The back-to-school season is coming! 

Moving from high school to college can be a big transition.  

College is the first step into adult life that determines one’s future and waiting for it can sometimes become a nerve-racking experience. 

As summer ends, many of you are now thinking about how to prepare for school. These are 8 helpful tips so that you are ready for this new chapter.  

  1. Complete the paperwork 

Before you get too excited and start throwing all your belongings in your suitcase, make sure you have done all the necessary paperwork the University requires. 

Last-minute paperwork could include things like housing forms or choosing a meal plan. Taking care of this paperwork as soon as possible will make the process of moving or returning to school much easier. 

  1. Pack up 

Starting to pack to move to college or back to school can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re trying to pack the last 18 years of your life! 

Keep in mind that most likely, you will have to share a room with a couple of roommates, so try to pack the essential supplies you need for college. University dorms are furnished with essentials (bed, chair, desk) so you don’t have to worry about bringing furniture. 

If you’re really trying to cut down on the amount you need to pack, remember that you can buy things like new towels, sheets, and toiletries once you get to school. 

  1. Meet your roommate. 

Meeting your college roommate is a great way to start a social life on campus, even before you arrive. After all, your roommate is likely to be your first friend in college. 

 It’s also handy to get in touch with your roommate to find out what each of you are bringing to college. Maybe you can bring the TV to the room and he or she can bring the mini-fridge. Some roommates even plan a color scheme for their room in advance, so they can choose matching bedding. 

  1. Know your Faculty 

This is an important tip: never forget that the class is not limited to the classroom. Your professors have office hours for you to discuss the material being presented in class or other related interests you have. Take advantage of that and use them to review class materials, build rapport, and request for assistance should you need it. Not only will this help you understand your coursework, but it will also give you an edge in finding internships, preparing for future courses, and making connections that will last well beyond graduation. 

  1. Treasure your syllabus 

As soon as you receive the course syllabus, make a schedule of all deadlines and assignments for the rest of the semester. This gives you the ability to plan and be prepared. You can set alerts to start key projects or prepare for important exams. You should also review your syllabus frequently because they contain teacher expectations, guidelines, test tips, and other clues that can be valuable throughout the semester. 

  1. Get yourself a study buddy or study group 

Making friends is not only important for your social life. They can also help you improve your grades or study better. Getting a study partner or joining a study group to review classwork can be the difference between passing or failing a semester. Participating in study groups is also like getting a group of free tutors and helping you with different study methods for your classes. If you’re not sure who to hang out with, or maybe you’re a little shy, you can always ask your teacher to introduce you to other students who might be interested in meeting outside of class to study and get extra help.

Some universities have specialized departments to enhance student academic success, where you can schedule tutoring with a teacher or a meeting with a study group conducted by students. Make sure to look for this in your university research.  Arkansas State University Campus Querétaro has the Student Success Center, which is a place where students can go when they need tutoring, advising, or counseling.

  1. Choose the best room to study in. 

Your study space is a critical part of being able to study effectively and efficiently. It’s important to find an environment where distractions are minimized, and you can maximize the amount of work you get done. After all, your academic success can be easily influenced by a host of factors, including the learning environment. Therefore, where you study is equally as important as what you study. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box for study spots, though. New reports show that changing location when you study can help you retain better information. The theory says that alternative locations serve as a sort of “guide” and help your brain organize and catalog concepts and materials. 

  1. Train your thinking muscle. 

We hope you’ve found yourself doing some mental exercises over the summer, but if you’ve just been catching up on your favorite TV shows for most of your vacation, starting college classes can be a bit of a shock for you. 

Before you go back to school, try reading a bit, solving some puzzles, doing a crossword, or Sudoku, so that your brain is in top shape and ready to think hard. 

Taking the necessary steps to get back to school may seem like a hassle, but the more you prepare ahead of time, the more you can enjoy the start of classes. Whether you are starting college for the first time or returning to school for your senior year, tips like these will help you make the transition as easy as possible. 

Arkansas State University Querétaro

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