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As the start of the school year begins, the amount of time spent binge-watching Netflix obsessions must lessen, or at least be prioritized with upcoming work and deadlines.

Traveling toward that goal of a shiny diploma requires great patience and dedication — two attributes that can be difficult to find as summer break comes to an end. Though it seems impossible, there are many strategies that can help us smoothly integrate back into the hustle and bustle of the school year.

Be prepared

Be productive by establishing a balanced routine — stay up to date on deadlines, finish necessary daily tasks and schedule personal time to relax and destress. Furthermore, implementing a proper sleep schedule, meaning roughly eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, can ease the transition from summer break to the start of another school year.

Make lists to keep organized, and track what tasks still need to be completed. A visual inventory of any assignments or errands that need to be done gives a more structured layout to the day. Additionally, seeing a list of completed projects can serve as motivation and encouragement, providing extra inspiration to finish that final assignment.

Having a planner, whether through an app or on paper, improves time management and productivity, according to a 2019 Forbes article. Though spending a copious amount of money on stickers and planners is not necessary, it certainly makes the organization process more enjoyable.

Prior to the first day of school, locate buildings where classes will be held to develop a route for the semester and ease the anxiety of being lost or late to class. Finding shortcuts between classes and scoping out the best study locations before they become too crowded is an easy way to be prepared. While navigating campus can be a challenge, knowing the ins and outs of the area overcomes any worries of getting lost.

What to bring to your living space

Understandably so, one of the first items on the essentials list is a coffee maker.

A few of the more forgotten items include a power strip, an umbrella and an ice cube tray.

Students typically need to charge more than one device at a time, and a power strip enables them to accomplish everything at once. With the unpredictable weather of the unforgiving Midwest, having an umbrella or raincoat on hand is a logical decision.

Ice cube trays can help make ice for drinks that may not fit in the small fridge.

Similarly, a calender is an especially nice touch, as it can be used for both functionality and decor.

Being comfortable in an unfamiliar space will tremendously help students ease back into class. Personal touches, such as posters or decorations, help give the room more character and also bring the comforts of home. Finding inspiration on Pinterest boards is a great way to reflect personality.

Goals

Everyone has goals they’d like to meet throughout the year, but there are a few general ones students can help each other meet.

The first goal is every college’s motto: “Get involved!”

In all seriousness, looking into clubs or campus activities is an achievable goal that can be beneficial.

Students should also strive to make connections. Making friends or creating connections with professors can seem like a difficult task, but it’s important to remember how valuable these relationships can be.

On top of joining clubs, using resources such as the University Writing Center and the Learning Center will be an important asset for every student.

While going back to class after a long summer break can seem difficult, there are numerous ways to get prepared and feel confident for the year.

Exploring campus and finding hidden gems is a simple action that can bring excitement to the year.

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