Prepare for School: Five Things to Do Now


Priscilla Doran, Contributing Writer, Hixson TN

All year long, we dream of summer. But as summer fades, the school year takes us by surprise. If you’re someone who hates waiting till the last minute, here are some productive ways to get ahead for school. 

1. Check your schedule.

As soon as you can, check the student portal for your class schedule. If you’re going to be a freshman in college, you may already have it. Knowing what classes you have can help you study ahead, find the right textbooks, and organize a study plan. Try emailing the teacher, too; tell them you’re excited for their class and ask them what the best study methods are–flashcards? Illustrations? Graphs?

A professor told me that students who fail his class often say they used the wrong study method. Don’t let this happen. Make sure you have the right study plan for success! Plus, knowing your classes helps you mentally prepare, too.

Even if you don’t have a schedule released, if you look at your high school transcript and see which classes you’ve completed, it can give you a good idea of what you have left to do.

2. Write down important dates.

Use a calendar to track events. If school starts on the 8th, schedule your last day of work on the 1st. Plan a shopping trip on tax-free weekend. Go clothes shopping. Sign up for the cross country team. The good thing about schedules is they help you balance many activities before they happen, so you aren’t scrambling to finish tasks on the deadline.

3. Inventory your school supplies. Create a shopping list.

Do you have mechanical pencils? Protractor? Pencil case? Once you know your classes, it’s time to make a list ahead of time–before August hits. Many students recommend shopping on Tax-Free weekends to take advantage of special offers–and, of course, no taxes.

Plus, it’s better to have a sense of the items you need instead of going to a store and randomly picking whatever is on sale.

The same thing applies to clothes. What do you need for fall activities? A new coat? School uniform? Shopping isn’t just for supplies.

If you’re in college, consider what you’ll need for a dorm room. If you need something like a fridge, microwave, or desk lamp, start looking now.

4. Add some structure to your day.

I know–this probably isn’t the fun part. But if you need to wake up at 5 for school, try to introduce a pattern of earlier waking and earlier bedtimes – habits matter. Use the summer to build habits that will help you in the fall.

If schedule adjustments won’t work this summer, at least create a list of goals to complete every day, no matter the time. My daily goals are having quiet time, writing time, exercise, and math time. The hope is that your daily goals build a good foundation of work and study before the school year arrives.

For example, if you’re going to be on an athletic team this fall, or a science team, using the summer to study or train would be helpful, especially since those things can get put on the back burner when school starts.

5. Have fun!

Whether you’re on vacation, finishing a summer job, or hanging out at home, make sure not to stress about fall too much. At most, you’ll only be able to get a few things done at a time. As long as you’re planning ahead, emailing, and budgeting your time, it’s the most you can do for now. Summer is about relaxing, so don’t forget to do that either. Not every day will be a big shopping success or checkmark on the to-do list–and that’s okay.


Good luck!