From Summer to Student
Returning to school routines can be challenging, but it's easier with a little preparation.
It's that time of year again, to move from working on your bank account to working on your studies. You're thinking: who am I? A student? What does that mean again? If you're like the many who need some inspiration to get down to the business of being in an academic program (and moving forward again towards your fantastic career), read on for some tips to get started thinking about the dreaded (correction: invigorating!) month of September.
Start better habits early
Begin by setting your alarm again in the morning. If this seems unbearable, back it up a half hour at a time until you're regularly rising when you need to be up in the fall. While you're at it, start figuring out your class schedule, and start reading articles (or listening to podcasts) that relate to your profession, to get you back in the study mood.
Tidy up your study area
Good habits are formed when you have dedicated study space, so take a few minutes before term starts to reclaim your desk space from all the clutter that has piled up over the summer. Unearthed study notes from last term? Give them a browse as well, to jog your memory about past learning.
Tidy your digital space too
If your virtual desktop has become as crowded as your IRL desk, take a few moments to tidy there too. Think about how you'll organize yourself online, log into Brightspace or whichever LMS your school uses and see if any materials have been posted for your courses. You might create an assignment calendar for yourself as soon as you get your course outline. And wipe off some space on your USB key.
Go shopping for school supplies!
Remember that great smell of erasers and freshly sharpened pencils from grade school? If you're still a student, why not treat yourself to a new ream of paper or toner cartridge. You might even justify that new top you've been eyeing (who says adults can't dress up for the first day of school?
Touch base with your classmates
If you have been out of touch with fellow students, this is a great time to reconnect. Message them and check in to chat about their summer, and maybe your shared plans for the year. You can even make plans for a virtual study group.
Brainstorm intentions for the upcoming year
Let's go deep here. Before you plunge into term, think about your intentions for yourself as a student: how did you feel about the past year? What things went well and what did you want to improve? How are you going to achieve work-life balance? What new co-curricular experiences do you want to try out? Looking ahead, are there any things you can do now to make you more job-ready for graduation (suggestion: LinkedIn profile?). Write down 2 to 3 goals and post them somewhere very visible to serve as a reminder through the new term. Maybe on top of your newly tidy desk!
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