25/08/2015

Get Prepared For The New School Year/Semester

I'm probably one of the few people looking forward to going to college. I've been in education for too many years but this will finally be my last! I love being able to start over ever year and getting organised is something I do enjoy. Here are my top tips for getting ready to go back to school/college/uni!

As soon as possible/3 weeks before:

HAVE A HUGE CLEAROUT

This is the first thing I do every time I need to get organised; in fact I actually love looking through everything that I have to see what I need to add. This includes clothes, stationary, textbooks, CDs, DVDs, notes from previous years. This is my favourite thing to do when I have nothing urgent to do;  actually enjoy tidying and de-cluttering. Sell or donate clothes, trade-in any books/CDs/DVDs you don't like or need anymore, see if you can sell your old textbooks to other students and recycle any old notes if you don't need them anymore. I like to take everything out of my wardrobes first and sort through my clothes and shoes before moving onto my drawers and shelves. It also helps to do this slowly over the week if you can. Just put on some music and clear away!

WRITE A HUGE TO-DO LIST

After you've had a mass clearout, start by writing down everything that you need to do from now until you go back to school/college/uni. This could be shopping, printing off paperwork, meeting people online, gathering information for something, keeping your desk in order, reading, transport; the possibilities are endless. This list is entirely personal so look for inspiration online but make sure the tasks are relevant to you. When completed, stick it somewhere that you'll see it every day: on a pinboard, on your mirror, inside your wardrobe door. And make sure you tick stuff off once you've done it!

WRITE A SHOPPING LIST AT THE SAME TIME

Whilst writing your huge to-do list, it would be a good time to write a corresponding shopping list. I like to break mine down into wardrobe additions, desk/course supplies and miscellaneous. Wardrobe additions covers any clothing, shoes and accessories you might need, course supplies means any stationary, storage and electronics and miscellaneous literally is everything else: interior decorations, toiletries etc.

START SHOPPING AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

When you've written your shopping list, go straight online to look for those items that you need to buy on the Internet then go out to the shops! I find that the week before school starts that the prices of stationary shoots up as does the price of some clothes stores. Most places have plenty of offers on for the weeks leading up to it but they know how forgetful people can be and that they will pay anything if they need the item! I also like to buy certain items such as pens and notebooks in bulk because I have enough shelf space and storage for them.

SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Once you get back into a routine, you will have much less free time than you do in the summer. You'll have homework, revision, extra-curricular activities, travelling, part-time work, blogging etc. For me, Mondays to Thursdays will be 5am to 7pm days with my weekends spent at work. This means I will only really have Fridays free; however I imagine I will be using most Fridays to do all of my studying! Luckily my course ends in March but those closest to me luckily understand that I'm sacrificing a lot to do this course and that my eyes are fully focused on gaining the best grade possible.


2 weeks before:

SORT OUT YOUR MORNING/EVENING ROUTINES

A couple of months ago, I bought this amazing book about organising your whole life. It splits everything down into one area a week and my favourite two sections are based on your morning and evening routines. Basically, it suggests writing everything down that you need to do every morning and evening as well as things you'd like to do such as exercise. Next you have to prioritise and put your tasks in order. Many things on the morning list such as make breakfast and lunch can be put on the evening list if you prepare enough. Try to group certain tasks together such as cleansing your face, putting your make-up on and brushing your teeth. Once completed, stick them somewhere visible!

ORDER TEXTBOOKS AND GIVE THEM A READ

If you have the money, it's a good idea to buy your textbooks in advance if you can because the prices increase ridiculously once the term/semester starts. Before bed, try reading a few pages every night so you know what you're getting yourself into!

DESIGNATE A 'SCHOOL/COLLEGE/UNI-ONLY' ZONE

This basically means you do your work in one place, you deposit all paperwork in one place (ideally the same place) and this place is just school/college/uni. Because my bedroom is on the smaller side now, my desk is in the spare room. Next to it, I have storage drawers for my stationary and a shelving unit on one wall where I keep all my notebooks, folders and textbooks. It helps that I actually like being organised but it means I can find things instantly. I only sit at my desk when I have work to do; it's my serious space so  can get in the right mindset.

START YOUR MORNING/EVENING ROUTINES

Start getting up at the time you'll need to when you go back to school/college/uni. I'm not looking forward to waking up at 5 every morning and going to sleep at 9 but once I get used to it, I'm sure it'll become second nature. If you practise your routines before you officially need to do them, you may find you get through them quicker than you think and might be able to fit in a workout or an extra 10 minutes in bed!


1 week before:

CLEAROUT YOUR COMPUTER AND HARD-DRIVES

I don't know about you but I collate so many photos on my computer and never look at them; I scour the web for photos of fabulous outfits and different types of workouts. I also seem to keep old assignments on my computer too. Going back to school is the perfect time to have a deleting spree. If you have loads of stuff to store, I suggest getting an external hard-drive so you can always refer back to it if you need to, plus it's important to back up your files!

UPDATE YOUR CV

While you're clearing out your computer, it would be a great time t update your CV. Add in any new grades you might have, any work experience you've done, any new skills you've learnt and any new hobbies you might have discovered. Also, make sure your address, phone number and email address are correct/appropriate.

ORGANISE YOUR PLANNER

This should be your number one item on your shopping list! It can be difficult sometimes to fill out until you go back to education because you don't get much info until you do go back. Before that, try to fill in everything else you can- birthdays, events, shifts at work, holidays from school, anything important to you (for me, I include rugby fixtures). I like to colour-coordinate it by type and modules too.

SCHEDULE A 'ME-DAY'

For me this is so important; I spend so much time helping others that I need to make some time for myself sometimes. Choose at least one day where you have absolutely nothing to do- no work, no plans. Then do whatever you want to do: treat yourself to a pamper day, go out and do 'fun' shopping (clothes of course!) or spend the day watching movies and stuffing your face with chocolate! Whatever you find fun, do it today!

GET A HAIRCUT

I love starting a fresh every year so this to me is vital. You can combine it with your me-day above on a pamper day or just when you can slot it in.


The night before:

STICK TO YOUR EVENING ROUTINE THEN RELAX

Get your clothes ready for the week, sort out your bag for tomorrow, get your lunch made and make a to-do list fir the next day. Once you've sorted that, have a relaxing night and go to bed early!


Any more tips for going back? Leave me a comment below!
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