If you're like me, you LOVE syllabus week - a time to catch up with the friends you've missed, transition back to living in your college apartment or house, and ready yourself to work hard by playing even harder. However, preparing for the onslaught of work, sleep-deprivation, and stress can hit you like a brick wall. And so, my friends, arm yourselves with the knowledge of a recent grad - this year, you're gonna be prepared, and you're gonna KILL IT.
1. Keep yourself accountable.
This was the most important thing that I did for myself when transitioning to classes from syllabus week was setting small, attainable goals for myself. "You're going to get to sleep by 12 tonight" or, "You went out for dinner last night, tonight you're going to cook." This helps with transitioning back to living at school, as well as balancing out that budget, since it's probably likely that you spent a bit during your version of "Welcome Back" week.
2. This is an obvious one, but DRINK WATER.
Not just to keep you from getting sick - water is super important for a ton of reasons. When you drink a lot of water, you don't only help out your liver, but your skin, your hair, your stomach, and your muscles will love you too! Water helps with enflamed muscles from running around and staying up late all week, it helps keep your skin clear and bright (and helps prevent/clear up those dark circles under your eyes), and helps if you're feeling nauseous, sleepy, or just generally crappy. I'd highly suggest getting a water bottle with time markers to make sure you drink however much your goal is every day. I'd recommend starting with half a gallon a day - work your up to a gallon or two every day! It'll do WONDERS for you - I swear by it! I'd start hydrating as soon as possible before classes start.
3. Get a cute planner (that you'll *actually* use).
I'm the worst when it comes to spending way too much money on a planner that I end up neglecting by the 3rd week of classes. However, if you find one that's cute enough to stay exciting while also being organized and spacious enough to not stress you out, I'd highly recommend putting in the time and money to find one that's perfect for you! In my experience, it's always best to get one that has lots of space for writing in plans can make your brain feel like you have more time, which is a major stress-saver.
4. Prepare your class introductions in advance.
Yes, really - be that extra! There's nothing I hate more than thinking of a fun fact on the spot when doing ice-breakers in class. That being said, here are a few ideas:
- I love...(pizza, hiking, Vampire Weekend, dogs...)
- A funny memory of me is...
- The most random thing I own is...
- My dream job is...
- My guilty pleasure is...
- This summer I...
5. Exchange class schedules with your friends.
My housemates and I used to each print our schedules and put them on the fridge so that we could coordinate times to hang out, study, get lunch between classes, etc.! This way, you can get into your routine without the added stress of trying to figure out a time when everyone is free while also juggling 5 essays, 3 projects, and 4 quizzes.
6. Make yourself a mini-mergency kit.
Think: ibuprofen, contact solution, hand sanitizer, a bandaid or two, tissues, tweezers, nail polish remover. Keep this in your bag. Good for that random headache during class, better for going out after your 8PM exam.
7. Be kind to yourself!
This is the most important thing to remember. Remember that you're human, and you will make mistakes. We learn from them! Whether that means that you need to study a little bit more for your next quiz or drink a little less at your next house party, don't beat yourself up for little things like that! You're in college to learn, and that means more than learning how to engineer a self-driving cart or how to analyze an 18th century opera. That being said, preparation for every aspect of college life is key! Set yourself up for success as often as you can, but don't despair if things don't always go as planned. Remember, work hard, play hard, prepare - for both - harder. Now, go kill it this semester!