Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beginning Of The Semester To-Do List

For the first time in my life (that I can remember at least) August does not mean back to school. I am so used to a fresh start each August with new school supplies, teachers, and routines, so it is a bit odd not having that this year as well. Last year it nearly felt like an overload during the back to school season since not only was I preparing a classroom for all of my students, but I was also preparing for another semester of grad school. I think the double duty from last year should make up for the fact that there isn’t any school on my horizon this year. Having been through countless new semesters, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my best ways to prepare for new classes as they kick off for many of you this week. Even if you’re not in college, taking these tips and altering them to fit your own lifestyle will help to ensure that you start out a new school year on top of everything helping you to feel less overwhelmed in the long run.


top // skirt (similar here and here) // bag

Write Down Dates From Your Syllabus In Your Planner

I really loved the first week of school in college. I got to get back into a routine, see my friends, and begin to prepare for the semester ahead. In addition to choosing a good seat in class (because let’s be real, they aren’t assigned but where you sit the first day tends to become your unofficial assigned seat) and settling back into the routine of going to the library, I love opening to fresh pages of my agenda in preparation of writing down my schedule. Moral of the story, I am kind of a nerd.

If you’re in college, the first couple of classes back tend to be full of discussions about the syllabus that the professor has prepared. In high school, most of my teachers also provided students with a syllabus of sorts however they didn’t contain as firm of dates as those you get in college. Regardless of how many dates are included in the syllabi you receive, I find that I feel more prepared for the semester when I have written them down in my planned. As a very visual person, it helps for me to see everything in the monthly overview and ensures that I won’t forget anything important from assignments and presentations to tests and finals. Take some time while you have it to get it all in one place so that you can save yourself some time in the long run.

Update Your Resume and Linkedin

With a bit more free time as the semester kicks into gear, try to use at least a little bit of this time wisely by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. Whether you’re sharing the activities you are participating in or are including the classes you’re taking on your profile, updating this as updates come makes it less of a chore when you’re applying for jobs or internships in the future.

Admittedly, I didn’t make a LinkedIn until the spring of this past year and I so wish that I had used this tip throughout college. For the longest time, I didn’t think I needed a LinkedIn since in the teaching profession it often isn’t something that is requested on applications. While my profession didn’t necessarily need one at the time, you never know when you’ll be like me and choose to change gears entirely. Creating a LinkedIn from scratch all at once surely led to me leaving important things off. If you don’t have one, use this as your opportunity to make one!

Stock Up On Groceries

This really applies better to those of you in college who may not be benefiting from home cooked meals all the time. Go ahead and get your big shop out of the way before you get stressed by meetings, homework, and tests! There are basics that you don’t necessarily think about needing until you do so take some time, make a list, and go ahead and get what you need. Snagging a few extras of your favorite study snack or drink is also a great idea if you have a bit of extra storage space! Nothing is worse than coming back from a long night in the library hungry only to realize that you don’t have anything in your fridge or pantry.

Create A Place For Everything

I always get excited when it comes to moving into a new space since I love to decorate and have a fresh start! One thing that I tried to do in college aside from just making my room look pretty was to make it functional too. By creating a place for everything, I was able to keep things organized and in their place which made my room a very relaxing environment. I know myself well enough to know that if I’m tired and don’t have a place for something I will slowly begin creating a pile that will grow over time and becomes overwhelming. By stocking up on organization supplies for my closet, desk, and the underbed area, I was able to keep clutter tidy and avoid the pile that could have resulted.

Organize Your Supplies (And Computer)

This tip is a bit like the last although it applies to your supplies instead of your space. If you haven’t stocked up on supplies, then you’re going to need to do that first, but if you have, then you are ready to organize them in the way that works best for you. For me, that always meant designating a specific color notebook and folder to each subject. I also did my best to color coordinate those notebooks and folders with the color that I used to write down that classes assignments in my planner. While I know not everyone is quite as concerned about that as I am, it is what worked best for me each semester. Since we are at a day in age when hand writing assignments isn’t a reality, I would also make a folder for each class on my computer. This would help me to make sure that no assignments were misplaced and everything was easy to access!

I’d love to hear any of y’alls tips for starting a new semester out strong! Anything I’ve missed?

5 comments :

  1. Good tip on updating my resume, Dorothy! Mine has been left in the dust for quite a while now, since I began working where I am now more than a year ago. Time to brush it up! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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