How To Prepare For Fall Semester

Whether it is your first semester of college, or your last, it can always be a little daunting preparing for a new semester. Today I wanted to share my best tips for getting ready for a great semester.


I swear by my planner. This year I got the one pictured above from TJ Maxx. It has an identical layout to Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Co. planners, which I absolutely love! It also came with stickers… so obviously that made it even better! I recommend researching different planner options to find the one that suits you best. Depending on your schedule, you might want something more basic or you might be interested in more expensive ones that offer daily pages. It is totally up to you, but get one that you love so you will be enticed to use it the whole year. 


If you moved back home for the summer, or if this is your first time going off to college, you will want to start packing weeks in advance. I recommend keeping a running list of things you need to buy on your phone, and put stuff that you need to take and won’t need to use during the next few weeks in a certain spot. For me, I use a corner of an extra bedroom that we have to keep all my stuff separate! 


I recommend at least researching your book options and what books you need before you head into the semester. But don’t feel like you absolutely have to buy them before the semester starts. If you find one that is really cheap, I do recommend going ahead and purchasing it, especially if you know that you will definitely need the book. I go to a smaller school, and I know that if the book is listed online, the professor will actually use it. But I have friends who go to bigger schools that don’t purchase a single book until they talk to the professor about it. 


When I first went to college, I found it hard to buy supplies ahead of time since I no longer got handed a specific list of what I need for each class. But I have found over time that I am definitely a binder girl, so I make sure to get a binder for each class, and usually a few notebooks in case I have a class or two that is very note-heavy. Lots of my profs just do print-outs though, so binders are awesome! Even if you aren’t sure what exactly you need yet, you do know that you will need a reliable laptop, pens, pencils, and probably highlighters. 


In addition to buying your new planner, I recommend setting it up ahead of time. Look at any syllabuses (syllabi? Who knows lol) that are already posted online and add all deadlines into your planner. You can also add in appointments and birthdays! 


I also recommend printing out your syllabus before the first day of class. Some professors print it out, but also some expect you to come to class with your own copy. This also helps when you are writing down your important deadlines! 


Before you dive into the new semester, try to set a few goals for yourself. It can be academic related, like making the Dean’s List, or it can be personal, like going to the gym 2 times a week. Figure out what you want to accomplish this semester and go from there! 


This one is really important if you are new to campus, or if you go to school at a large school. As I mentioned earlier, I go to a smaller school, so I know where basically all the buildings and classrooms are. But before freshmen year, my sophomore suite mates showed me and my roomie around so we wouldn’t get lost on the first day, and it was SO helpful. 


Yikes. Some of you might have a summer job and wake up early even in the summer, but try to get on a decent sleep schedule before school starts. Also take into account if you are moving to a different time zone. I spend the summer in central time zone, but lose an hour when I go to school in eastern time zone. So even though I wake up by 8 most days in the summer, when I go back to school waking up at 8 is wayyy harder since my body thinks it is only 7! 

How do you prepare for a new semester? Share in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett