7 Ways to Prepare When Going Back to School

School, like all necessary evils, requires a can-do mentality in order to be survived. A sure way to make one’s academic experience at the very least more manageable or less stressful – if not pleasurable – is to prepare. Wow, I sound like a brochure, don’t I? Okay, real voice now: it’s kind of a chore in itself but preparing for school instead of just heading in with your bullshit improv tactics that mostly consist of taking down notes and hoping to hell the little that you grasp in class is going to amount to academic success. Quit your bullshit. Here are 7 ways to prepare:

1. Reflect and Adjust
A great thing to do before hitting the class halls is to take the time to reflect on your last term/semester/year. Figure out what worked and what didn’t and then with that information make conscious efforts to be better. If you skipped too many classes, you’ve got something to work on. If you didn’t study enough then there’s your academic resolution. The point of reflecting is to take more responsibility for how you perform with your studies and to help you change course.
2. Research your subjects before you hit class
Unless you’re a freshman, you probably have a good idea about the subjects you’ll be taking next. It’s a pretty good idea to study up on your own to give yourself a leg ahead (is that even a real phrase?) before teaching actually begins. I don’t think I need to go into detail about the benefits of reading ahead. If your school is awesome and provides course outlines, then you’re all set to peruse your study material for the upcoming term. For those of us whose institutions could give a shit about helping us prepare by providing the appropriate literature and guides then it’s a good idea to consult members of your upper class to help out with which topics you should look at.
3. Make a study schedule
In my experience the best way to study is to be organized about it. That means having a study schedule. Yes, there are folks who can just wing it and still do well in class and exams but those assholes people aren’t you now, are they? Before you even get to your school, make a study schedule and stick to it. A study schedule will help you not feel overwhelmed during those trying times of tests and examinations since you’ll already have been covering the material everyone else is cramming a couple of days before.
4. Meal Prep
Meal prep is basically ­­­­means planning and preparing meals in advance. Preparing your meals beforehand is a great way to save time, money (since your dumb frivolous spending ass won’t be swayed by take-out lunches) and it’s also a great way to maintain healthy eating.
To help get you started, check out these (and then modify to your tastes and financial ability (in other words, try to find a way to do this on the cheap):
5. Plan your outfits
A week ahead or at least the night before, make a habit of planning your sartorial choices. It saves time (more than you would think) and makes for a more organized morning routine.
6. Make to-do lists (and follow through)
Making lists is a time-honoured means of staying on top of your shit. It helps you remember the important tasks you need to complete and puts focus on them. The mere act of writing down a task increases your chances of completing it (42% in fact). Also use lists to divide up a lot of work into manageable chunks to do a little bit at a time. If you don’t want to use a physical list why not use an app to keep up with the tasks you need to do electronically.
7. Trim the fat
Okay. This one is a toughie but highly pragmatic. The company you keep at school can greatly affect your performance and general well-being. If you spend a substantial amount of time with people who jeopardize those things, my dear, it’s time to proverbially trim the fat. Now listen very carefully, I am not advising you to cut people off all willy-nilly. I’m telling you to consider the people who are good for you and those who are not, and I’m telling you to be more conscious of the time and effort you dedicate to them.
You’ve reached the end of the brochure! Congrats.

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