How to start a new academic year

Going back to school or college can be quite stressful. Constant anticipation makes it seem like time passes very slowly, and still, you’re somehow running out of it. Although it’s completely normal to feel distressed, you don’t necessarily need to. Getting ready for a new academic year will help you prepare for it emotionally and thus, reduce your back-to-school anxiety. Here’s a list of tips on how to do it and start a new semester with a bang.

Take a break to recharge

Studying is both emotionally and physically taxing, which is why students are given some off time every season. Make sure you spend it wisely before you head back to school. Here are some useful tips for recharging during your break:

  • Turn off your electronic devices. Or, at the very least, turn off or limit your notifications.
  • Go on a trip. A change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a vacation. A hike is also great for recharging. Plus, it’s pretty inexpensive and won’t take much of your time. Just grab a water bottle and a lunch box, wear your comfiest boots, and go exploring.
  • Spend your break with people whose company you enjoy. Being around someone you don’t like can put you in a sad or angry mood, so make sure to surround yourself with fun and interesting people.

Start your preparations at the right time

First, you need to assess how long it will take you to get ready for your studies. Some people need only a few days, while others can spend a whole week buying college supplies and packing their stuff. Starting your preparations at the right time will help you reduce your back-to-school anxiety and relax before the first day of studies. Normally, we recommend doing it in the second-to-last week of your break.

Outline your personal and academic goals

Take a moment to reflect on your past year. Now, think about what you would like to accomplish during this one. It’s important to set personal and academic goals in order to make progress, so take a nice notebook and write down the things you want to achieve. You can organize them by areas of your life.

Here are some examples of actionable academic goals for university students:

  • Achieving and maintaining good grades.
  • Completing all your homework assignments.
  • Taking a challenging course.
  • Taking an elective course to study topics that interest you.
  • Joining a student organization.

Meanwhile, your personal goals may include:

  • Developing your communication skills.
  • Reading more books in a year.
  • Getting more exercise.
  • Starting and mastering a new hobby or skill.
  • Establishing and following a healthy daily routine (we’ll get back to it later).

Browse through course guides

This step is very important for understanding what exactly you need to study and achieve in the new academic year. You can browse course catalogue and guides to learn which textbooks, equipment, or software you need to buy. We also recommend checking the class schedule ahead of time to better understand how to make plans around it. Plus, you might find some interesting electives you might want to sign up for as you browse the catalogue.

Buy school supplies to get in the right mood

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Stock up on school supplies

There are several ways for students to get all the study essentials they need while also saving money. First of all, wait until mid-July for the sales to start if you want to get discount school supplies. They usually run through the end of summer. Secondly, buy stuff in bulk because it’s much cheaper. Also, find companies that can offer you a student discount! And lastly, buy used textbooks instead of new ones to save up and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

Your school supplies list should include these must-have items:

  • Pens (black, blue, and some red ones)
  • Pencils
  • Multi-color markers and highlighters
  • Textbooks
  • Notebooks
  • Binders and folders
  • A pencil case
  • A bag that is big enough to store all your stuff

Organize your study space

Something as simple as tidying up your room can make a big difference for your emotional wellbeing and productivity. Plus, it’s especially important to organize your study space if you’re an online student who spends a lot of your time there. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of having a private room where they can learn, but you can still find cozy places at cafés and coworking spaces.

Tips on how to organize your study room:

  1. Get a comfortable chair and a table.
  2. Adjust lighting and temperature to your liking.
  3. Get rid of distractions.
  4. Declutter your study space.
  5. Make sure all the essentials are at hand.
  6. Organize your learning schedule.
Create a nice studying space you can enjoy every day

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Pack an emergency kit

You never know what’s going to happen when you’re in college, so it’s a good idea to keep some essentials on hand. Start building your emergency survival kit by purchasing cough and cold medicine, prescription medications (if you take any), and other things you need to stay healthy. It also goes without saying that a first-aid kit is a must. Make sure it contains at least a dozen band-aids, rubbing alcohol, an instant cold pack, and gauze.

Other survival kit items may include earplugs (in case you live in a loud area or have snoring roommates), skincare products (at least a cleanser and a lotion), a small sewing kit, a reusable water bottle, a flashlight in case of a power outage, and instant food. You might consider buying some other things depending on your living situation. For example, if you’re staying in a cold building, we strongly suggest investing in an electric blanket. 

Oh, and don’t forget reusable face masks, perhaps the most important survival items of the COVID era. After all, there’s still a pandemic out there. Once your survival pack is ready, you can put it on the shelf and forget about it, knowing that you’re prepared to face any emergency.

Establish a routine

High school and university students often have extremely hectic schedules that deprive them of much-needed sleep and reduce their productivity. Therefore, it’s essential to establish a routine. You need to get into a steady rhythm if you want to function at your full potential and achieve more.

Here’s how to establish a routine when you’re a student.

  1. Fix your sleep schedule and stick to it.
  2. Set a specific time for certain activities such as meals, studying, etc.
  3. Establish a morning and night routine.
  4. Make time for exercise.
  5. Plan your week in advance.

Final thoughts

Taking some time to prepare for school and spending it wisely can do wonders for your mental and physical health. This article can help you make the necessary preparations, but you also need to be aware of your personal needs and what’s right for you. So take care of yourself and remember to stay healthy and safe!

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Published by
Lauren Bradshaw
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Lauren started writing in 2003. Since then, she tried her hand in SEO and website copywriting, composing for blogs, and working as an academic writer. Her main interests lie in content marketing, developing communication skills, and blogging.
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