Hello everyone! Happy August!!! Can you believe it? July is over, and we’re halfway through the month! Gosh, I’m hyped up when I realized that it is back-to-school month!!! Who’s excited? And who wants to start the semester fresh and organized? So for today’s post, I thought about sharing a few things I want to do before school starts.
Set yourself up for success.
How? By setting goals and knowing your whys. What are your goals? Is it to stay organized throughout the semester? To stay on top of your deadlines? To get good grades? What do you want to get out of at the end of the semester? Why?
Setting goals and being clear on what we want to achieve directs us towards a path of achieving them. In addition, it is also as important to ask yourself why in every goal you have and follow it up with more whys in every answer for at least three times so that when you are in a slump or you don’t feel like doing it, you will have a strong why to go back to that will help you get back on track.
What I personally recommend is write them out and create a vision board. A vision board is basically a collection of photos and quotes that will motivate you and remind you of your goals. It should be placed where you will see it all the time. It can be your wallpaper on your phone/computer, or it can be printed and pasted in front of your binder, planner, or even your wall. Here’s the left side of mine from last year:
Create a schedule and plan.
Getting clear of your goals is not enough to make that happen. These goals will only come to fruition when it’s combined with planning, scheduling, and action. Yes, things sometimes don’t go according to plan, but you can always make new plans. Whether you use a traditional/digital planner or bullet journal, it doesn’t matter as long as it is something that works for you. It is where you will put your daily schedule, to-do lists, appointments, and due dates. It will help distribute tasks on each class and stay on top of deadlines. Also, don’t just create to-do-lists, schedule them.
I don’t know for you, but for my school, there are two types of online classes. One is fully online, meaning there’s no meeting time. It’s basically learning through reading your textbook, articles, and watching recorded lectures or other videos and you will submit your work according to the weekly deadlines. You will only be informed about this schedule on the first day of class so it’s okay not to include this for now. The second type is like the face-to-face-classes where there’s a fixed schedule for meeting times through Zoom or other apps and you are already informed of this when you’re choosing your classes.
Here’s the tentative schedule that I made using google calendar:
Declutter and organize your digital files.
This has become important because of our current situation. Most of us, if not all, will be having a fully online semester, and we are on our computers/laptops all the time, and so you would want your digital space free of clutter and organized.
Have a file system to keep your files organized. As for me, I’d like to have a main folder with the name of the semester + year, in this case, “Fall 2020.” In that folder, I will have sub-folders, which are all the classes that I am enrolled in. Inside the folder of each course will have several folders again to categorize each file.
Organize your desktop. Have all the programs and folders that you will need easily accessible. I love pinning all the programs that I will always use in the taskbar and the folders that I need on the desktop. It will help save time because almost everything you need is on your screen, and you don’t have to look for it in your documents folder or on the start menu screen. Also, it is a plus to have a cute desktop wallpaper. As for me, I love having the one with a calendar because it is easily accessible every time I need it.
Categorize your bookmarks and arrange them into folders on your most-used browser. Just like your files in school, it will save a lot of time if your bookmarked sites or pages are arranged per category as it will be easier to find them.
Organize and tidy your physical space.
Since we are going to study from home, it is necessary to have and maintain a clean and organized physical space. Have you ever experienced wanting to clean and organize your space first before studying? Or while in the middle of your study session because you are getting distracted from the clutter? I have experienced that all the time, and to tell you honestly, it is stressful. Most of my time and energy are used from cleaning, and the next thing I know, I only have a few hours left to study for the day. So you wouldn’t want that. When your stuff is all over the place, you will have a hard time looking for them.
Having a designated study space is also a must. Whether you will have a separate room for that or in a corner at your bedroom/living room, it doesn’t matter as long as it is somewhere you will have fewer distractions. Your bed is not an ideal place to study because it is too comfortable, and you’re sitting in a way that will make you feel sleepy. So if possible, have a designated study table and chair. This setting will look like you’re in a classroom setting and will make your body feel that you’re in study mode. Also, it helps to make it inviting, something that will make you motivated. Surround yourself with things that you will need, and that will remind you of your goals.
Buy school supplies and stock up on necessities.
This is, by far, one of my favorite activities. Who doesn’t want to shop for school supplies? I hear you! Start thinking about note-taking modes you’ll be doing. Are you going to take notes digitally or traditionally through paper? This sometimes depends on the subjects you’re taking. For example, all my classes, except for one, are math and physics so it is not ideal to be taking notes digitally, in my opinion. So I am going to need notebooks, pens, and all that. Also, this is the best time to start borrowing, renting, or buying your textbooks to have access to cheap deals. We all know that it costs a fortune to purchase textbooks at the school’s bookstore.
Also, stock up on necessities. Don’t get me wrong, I love grocery shopping and it’s a way for me to take a break from studying and get out of the house. However, sometimes I find it a bit tiring especially when I start to get busy with school + work. Hence, that made it to the list.
Start incorporating your routines a few weeks before school starts.
What time do you plan to wake up every day? When will you do your routines/habits? By practicing it a few weeks before school starts will help you adjust earlier. A common thing we need to fix is our sleeping schedule. We all know that since the summer break, the majority of us have been sleeping late and waking up late. This will be challenging and difficult to adjust to for some of us and it is best to start it a few weeks early.
Enjoy your remaining vacation time!
It is important to get ready and be prepared for the coming semester however, it is also as important to enjoy the remaining weeks/days before school starts. Do the things that you enjoy and that brings you joy, whether that’s binge-watching the series that you’ve been wanting to watch, having movie marathons, blogging and scheduling future posts, or going out to have some fun with your family and friends. If you’re going to do the last one, protect yourself and practice social distancing.
I just finished my summer classes last Monday and for the past week, I spent some time to rest and recharge. I’ve also gone back to work three weeks ago and it was fun and tiring probably because my body is not used to it anymore since I haven’t work for almost 3 months. Oh, the body aches. 😅 School starts on Monday so I only have the rest of this week to finish doing this list but no pressure because I also want to continue enjoying this short break.
Online classes are very challenging and it may seem like a lot of work for some classes especially the ones that are difficult by nature but what matters is that we find a way to thrive and succeed. And yes, it will make us more responsible and mature.
When does your school starts? What do you do before it starts? What are you looking forward to this semester? What are your goals?