How I Prep for a New Semester

Even though I feel as if I just finished my last final, a new semester is here and it is time to start preparing for it. If you know me, you know I am a huge planner and love to organize. So, here is a list of the tasks I complete when prepping for a new semester. 

Go through my backpack

A lot can pile up in your backpack after one semester. I always make sure to take everything out of it before classes begin to declutter and remove any garbage, refill that travel size bag of essentials, and wipe it down. This gives me a clean and organized bag to go into a new semester already feeling organized.

Look at the academic calendar on the registrar’s website and write important dates down

The academic calendar is a super important list of dates that I feel many students ignore. This will tell you when our breaks are, what random Tuesday is now a Monday schedule, the last day of the add/drop period, and when exams start and grades are due. I always write these dates down to put in my planner to make sure I don’t miss an important date.

Check out my textbook list

I’m sure you are just as annoyed as I am by the hundreds of emails from the bookstore reminding us to buy our textbooks. Yet, it is important to check out what textbooks you will need for your courses. Doing this before the semester begins will allow you to budget for your needed textbooks, purchase them unrushed, and be prepared for any assignments early in the semester.

Purchase any new supplies needed

Besides textbooks, this can be new notebooks, more loose paper, replacing those dried-up highlighters, and anything else you may need to replace or pick-up to be successful this semester.

Check Moodle to see if any professors have their page up, if they do check it out

If you have not noticed by now, every professor’s moodle page is completely different. Some may not even have one and others may not know how to use it, leaving you confused. I always check Moodle before classes begin and spend some time navigating my professor’s pages and looking at any assignments they have already posted. Importantly, I also hide all of my courses from last semester to keep my homepage decluttered and my new courses easily accessible.

Check self-service for any changes

Up until the first day of classes, the registrar may make changes to the courses you are enrolled in. Make sure to check out your schedule before heading to your classes to make sure the times, hall, room, or professor has not changed.

Go through and highlight syllabi

The most important pieces of paper you receive each semester, the syllabus for each of your courses. I always print mine out in the library and highlight office hours, contact information, important due dates, and test/quiz dates. I keep all of my syllabi in one folder that I keep in my backpack for easy reference throughout the semester.

Fill out calendars 

I may go a little overboard when it comes to calendars, but I absolutely love having one available to me with due dates at all times. I use 3 calendars each semester, a planner, a dry erase wall calendar, and a google calendar. I put all the important dates for each of my courses in my google calendar and planner at the beginning of the semester (color-coded of course). Each month, I also look at either to help fill out my wall calendar above my desk. I love having this to be able to erase all assignments I have accomplished and have a constant reminder above my workspace. Filling out these calendars beforehand makes preparing for assignments and tests so much easier. 

While the 8 tasks listed above are not all necessary to prepare for a new semester, they are the ones I always make sure to complete before heading off to my first class. They help me feel ready to tackle a new semester and I hope they do the same for you!