Monday, 25 August 2014

Back to School: A Few Last Minute Things To Do (From One Student to Another)

Pretty in Pink movie (1986) 

So it's August, and you're cramming in as much fun as possible, too busy drinking away thoughts of the fall semester to worry about textbooks and professors just yet. You've got tons of time left, right? 

Even though it is possible to get ready at the last minute by buying everything for your first week in The Bookstore, being stressed out is hardly the way you want to get this year started. Prepare beforehand to save yourself time, money and stress. That way you can truly enjoy the time you’ll spend in the beer gardens or other awesome WOW events. 

Here are just a few things you’ll want to try:

To start a semester off with a clear head, de-clutter your space. Re-organizing clutter by using a storage system or with simple disposal will leave you with a clean, open area for your studies. However it’s not only beneficial to studying, research has proven that we sleep better in uncluttered, tidy spaces because of the eliminated stress. Get your much-needed sleep by taking twenty minutes out of your day to clear out old, unnecessary items.

Do the toss: start by cleaning out old papers and clutter. Don’t be shy when 
you’re throwing clutter out; if you haven’t used it in months and have to justify the object, then you probably can do without. Notes from last year’s courses you won't need can go straight into the recycle bin! Accumulated pens and pencils should also be disposed of and replaced if you’re left with no ink. 

Now do the same for your trusty backpack! During the year our backpacks collect some of the most obscure objects and debris; some old ear plugs from finals, crumpled up papers, notes that are no longer legible and whatever else found its way in there, it's time to clean it out

By organizing your desk and surrounding area, you’ll be more time efficient with your studying. Keep valuable drawer space tidy by investing in low cost drawer dividers, which can be found at Wal-Mart or Target (and which usually sell for around ten dollars each). For notes, use file folders, colored sticky tabs and organization apps on your phone, iPad or laptop to work out an organization system for notes and textbooks to avoid losing handouts and getting off track with assignments. 

Getting ready for the new year means re-stocking supplies and buying new textbooks. Stock up on everyday necessities such as: cue cards, highlighters, pens, notebooks and sticky notes, this will save you a scavenger hunt half way through studying and will save you money if you buy in bulk. 

You can save yourself the dreaded Bookstore line up by purchasing required textbooks before the first week back. Worried that you won't end up using them? Find out which professors actually use their textbooks at reviews. For used textbooks, check out InfoLink’s Used Books Registry to find students selling theirs. Arranging to meet on campus means no line, no hassle and a great price, all while helping out fellow students! 

If you do make the trek to The Bookstore to get your books and check out the cool University swagger, stop by the InfoLink on the main floor of SUB to get your Fall U-Pass. Stopping by in August will allow you to beat the lines for the first day of class rush. It also means that you’ll have your U-Pass all ready to go for your first transit ride of the new school year.

New to the University?

Getting around campus can be confusing, especially with summer construction, so plan a visit to map out where your classes are and to discover the quickest ways to get around. While you're here be sure to check out the great places you'll want to hit up during coffee breaks and find your nap niche using our Napping 101 feature. Familiarizing yourself with the layout is key to feeling comfortable, after all this is your new home away from home! 

Don’t forget to attend Orientation to get your OneCard and to learn about all of the handy tips and tricks that will make your first year an awesome one.

There you have it! Use these tips and you'll stay ahead of the game throughout the semester. Share your how you get ready for the new semester by tweeting to us @YouAlberta !

About the Author: 


Hi, I’m Paige! I’m a fourth year student aspiring to become a Conference Interpreter after completing a bachelor of arts in French, Spanish and Japanese. I have a passion for everything cultural and am a total linguistic nerd. 

Away from my favorite study spot on campus, you can find me training with the Rowing Team or taking naps wherever possible. I love getting involved on campus and meeting new people so I’m always attending events happening around the University. 

I hope to share stories that highlight student life at the U of A; showcasing the bright and creative minds we have here at the U. I also hope to provide you with helpful tips to improve the time that you spend here on campus.


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