Starting school soon? If you follow these tips for beginning the school year, you’ll be prepared for an optimal learning experience!

The beginning of every school year is a new opportunity to achieve more and do better than you’ve done in the past.

You can always play catch-up later on, but making sure you set yourself up for success from the start is the best way to ensure a good experience.

If you follow these tips for beginning the school year, you’ll be prepared for an optimal learning experience!

1. Set Goals

The best way to avoid disappointment is to set small, manageable goals for yourself.

Don’t start by saying, “I’m going to make all A’s this semester.”

Instead, say, “I’m going to make an A on this assignment.”

Then, continue to set new incremental goals that will eventually land you with all A’s.

Always define your goals clearly and write them down. If it’s not written down, you haven’t made it a goal yet!

Telling yourself you want to get good grades is great, but being specific puts more at stake.

Post these goals in places where you’ll see them regularly. Your bathroom mirror, a corkboard in your dorm room, or on your refrigerator are all great places.

Be realistic, but don’t sell yourself short!

2. Get Organized

At the beginning of the school year, it’s easy to keep track of things in your head, but after just a few weeks, you may begin feeling overwhelmed.

Keeping a calendar to track your classes and homework assignments is helpful, but what about the rest of your life?

Having all of your future activities laid out in one place will make your life a whole lot easier in the long run. You won’t forget important dates down the road, and you’ll know when you have time to relax.

Take advantage of the beginning of the school year by becoming an expert on course requirements. Memorize important due dates like major projects, exams, and papers. Being aware of these tasks will give you a head start on completing them.

Keep your notes organized by having a separate notebook or folder for each class. Label the outside of the notebook or folder so you never get them mixed up.

3. Build a Routine

Having a routine is one way to ensure you’re productive. It also gives you a frame of reference to show you where you can improve.

The best way to build a routine is by planning ahead.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps you get the rest you need and keeps your internal clock consistent.

Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time in the mornings for a good breakfast or a quick bite to eat so that you’re not rushing to class every day — which is exhausting.

If you have time after class, plan to do your studying or homework right away. There’s no better time to do homework for a class than immediately afterward.

You’ll complete it faster because the information is still fresh in your brain, and if you review it again later, you’ll get more of it into your long-term memory!

The important thing to remember is to make time for studying and to stick to your plan.

4. Keep Up Instead of Catch Up

Instead of reading five chapters the night before an exam, do yourself a favor and learn little bits of your course material over time.

Professors usually do a good job at breaking large sums of information into manageable chunks, so stay on task with them.

Reviewing your notes every night will help the information stick better and for longer.

The second you’re having trouble keeping up in class, ask your professor or their assistant for help. There’s never anything wrong with that!

5. Take Care of Yourself

For some, self-care comes naturally, but for the go-getters out there, it’s easy to forget about your body’s basic needs from time to time.

Forgo the pizza, and eat a well-balanced meal instead. Your brain will thank you.

Spend your early mornings at the gym or late afternoons on a jog instead of in front of the television.

Put your phone down, and meditate for fifteen minutes. You’ll be amazed at how great your body and mind will start to feel.

Top all of that off with a healthy sleep regimen, and your goals might just manifest themselves into reality!

At the same time, don’t become so strict about your schedule that you forget about being human. Relaxation and self-care are crucial, so make sure to reward yourself with a movie night or a pizza every now and then.

6. Make Friends

Since we’re talking about being human, you should try and make some friends while you’re at it.

Playing sports or attending some social events will give you a chance to relax and forget about the stress of being in school. Just don’t get too crazy (remember, you have goals).

Who knows? You might even make some friends who you can study with!


Setting goals, getting organized, and building a routine are essential when preparing for the beginning of the year, but they will only take you so far.

What’s most important is that you never quit.

Life will always throw you curveballs, but if you follow these tips and commit to following through, your school year will be a home run!

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Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Pullman to help them with their online marketing.