It’s August, and for many of us, that means planning for the upcoming school year. Of course, there’s still time for beach trips and bonfires with friends, but taking advantage of the month to come can make all the difference in making your semester the best it can be from the get-go.
Here are some easy things you can do between now and the first day of classes to give your year a head start:
1. Research a new club to join.
Many of us fall into a rut in our extracurricular involvement and are not taking full advantage of what college clubs can offer us. Sure, you may love your Greek organization or the club that you and your friends joined freshman year. But if you have found yourself with too much free time, not enough diversity in your activities, or just want to make new friends, look into joining a new club that you are passionate about. Take the time to research the organizations that your school has to offer, and find out when and where they meet. That way, you’ll instantly have something new to look forward to in the upcoming semester!
2. Get back into a routine.
Staying up through the night and sleeping all day? Haven’t been to the gym since before last semester’s finals? Take advantage of the last month of summer to get back into a steady routine. Although you may have a late night or two (or many more than that) this upcoming semester, nothing is worse than being completely exhausted throughout the day, especially when you have classes and extracurricular activities to focus on. August is a great time to reset your internal clock for the year and get into habits that you want to carry into the semester.
3. Reevaluate your schedule.
Few things are as stressful as picking your upcoming classes for the new semester. Trying to balance avoiding 8 AM classes, getting the best rated professors, and making sure you get the courses you need to graduate can be overwhelming. Fortunately, summer is a great time to rework your schedule, as people tend to add and drop classes through the summer months. Take the opportunity to look over your schedule to make sure you have chosen what will work best for you.
4. Get your tickets, passes, and more.
If you are as passionate about going to the football games during the fall as I am, you have probably already thought about making sure you can get tickets to every game. Perhaps you are bringing your car to campus this fall and want to make sure you have a place to park. Or maybe you remember having an excess of meal swipes last semester and want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. If any of these situations resonate with you, August is the time to take action. Make sure you stay on top of the materials you will need in order to have a smooth sailing semester, including buying season tickets, editing your meal plan if necessary, staying in control of your parking situation by buying a pass, and more.
5. Create contacts and connections.
If you have a summer job or internship, this is extremely important. No matter what year you will be entering into this fall, making yourself a LinkedIn account and creating contacts with coworkers and managers that you have worked with can be vital for you in the long run. The time to search for internships and jobs for next summer will arrive before you know it, and having connections to contacts that will recommend you or endorse your skills on LinkedIn can make all the difference. Don’t wait to reach out until the last minute!
Remember - little changes, additions and efforts this August can, and will, have a big impact on your fall semester!