College Students

Before Heading Back to Campus

You know it’s coming…no more lazy days of summer! Don’t wait until the last minute to adjust your schedule or complete back to school checklists. Gradually ease back into the routine by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Two weeks before, adjust your sleep schedule
  • Purchase supplies for classes
  • Check to see if your teachers have posted the syllabus for each class you’re taking and do any work that may be due on the first day of class
  • Complete all paperwork required by your college or university
  • Make a packing list of everything you will need to move into your dorm or apartment
    • Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows, etc.)
    • Laptop, or other computer, and printer if needed
    • Desk lamp
    • Photos of friends and family
    • Light bulbs, batteries, flashlight (just in case)
  • Take your car in for an oil change or any needed maintenance
  • Register for SmartExam to receive care for minor conditions while away from home
  • Schedule an annual physical with your primary care provider
    • Refill any prescriptions you may need
    • Talk with your provider about any changes that may affect your health or performance this school year
    • Get any vaccines or immunizations that may be required by your college or university
  • Save money on textbooks by finding a friend who just finished a class you’re about to start and buying or borrowing their book
Use the guide below to help decide if you should rent or buy a certain textbook.

Smart Study Tips

Pretty African American college girl holds a book as she writes something in a notebook. She is also using a laptop.
  • Work in a quiet place
  • Create a list of what needs to get done
  • Put all distractions away
  • Make use of office hours
  • Join or create a study group
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand
  • Review a little each night
  • Create and use flashcards
  • Take breaks
  • Take advantage of resources your school offers (e.g., tutors, writing centers)
  • Use outside resources like Khan Academy or Quizlet to get a different perspective

Be Mindful. Be Aware.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness helps to lower stress, focus the mind, boost creativity and strengthen neural connections.

Steps to Help You Wind Down

  • Dim the lights an hour before bedtime and avoid looking at anything with a screen
  • 10 minutes before bedtime, begin a focused mindfulness exercise like this one…
    • Get in bed and focus on your breath
    • Count to three on your inhale and six during your exhale.
    • Continue doing this for at least one minute or until you’ve noticed a change in your body’s stress level
Profile of woman with eyes closed in countryside.

Textbooks; to rent or to purchase, that is the question

Textbooks are an essential part of going back to school, but who really wants to spend the money to buy all new textbooks? Sometimes renting or borrowing textbooks are better options. The flowcharts below may help you decide how to obtain the textbooks you’ll need for your classes.