The beginning of a new school year can be an adjustment. We’ve gathered up some tips and tricks to help you have the best year possible. Whether you’re part of our Habitat community already, or just looking for some advice, we hope you enjoy this list and have a great beginning of the school year.
1. Stay organized
On top of using a planner or the calendar on any one of your devices, we suggest to also get a big laminated calendar, preferably a four-month one. With this hanging on your walls, you’ll always have a nice visual reminder of what you have coming up, ensuring that you never miss a deadline. On a laminated calendar you can use dry-erase markers to add exams, assignments and all important events and erase them once that date is over. Four-month calendars are perfect for mapping out your entire semester, making it easier to plan ahead and create a solid and realistic study plan. You can usually find these in your school’s book store.
If you haven’t already put your schedule into your phone, which you will most likely always have on you, do so as well! At least add in the most important deadlines and events with Alarm reminders.
2. Get involved
Get involved on campus or in your school’s community in some way! Having something outside of classes on your schedule gives you something you can count on that you are also excited to go to! Getting involved by joining a club, participating in an intramural, and other great opportunities to make some new friends and to give yourself a break from school.
Many clubs and groups also offer up positions at the beginning of the year, which are a great addition to your resume! If you stick with the same club or group long enough, you could even move up to the President position!
Just remember that there is more to campus than the libraries, go explore campus! You might even find a great new study spot!
3. Join a study group
Studying is hard for many of us. Not only following your study plan, if you even make one, but also focusing and holding yourself accountable. This is why study groups are great for lots of people! Split up the readings, questions, and bring everything together and review. Whether you each present or teach everyone else one part that they focused on, talk through the material or quiz each other, it will be incredibly beneficial for most.
4. Take a walk
Exercising gives us energy, and this does not necessarily mean going to the gym everyday. Even a twenty minute walk a day will have amazing benefits to your overall health. If this means taking the long way to class or skipping out on the bus, then it is completely worth it as you will find you have more energy to study!
5. Reach out
Use your school’s resources!! Many have writing clinics and study sessions available. Go to your professors’ office hours and ask them your questions, and get to know them so that when you do need to ask them something they know who you are.
6. Budget, budget, budget
BUDGET – the ‘student budget’ is real and difficult for post people. Although this can be daunting, look at what’s in your account, calculate approximately any money you’ll have coming in each month or semester, if any at all, and starting budgeting.
You can find apps to help you track your spending. You can also create a simple spreadsheet, and as there are many templates in the app and on Google Sheets, you’ll have no excuse.
7. Plan your meals
If not in residence, and you are your own chef, try to start a meal plan. Do a bigger shop once a week, preferably on the day when students get a discount.
When cooking, try to always cook at least 2 servings so that you can have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day! This will save you lots of time! Never go shopping when hungry or you’ll get way more than you need and most likely lots of junk food.
8. Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are feeling over stressed, anxious, worried or anything else, then talk to someone because there will always be someone there to help. Most campuses have mental health aid and guidance counsellors, and even telling a friend who can direct you to these officials is a step in the right direction.
Volunteer! Getting outside of school and do something greater than you, help someone else, make a difference in your community. Even if it is only your community during the school year, go meet new people and if you open up and commit to it, to might even learn something new.
Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga is always looking for volunteers of all positions! Whether it be on-site, in a ReStore, in our ReVive Centre, or in our office, there’s always something to do! Sign up for your first shift on our website in under 30 minutes or less!