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5 Tips for College Kids to Tackle the Back-to-School Struggle

By: Maria Werner-- 2015-12-26 9:00 am --

Second semester is always harder than the first. After stuffing yourself with cookies and relaxing with family and friends, the return back to school feels like a dreaded chore. Nonetheless, it’s what every student has to do in order to meet their academic goals and thrive in their desired profession. Here are a few tips to make the return to school easier and less burdensome.

  1. Set your academic goals. You’ve already reviewed your grades from first semester. Are they what you expected? Do you think you could improve? Make a list of the ways you could enhance your academic approach for the coming semester and create actionable tips for making that a reality. That could mean establishing an additional study hour for a class that you have trouble in or signing up with the tutor center at your university.
  2. Ease into early wakeup calls. After sleeping in until noon for the last few weeks, those 8 a.m. classes can feel brutal. Ease into it slowly by setting your alarm a little bit earlier in the days leading up to spring semester.
  3. Reduce back-to-school spending. College is expensive, but it isn’t just the tuition costs that weigh on the minds of students. Supplies, textbooks, and needed electronics also add up quickly. If you need a new computer, consider purchasing a refurbished computer for a reduced price. Used textbooks can usually be purchased online or from friends who have taken the class before. By purchasing bulk school supplies, you can get the lowest price per item, allowing you to reduce your back-to-school spending. Gather a group of friends to purchase supplies in bulk, so you can access the lowest available prices and ease your financial stress.
  4. Order all textbooks early. Campus bookstores often sell out of popular books early, leaving many without textbooks their first week of school. This inevitably results in getting behind, which can result in a stressful start to the spring semester. Order your textbooks as early as possible to ensure you secure all of the reading materials you need.
  5. Get organized. Clean out your backpack, organize your folders, and ensure you’re fully stocked prior to the first day of classes. Pack your backpack the night before, so you aren’t scrambling for supplies in the minutes before class. Showing up late to your first class guarantees a sloppy start to spring semester, and preparing your supplies the night before can ensure you make it to class with time to spare.

Winter break provides a long, much needed rest from the school year, but it can be hard to motivate yourself for spring semester. By planning all of your academic goals in advance, practicing those early morning wakeups, and ensuring you are fully prepared with all of the books and supplies you need, you can reduce the stress of returning school and get off to a successful start in the new semester. To reduce the financial stress of academia, frugality is key. With used textbooks, refurbished computers, and wholesale school supplies, you’ll be able to conquer your entire shopping list, while still having money left over.