Three Simple Basics to Get Back Into “School Shape”

By Tyler Eggen, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

Aww, mid-September. The time of year where the butterflies and excitement switches gears to a full schedule of classes and other academic and personal commitments. It is easy to forget all of those first week deadlines and priorities that were laid out before you. Here are some quick tips to get you back to school shape:

  1. Get a Planner: Regardless if it’s a physical or digital planner, you have reached the stage where having a planner is essential. Search your phones app store or go to a bookstore to find a paper one that works for you. It may take a little bit of research on your part; don’t get discouraged if your first strategy doesn’t immediately work. Each person has their own style in how they keep track of everything, but most importantly, there is a system to stay on top of everything. Plus, plugging all of your syllabi into your planner will keep all of those important dates in one place. To help get you started on what your schedule will look like, click here to watch a short video.

  2. Time Management: While it is recommended that you should study before class and write a paper well before its due, that doesn’t mean you have to do it right away (disclaimer: This doesn’t it mean you wait until the deadline either). Plan on scheduling a paper or large project into smaller sections over the course of a few days or weeks. Be prepared that over the course of the semester, the papers and projects only get bigger and take more time, so you are not left scrambling for your other obligations. This will also help save you some time when those unexpected circumstances pop up.  For more time management tips, click here.

  3. Studying: Do you find yourself getting distracted by your phone, your surroundings, or even your study buddy? It might be time that you are honest with yourself about needing a change. If you’re using your phone for music for studying, make sure to put your phone in airplane mode. Studying in your PJs on your couch with your computer might be comfy, but it can slide you back into that zone where you just want to binge watch TV or scroll through social media. Get dressed and go to the library or find an empty class room on campus to study. By committing to going somewhere, you’re committed to studying. But if you bring a partner along to study, make sure that they aren’t the distraction. It only takes one of you to lose focus to have you both losing focus. So before you take your buddy up on studying, you should make sure they understand that social hour can wait until after you’re done for the day. For apps to help you study, click here.

The start of any routine can be difficult at first, especially when you go from no classes to a full schedule. But with the right mindset and focus, you can quickly find yourself in “school shape.” Best of luck this year and let us know if you have any questions!