the amount of materials you’ll have for each class, you may want a binder and notebook for each course or share them. When I was in college, I had one binder and one notebook for my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes, and I had one of each for my Tuesday and Thursday classes. Some semesters, I had a class that had many handouts or required readings to be printed out, so I had one large binder for that class and split the others according to the day that I had those classes. This made it so that I could keep everything handy without easily forgetting the necessary materials.
2. Planner: I could make a whole video or blog post just about how to use a planner (should I?), but the moral of the story is that you need one and you should use it. They’re helpful to keep track of your daily assignments, your schedule, and when important assignments are due or when tests are.
3. Allow Yourself Time to Adjust: Sometimes, you’ll end up over-booking yourself. For some classes, you’ll never really know how long it will take you to do your homework or how hard it will be until you’re not sleeping because you have so much going on. So, if you have the option, take your time before jumping completely into a crazy schedule.
4. Find a Study Group: Working with other people can be dangerous – you don’t want to get in a study group just to never actually get around to studying – or it can be extremely helpful. If you find the right group of people, you can learn a lot from each other and make your work time more enjoyable. Breaking down and splitting up long amounts of reading will make everyone happier. Comparing study guides can help emphasize and reinforce certain areas of the course. As long as you actually work together, study groups can be extremely beneficial!
5. Create Good Habits: It’s easier to get lax during the year than it is to improve your study habits. So start with strict habits earlier – like always doing your homework the day that it’s assigned – because you will benefit from it later in the year. Some others you may want to try are always writing your assignments in your planner, summarizing chapters in 1-3 sentences after reading them, outlining textbook chapters, or choosing a designated day to complete your assignments.
What tips do you have for starting the school year?
Would you like me to do a post or video on using planners?