Whether you’re off to college for the first time or returning after a LONG hiatus and a whole lot of life, the end of August is coming up faster than you think.

Making the shift from summer to school year is a challenge. Here are five tips to help you streamline your transition.

  1. Get an Agenda

If you don’t have one already, having an agenda will help you to organize your time and set study goals and deadlines. Go through your class schedule, course syllabus, and work schedule and block out the times where you will be in class, at work, studying, and when projects and papers are due.

  1. Understand Class Syllabi and Expectations

Read over your syllabi and course expectations carefully. When you understand the material you will be covering and how much work will be expected of you from each class you will be better prepared to plan and manage your time and attention. Be honest with yourself about the workload you can take on this coming semester. You may need to drop a class. On the other hand, depending on the intensity of your course content, this may be a good semester to knock out a couple extra credits.

  1. Communicate with Your Teachers

Start off the school year with open communication with your teachers. When you have a question, ask them. If you are struggling or have a demanding schedule, talk to them about how to best balance this class with the rest of your life. Make use of office hours. Communication with your teachers enables you to get the most out of your course experience and helps them to be the best teacher to you they can be as well.

  1. List Your Academic Goals

Having a list of short-term and long-term academic goals written out will help you stay on target as the semester progresses. What do you want to get out of this semester? What degree or specialization are you aiming to earn? Maybe the goal for this semester is just to figure out what you want to major in. Maybe there are specific aspects of your field you want to focus on. Maybe the goal is to try something new, improve your research or writing skills, or find an internship. Write them down so you can reference them when you need guidance or encouragement.

  1. Having a Job Helps

You may think that taking time off work to study will help by making more time to study, but having a job outside of school actually tends to help students structure their time better. This is a challenging balance for many returning students who have entire lives beyond college. Overworking leads to exhaustion, but going part time while in school can be extremely beneficial. If you’re working in the field you are studying, you will have practical applications for what you are learning in school, and plenty of inspiration and opportunity for papers and projects.

If you are returning to school after a hiatus, or never went to college and instead just joined the workforce, visit TheCareerPeople.com for a consultation on the college credit hours you already have through school and work experience. Chances are, you’re farther along on your path towards your degree or certificate than you think!



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