Each semester of college is full of surprises and lessons both good and bad. Whether you’re just beginning your college experience with your first fall semester ever, or you’re starting the final chapter with your last fall semester as a student, there are things every undergraduate can do to prepare for the months ahead.
To properly prep yourself for the fall semester before you head back to school, consider the following:
1. You won’t wear all the clothes you bring (not even half)
Probably one of the biggest burdens of going back to school if you lived elsewhere over the summer is packing and unpacking when you move back to campus at the start of the semester. Make these tasks much easier on yourself by considering a harsh truth that most of us seem to avoid—you will not wear even a fraction of the clothes you pack for back to school.
For both guys and gals in college, a major first-semester excitement can be the fall outfits you’ll get to wear. Who doesn’t love boots and a scarf? But while you may have each outfit planned out in your head, never to repeat an article of clothing, the sad truth is, a lot of these outfits will go unworn.
When packing, think about things you need for college in terms of quality instead of quantity. What will get the most use? If you have little room in your dorm room or off-campus apartment for clothes, make sure to dedicate that space to clothes you’ll actually wear and wear often.
2. Keep an eye on your grades from the start
With all the exciting things going on around your college campus during the fall semester, it can be easy to start to forget what you’re mainly there for (an education *cough, cough*). With higher education comes higher standards, and professors don’t let up on workloads just because it’s fall and there are college football games and tailgates to attend (though we wish they did).
This means it’s imperative to keep an eye on your grades from the get-go. Bookmark a semester grade calculator at the beginning of the fall semester, and make that webpage your new best friend for the next few months of classes. Crunching numbers to figure out your grades in each class can be tricky if you’re not a math person. A semester grade calculator fixes this problem and lets you easily keep track of how you’re doing in each individual class to help you avoid falling behind.
3. Don’t ignore the dorm checklist
It’s easy to forget even the most important things when packing for back to school, especially since the lifestyle can be very different at college than you’re used to at home. Whether you’re living on-campus at your university or in off-campus housing, it can be super helpful to review a college checklist or a college supply list before you head back for the fall semester.
If you’re given a college dorm checklist ahead of time, follow it. There’s nothing quite as bad as getting ready to take a hot shower on your first day back and realizing you don’t have shower shoes because you completely forgot to bring any. A quick Google search can give you a list of college necessities and our checklist to help you jumpstart your brain and get packing properly.
4. Choose classes and professors wisely
Choosing college courses at the beginning of a semester will set the scene for the many weeks to come. Of course, there are core classes you’ll need to take for your major as well as college electives you can choose from. While you should choose your classes based on what’s necessary for your degree, it’s also helpful to check out the professor who will be teaching that class.
Although there are plenty of good professors out there, there are also some crummy ones who will make life difficult or be a total bore during class. Thankfully, there are professor reviews websites available all over the internet such as Rate My Professors. This site can help you figure out which professor will work best with your learning style and be most beneficial for you and your learning. A quick search before solidifying your class schedule can save you from a lot of regret in the future.
What are your must-haves items and top priorities when you head back to school for fall semester? Tell us what we missed in the comments!