Hi, friends! School is starting soon, so I wanted to do a part 2 to last year’s post: 5 Things to do Before Classes Start, dedicated to preparing for a semester. Preparing and planning for a semester is very important to set yourself up for a successful semester, so here are five more things you should do before classes start.
Find the textbooks you need
Any experienced college student will tell you to buy your textbooks from a discount website, not under any circumstances, from the school bookstore, where they are very overpriced. First, figure out which textbooks you need. You can usually find this information on your school’s student portal (like Blackboard). Then, do your research. Compare prices for your required textbooks across different websites, like Chegg and Amazon. You can even decide to rent the book if you know you won’t need it after you finish the class. You can also ask your friends who have taken the class before if they still have the textbook and if they are willing to sell it to you.
Also, you don’t even have to buy or rent the textbook right away. Many students like to wait until after the first day of class to get their books to find out if they will truly need them. Personally, I don’t recommend this. I’d much rather have my books and send them back to Chegg if it turns out I don’t need them. (Chegg will let you send back your rented books for free within 21 days of ordering them!)Preparing and planning for a semester is very important to set yourself up for a successful semester. Here are 5 things you should do before classes start! Click To Tweet
Scan your school’s academic calendar
Even before you get your class syllabus, you can start filling out your planner for the upcoming semester. Check your school’s academic calendar and write in important dates (such as the first day of class, move in day, tuition due date, last day to drop classes, any days off, etc.). This will help you stay organized throughout the semester and will guarantee you won’t miss any important dates!
Prepare your binder
To me, the most exciting thing about starting school again is school supplies. Now, you can prepare by setting up your binder. For example, you can start putting together your binders. I like to keep the information for all my classes in one binder for each semester, using binder divider tabs to divide it by class. For each class, I like to keep the syllabus at the front and in a plastic sheet protector to ensure that I know where it is and that it will stay protected the entire semester. This works for me, but it might not work for you. Use whatever organization system works for you. (You could use a different binder or notebook for each class, too.)
Before you start your classes, set up whatever organization system you plan to have for the semester.
Peek at the first chapter of your textbook
Schoolwork may be the last thing you want to see on your break, but taking a peek at your textbook before class starts can be very beneficial. You don’t even have to understand what you’re reading; you just need to get a feel for the information. If you do this, you will already be ahead of your classmates, as you will at least have some sort of idea what the first lecture will be about, and it will make the first day much less confusing. As long as you don’t walk into the first lecture completely clueless, you should be good.
Make sure your financial aid is in order
It’s a good idea to at least scan over your financial aid information before the semester starts. Make sure you’ve paid your tuition and that all your scholarships have been accounted for. If there is a problem, it’s better to catch it sooner, before the semester starts, rather than later, when you’re knee deep in schoolwork and now have to worry about an expired scholarship!
Whether we like it or not, the spring 2018 semester is approaching, and it’s important to prepare for it.
How are you preparing for the upcoming semester?