How to Prepare for a Successful School Year in College


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Prepping for a new school year is necessary no matter if you’re in college, high school, or middle school. If you think about it, our parents have been preparing us for a new school year, year after year, even before that. There is nothing worse than starting off a new year feeling overwhelmed and stressed. So what really is the best way to get yourself ready for a new school year?

Reset your sleep schedule
Sometimes summer has a way of making our sleep patterns nonexistent. We stay up until the crack of dawn for Fourth of July fireworks, late night camp fires, movie premiers, etc. You won’t be able to just magically wake up for that 8 am class feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day in August. A week or so before classes resume, go to bed early. See how early you’ll need to go to bed to get a full night’s rest. Maybe you’ll discover you’re the type of person who needs 8 hours of sleep… maybe only 7.

Plan ahead
Immediately after I get my planner, I check online to find my university’s schedule, and I write down all of my breaks for that year. Then, when my professors post the syllabuses online before school starts, I pencil in every single assignment I have listed for that school year before I even get to class. There’s no doubt that I have a pretty full planner before I even get to class. I like writing out my schedule ahead of time so that when my assignments actually start rolling in, I’m not wasting time trying to write down my schedule as well. It can be a time consuming process!

Color code
Color coding your planner can help you declutter the pages. I do this myself. Orange is for everyday life – doctors appointments, lunches with friends, etc. Pink is for blog deadlines and my post schedule. Blue is for class assignments and school related obligations. Green is for sorority events. This helps prevent notes from running together and you reduce your risk of possibly overlooking something in the process.

Print out your syllabus
Do this before your first class. It will be helpful to jot notes down in the margins while your professor is going over it the first day. You’ll also be a lot more organized than if you were jotting down notes for all of your classes on loose leaf. The hardest part about this step is making sure you actually keep these syllabi in a safe place so your notes are of use to you! Put them in your binder or individual folder for each class.

Do it the night before
This is a great piece of advice for life in general. Whenever possible, prep your bag and clothes the night before. Go over tomorrow’s schedule and outline your responsibilities. In the morning, you can sleep in a few extra minutes, and you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to go!

Did I miss anything? How do you prepare for a successful school year? Let me know below in the comments!

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Ali Lowery
Hi! I’m Ali. If I look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen me over at Ali in Bloom (, my lifestyle blog. I'm currently an incoming senior at the University of Illinois. I love traveling, painting, nature, and anything that makes me smile. Connect with me on social media!