Starting a new semester always seems easy until the work starts rolling in. However, you can reduce stress by preparing for your school year.  With just these simple steps, you will know how to prepare for a new semester.


Get a planner
Having a planner is a must in school. It helps by reminding you of all the upcoming appointments, events, assignments, readings, etc. Your planner can be either digital or in paper form. I prefer using both as back up. A little insiders tip: sometimes you can get a free planner in your students’ centre or your school.


Use your syllabus
Now when I say that this is an essential tool that you will use for the whole semester, I mean it. I’m serious. Do not underestimate the importance of your course outline. Now let me explain why it is the most useful tool and how to use it. Your course outline will give you details on what you will learn for the semester. It will outline your readings for each week and what the professor is looking for in your assignments. It will also show you how much each assignment is worth. If used correctly this will be your guide to an A.


How to use your syllabus
• Once you get your course outline, look at all your readings in the week breakdown. Then transfer the information to your planner.

• Now locate all the assignments in your course outline. Write down all the assignment names and due dates in your planner. Repeat these same steps using your other courses outlines.

• Periodically look at your outline for extra information regarding your assignments or your upcoming exams. The outline usually provides great detail in what the professor is looking for within your assignments and exams.


Make an assignment list
An assignments list can also be a helpful tool. Using all your course outlines, write down each assignment in chronological order. An assignment list should have four columns:
1. Class
2. Assignment
3. Due date
4. Checkbox (for completed work)

To help get you started, I have added a printable blank assignment sheet for you to fill out. Just click here for your sheet.


Make a study schedule
Everybody knows that the readings can be overwhelming, but this is where a study schedule would come in handy. A study schedule is a weekly schedule where you block out time for studying, traveling to school, eating, sleep, getting ready, etc. You should start by writing down the time you wake up and get ready for your day. Then insert your traveling time and class hours. Once done, include your study time. Keep in mind that every class you’re taking requires five hours per week of studying. These five hours can be broken down to one hour per day for one course each. Keeping up with your schedule can help lower stress.

Click here for a study schedule template


Buy textbooks
The cheapest way you could get textbooks would be through other students on Facebook and Kijiji. Always bring someone with you when buying textbooks through this method for your safety. Another method is purchasing textbook through Amazon.


Know Your Resources
Many other bloggers don’t talk about this. This is why I thought it would be helpful to add this in my list of important things to prepare for a successful semester. All students must know the school resources that are available to them such as your student centre, career centre, writing services, disability services, etc. Once you have familiarized yourself with the available resources, you should set up your support system. You can do this, by making a simple list.


That’s it. Now you’re off to a great start.


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