Back to School Advice: Things You Can Do Today to Prepare for Fall Semester

Now that August has arrived, it's time to begin preparation for the upcoming fall semester. Although students tend to wait until the very last second (or later) to get everything together for class, you will feel much more relaxed and de-stressed if you start preparing a few days, or even a week, in advance. Here are five helpful tips that you can use today to start preparing for the upcoming semester.

1. Download and Read the Syllabi. 

Most professors will have their syllabi uploaded to Canvas before the first day of class. Go ahead and figure out how the classroom works before you walk in. By doing this, you won't be blindsided by a professor who has a strict attendance or cell phone policy. Even if you're too lazy to read the entire thing, at least skim over it before class begins.

2. Mark Important Dates in Your Calendar.

If you read through the syllabi, you may have seen an outline of due dates for major assignments in some of your classes. Go ahead and mark these important dates in your calendar or planner. Also, take note if more than two of your classes have a final exam scheduled for the same day. If you do, you have the conditional right to get one exam moved. Contact your professors early in the semester so that you aren't scrambling to move an exam at the last second.

3. Get Your Textbooks In Advance.

It may sound tempting to wait until the first few days of classes to buy your textbooks, just in case the books aren't really required or you end up dropping the class. However, according to the Auburn University Bookstore’s return policy, you can return your textbooks within the first 10 days of class (with receipt). Take advantage of this return policy and get your textbooks in advance. Then if you decide to drop the class, you haven’t wasted any money on textbooks. You don't want the bookstore to run out of stock the day before you have to take a quiz--better safe than sorry!

4. Figure out where your classes are. 

Even if you have been on campus for years, you may still be scheduled for a building that can be hard to find. Also, if you take a stroll around campus ahead of time, you have the opportunity to figure out how long it takes to walk from one building to the next. Doing this will help you arrive on time during your first few days of class.

5. Stock Up Your Backpack with the Necessities. 

You don’t want to show up to class and realize that you left something obvious at home: pens, paper, calculators, etc. Put all of the necessities in your backpack a day or two before to make the morning of less stressful. Go ahead and toss in some granola bars or trail mix so that you can treat yourself during a tough class!