If you’re reading this post it means you’re either heading back to school or planning to after a period away. In any case, I want to commend you. If you read my post about going back to school as a 30 year old, you know it wasn’t easy for me initially. Fear not, you smart and incredible human, you got this!
This post will highlight how with proper planning and the right attitude, you too, can overcome some of those anxieities and conquer your first semester back.
These are just a few things I did to help me navigate my first semester. This list is not all inclusive, and you should feel free to customize it to your personal needs, goals and lifestyle.
- Memorize your schedule
- Print it, write it down, post it to your fridge or mirror. Do whatever you can to memorize your schedule. Doing so early on is key. Planning around your schedule is easier once you don’t have to keep referencing it.
- Keep a planner near by
- Carry a planner around like your life depends on it because it kind of does. This is another planning tip. I use different colored pens for each of my classes to jot down important dates.
- Keep a journal
- The semester will undoubtedly be difficult at some point, and it may not even be related to schoolwork itself. It can be things going on in your personal life, but whatever the case, I found journaling to be a helpful tool for me to decompress. Journaling has other benefits, too, according to an article posted on Psychology Today such as a tool to evaluate your emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and aiding in coming up with solutions. They also describe some negative effects like becoming to introspective or using it as tool for blame rather than solutions. Just know that if done so properly it could be helpful.
- Ask questions
- If you are returning to college after a long hiatus like I did, you might notice some differences. This is ok and totally normal, but you have to ask questions if you don’t understand a process. I can assure you most people will be more than happy to help you become familiar with the way things operate at your university.
- Keep kind to yourself
- Returning to school after a long break can be difficult, but remember that you have a goal, and you can reach it, so be kind to yourself. Be patient.
- Positive attitudes!
- Embrace the change and the challenge. You’ll get a handle on things a lot quicker if you maintain a positive attitude about the experience.
There you have it. A short but totally manageable tips to get your first semester on track.