We all have the jitters when it comes to the first couple of weeks of a new school year. We get anxiety about missing class, forgetting where our laptops and backpacks are, misreading when the class begins, and being late. We get to the shuttles nearly an hour early to make sure we won't walk in late, even though we might walk in 30 minutes late anyways (guilty!). We all suffer that anxiety, even if it's only syllabus week.
While we enter our first, second, third, or fourth year of college, we begin to realize that all of our days are leading up to our next class, our next assignment, and our next step that will eventually lead to our graduation. We see that our professors and our handpicked classes are going to be those that enable us to find internships and studies that we need for our careers. We see that our minors are suddenly taking up major time, and our majors are dwindling down to our last semester. We have to prepare for graduate school, or even more frightening, paying off student loans.
We have all of these thoughts lingering as we step onto campus during the first weeks of school, but we have to learn to beat our anxiety. Here are some of my favorite ways to overcome the first week jitters.
1. Have a solid breakfast/morning start.
I don't particularly like breakfast, but I will always have something before a long day of classes. While my apartment complex did hand out McDonald's breakfast early in the morning (a very nice treat), I chose to have Dunkin Donuts before my first class the semester. Having even a cup of coffee really changes the whole feel and aurora of the morning. Suddenly, you're awake, you're alert, and you're basically jumping out of your skin, but you're ready to take on the semester. Having a tiny jump-start such as that can be life-changing when beginning your classes.
Pro-Tip: Burnett Honors College gives out free breakfast on Monday mornings if you're taking a class!
2. Keep a planner with you to track your assignments.
Usually, you don't have assignments during the first week or two of classes, but I suggest keeping a planner in your backpack or bag (in general) to make sure that you can write down whatever your professor is saying you have to have done by the end of the week. Whether it is buying your textbooks or completing the Financial Aid quizzes you have to finish by Friday afternoon, if you have a planner or even a schedule maker for the day, you will be able to keep track of all you have to do for that week.
Pro-Tip: Using your "Reminders" app on your laptop (if you have a Mac), the notebook app on the laptop, or even your phone, can all substitute as a planner!
3. Have a copy of your class schedule on you at all times.
Having a set schedule on you for your classes and your activities/plans following is extremely helpful for staying on top of your first weeks of the semester. While you may have your classes memorized, knowing what time you need to get up, get ready, leave for your shuttle, walk to class, get back home, etc., will ensure that you are ready to handle anything. When you begin to have five papers due by Friday night and your professor is making you do an in-class speech on Tuesday morning, you'll be prepared to tackle it all. Knowing your schedule and how to handle your everyday life is better than having no set idea of how to manage your time.
Pro-Tip: Have a set time each day/night that you dedicate to planning the week to make sure you have available time for activities and things that are not school-related, too!
With all of this, I hope you all have a wonderful semester, and make sure you beat the back-to-school of anxiety. Don't worry, you're going to do great!