Back to School Survival Guide

Summer is slowly winding down and, before you know it, we’ll be back in class guzzling coffee and scribbling down notes. Stay on top of your academic game with our ultimate Back-to-School Survival Guide. We’re bringing you everything you’ll need to build an awesome start to the semester – from must-have supplies to helpful hints and tips. Navigate your way through the Fall Semester with ease!


The first day of classes can feel like a whirlwind, but being prepared is a sure-fire way to alleviate any extra stress. Have these items on hand and you’ll be ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

  1. Planner: Write down any important info or deadlines. Start off organized and it will be easier to maintain throughout the semester. Don’t want to use a regular agenda? Try an app like PocketLife Calendar – sync it with your Google calendar to manage and modify all deadlines and class meetings.
  2. Refillable water bottle: Pick one up at your campus bookstore. Staying hydrated will help you keep your focus throughout the day.
  3. A small snack: Nothing can break your concentration like hunger. Try bringing one of our favorite brain foods and stay on task.
  4. Notebook + folder: Have extra paper just in case. Use the folder to keep any papers or handouts in order before you separate them by class.
  5. Class schedule: Have the building and room numbers on hand. Don’t be scrambling to find your classroom a minute before class starts. Whether you carry the paper or input the info into your phone calendar, find what works for you.
  6. Extra pens: It’s not worth it to risk running out of ink.
  7. Class textbook: Some professors kick off the reading on the first day. Don’t be unprepared.
  8. Cell phone: This item comes with a stipulation – make sure it’s on silent! Have your cell phone on hand in case you need to double check any information throughout the day, but DON’T let it be an interruption.
  9. Any assigned materials: If your professor says to bring in something the first day, make sure you actually bring it.


Give your semester a bit of structure and making your way through the sea of assignments and group meetings won’t seem so bad. Check out our helpful hints for a successful semester:







Figure out your schedule ahead of time.






Map out your classes and do a dry-run. There are few feelings more frustrating than the one that settles in when you’re lost. Don’t risk being late on your first day.

Get organized the night before. This is a tip that’s worked since elementary school. Lay out your clothes, pack up your bag, and your morning routine will run smoothly.

Pay attention to deadlines. Input important dates and deadlines into your calendar as soon as you know about them. At the beginning of each week, figure out what’s coming up and make sure you have it done.

Avoid distractions. Whether your weakness is social-networking or just regular socializing, avoid distractions that will impede your productivity. Find a quiet study spot of your own and know that, when you’re there, you better get to work.

Just 15 minutes can make a difference.

Wake up 15-minutes earlier than you need to. Giving yourself the extra bit of time will make you less rushed and, therefore, less stressed. Take time to enjoy your morning.

Give yourself a break. Don’t forget to take time to relax. Whether it’s a nap or hanging out with friends, your body – and mind – need to recharge. We’re not saying to blow off studying and sleep the day away, but after a long week you can afford to give yourself some rest.


You’re all set for a fantastic semester.  Do you have any tips to add?


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