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Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Prepare for Back-To-School

For many, the last week of August is reserved for two things: soaking up the last few moments of summer vacation, and scrambling to get ready for back-to-school. But not me! Instead, I enjoy my summer straight through 'til September 1st, and spread my back-to-school preparation so thinly through the summer months I hardly notice it. Here are my tips for getting ready for Fall Semester while enjoying every second of your summer!

No one likes to feel rushed, especially if you're preparing for your first year of College. Maybe you're transferring schools, or going back to school after a few years off. The first week of school is always hectic and jam-packed; finding your classrooms, solidfying your timetable, and getting to know the campus will undoubtedly take up much of your time. So I like to get a few key things out of the way during my summer.

#1. Hunt for Textbooks Early

Colleges charge a fortune for textbooks, and I find this completely unnecessary. So to avoid the stress of having to stand in hour-long lineups at the university bookstore during the first week of classes, I start searching for my textbooks early. Lots of college websites will provide a book list for you based on your timetable. If not, you can always e-mail your future professors and ask them which books will be required. Often times, not all of the books on your book list will be required, so talking to your professor can save you tons of money and time. Once you know which books you will require, you can search at your local bookstore (i.e. Chapters), or online (i.e. I recently purchased one of my textbooks on Amazon for $0.01. I'm not kidding. I only reccommend you do this if you know, for sure, which classes you will be taking. It's mid-July right now, and I already have three of my required textbooks! Of course, if you have your textbooks early you can start reading a little before school starts!

#2. Think About Fall Clothing in the Summer

The fashion industry is always months ahead, and it seems silly! But, in reality, it's quite smart. I like to re-vamp my wardrobe each year, but instead of running to Forever 21 to buy three month's worth of sweaters October 1st, I start keeping my eyes pealed for fall and winter clothing during the summer. If I see a cute sweater on clearance, I pick it up and put it in a box marked "Cold Weather Clothes" so when the time comes, I have a new, weather-appropriate wardrobe ready to go! Prices for winter clothes seem to go up in the winter, but in the summer off-season clothes are often on clearance. Beat the back-to-school crowds and get some of your shopping done early!

#3. Out With the Old, in With the New

Back-to-school is always a very refreshing time for me. Unopened packages of paper, empty binders, brand new clothes. The one problem is, with all these new back-to-school items, my drawers and bags seem to get quite cluttered. So, during the summer months, I slowly start clearing out my old belongings so as to make space for the new! I find starting off a new school year (or starting off at a new school, for that matter) is much less stressful when my life is free of clutter. So, during the summer if I notice some eyeshadows that are cracked and old, I throw them out, anticipating my urge to purchase new "fall colours." Or if I come across a sweater with holes in it, I get rid of it, knowing I'll be purchasing new sweaters for the fall and winter months anyway.

If you're going to be moving out in the fall, maybe into a university dorm, or other accommodations away from home, it's good to consider how your room will be left in your absence. Do you need to pack up all of your belongings? Will your room be left untouched? Will your nosy little brother read your journals if you leave them in your room?

The summer before I started university I went through my room and put a lot of high school memorabilia into boxes. I noticed, throughout the year, my room filled up with new things: textbooks, dictionaries, notebooks. I'm somewhat of a hoarder. I hate getting rid of things, plain and simple. But clutter made my life more stressful, so I've learned to just get rid of things I never use, or at least put things into storage.

#4. Make a List!

It's been said before, and I'll say it again: put it in writing! Start making a list of what you need for school over the summer. Carry it around with you, so whenever you think of something you can write it down before you forget it. For example, when you're going through your desk and you notice all your highlighters are dead, put it on the list! If you know you'll need to purchase bedding in the fall, put it on the list. That way, when the end of August, beginning of September rolls around, you won't be standing in Wal-Mart wracking your brain trying to remember everything you need to do and buy.

Those are my top four tips for getting ready for school early on! September is hectic enough, so why not take care of what you can early on? Everyone else may be back-to-school supplies shopping August 31st, but I'll be at the beach! Will you?

Twitter: @SororitySisKels

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