Getting Ready to Return to University

As summer wanes, students have to (eventually) prepare for the return to academia. While the prospect of returning to studying, reading classic literature, and writing essays may be daunting, there’s plenty you can do now to make the transition smoother.

Whether you’re preparing for your first year as an undergrad or heading back to continue pursuing your major, these tips will help you prepare for school now without making the transition stressful. Or at least they’ll help reduce the stress inherent in such a huge transition.

5 Ways to Prepare for the Fall Semester

This list is in no way comprehensive or complete. It’s just five ways to prepare that we think will help you get ready for the school year.

1. Register for Classes

This might seem like mundane busy work, but the worst thing that can happen is for the semester to start and the classes you really want to take are full. Stay ahead of the crowd by doing some simple research into the class and the professor, then sign up as soon as you can. 

It’ll be one less thing to take care of later and you’ll be glad you did when you’ve got a spot in that class you didn’t want to miss.

2. Order Your Books

If you’re registered for classes, you’re ready to order books. This is another of those mundane tasks that can really be a pain if you don’t take care of it early. 

For some classes, you may need to order and wait for books to arrive at the college bookstore. And, if you’re anything like me, you like to have those books early so you can start reading ahead.

Even if you’re not a voracious reader, there’s no reason to put off ordering your course books.

3. Read Current Events

Huh? Why would reading current events help prepare you for college classes?

There’s a few benefits here. First, your professors will very likely frame in-class conversation and possibly even some assignment around current events. It’s also notable that the more well-versed and informed you are, the more likely you are to be successful in class.

And finally, it’s just good practice to get into. As you transition past college, keeping up on current events will be entirely your own responsibility. Now is a great time to cultivate a habit of reading and keeping up with current events.

4. Buy (or Make) a Calendar

Shameless Lulu plug

Okay, maybe a wall calendar isn’t exactly what you need. But you should get or make a printed calendar either to hang on the wall or keep in a planner. Once classes start you’re going to be busy. Running to class, homework and other assignments, work, socializing; there’s a lot going on in the average student’s life. 

Don’t rely on your memory to keep all your daily tasks and obligations organized. You need a calendar. Grab one now and start filling in important dates before the semester even starts.

5. Get Organized

Some of us really thrive when we can find something to control and manage. A simple way to take control in your life before it gets crazy with school is simply to organize. 

It could be your clothes, books, files on you computer, or anything. Find the activities that help you organize. 

For me, it’s making lists. And I know this is common enough for many of us out there. When I’m faced with multiple tasks I need to complete, the best starting point is to organize and list them in order of importance. 


And that’s it. Simple and easy to put off, but finding some easy ways to start preparing for school now will definitely reduce your stress as school officially starts.

A final thought; even if you’re a devout planner and organizer, it’s important to take a bit of time to yourself. Go to the beach, see a movie, have dinner with friends. Studying and preparation are important, but burying yourself in school doesn’t work. Remember that summer break is a break for a reason. 

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