5 Back-to-School Tips for University Students

By Western University Modified on August 22, 2022
Tags : Campus Life | Fun & Games | Relationships

Class is almost back in session... Here are the must-knows from a 4th year student.

5 Back-to-School Tips for University Students

Article written by Western University political science graduate and incoming law student, Maddie Hill.

Class is back in session!

Call me nerdy, but I've always loved school. Back-to-school season has always been one of my favourite times of the year; I love its anticipation and freshness.

Ever since I moved away to university, back-to-school has been busier than ever before. Between moving back to a new city, reuniting with college friends, and figuring out where my classes are... I've always felt like there's a lot to do.

Here are some of my favourite things to do once you're back to school in the fall:

1. Wrap up any last-minute errands

If you're like me, you always forget something on your move back to school. I like to move back to my university town a few days before my classes start so I can get settled in. During this time, I like to get any essentials I may have forgotten at home and hit up the grocery store. I also like to pick up my textbooks before classes start.

Pro tip: order your textbooks online to avoid (some) of the back-to-school lines at The Bookstore.

2. Budget!

This isn't my favourite thing to do... but it's really important. Before each school year, I like to create some kind of a budgeting system. Additionally, I like to scope out places where I can get student discounts, which is a great way to save some extra cash! Personally, I only do certain tasks, like grocery shopping, on discount days.

3. Plan to get involved

Post-secondary is what you make of it: if you choose to be involved, you will be rewarded with new connections and crucial interpersonal skills. At Western University, specifically, "Clubs Week" is a great chance to scope out ways to get involved and allows you to see all the clubs that are offered on-campus. These types of events tend to run at the start of the school year, so keep your eyes peeled for them!

4. Read the syllabus

This one isn't my favourite either... but it has to be done. Oftentimes, your professors will distribute your syllabi — outlines of your courses — before of your first class. I'd recommend giving them a read, as they'll give you a feel for the upcoming semester. This can be helpful in deciding whether you want to stay in a class or switch it out for something else. It is also a good idea to write down all the key dates listed in your syllabi so you don't lose track of them.

Just to give you an idea of how important this is: in my first year, one of my professors hid the answer to a test question in the syllabus. The syllabus was around 15 pages, and they hid the answer deep in some seemingly boring text. Only a handful of students got the question right on the test, even though we all had equal access to it. In conclusion, I learned my lesson that day and have read every syllabus since!

5. Above all... have fun!

This is 100% my favourite tip on this list! Back-to-school season means reuniting with friends, reestablishing your own routine, and re-immersing yourself in campus culture. Back-to-school season is all about having fun before any academic obligations kick in! Be sure to enjoy this period before you start to get busy with assessments!

Good luck this school year... I'm rooting for you!

Preparing for your first day at Western

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