How I Prepare for a New Academic Quarter


I start school this Wednesday and while I’m excited to get back into the swing of things, I’m also super stressed. It’s not really the classes that stress me out, but more so that I’m starting my junior year of college this year. This means  that in the next year I’ll have to start getting serious about applying to grad school and about planning what I want the next phase of my life to look like. But, that’s a stress for another day.

Plus, I’m working a new job 15 hours a week with a night shift. I’m a bit nervous that it’ll be really hard for me to balance the new job with school.

For now I’m just getting ready for the next quarter. I know that for some of my readers, you all have maybe already been in school since August or earlier in September, but I think that these tips can still be really helpful.

Get a Plan

How much can I talk about planners? Well I love planning. Every year I do my best to refine my planning system in order to keep me productive and organized. This year I’ve opted to use a two planner system. I seems excessive.

My primary planner/organizer is the Get to Work Book. I find that the Get to Work Book is a lot more minimalistic and functional than other popular planners like the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Happy Planner. The planner is very much geared to people that want to get stuff done, like the name suggests. There’s a lot of room to write to-do lists, take notes, and make your goals/tasks actionable, rather than intangible.

This planner is bulky, so it lives on my desk for the most part. I plan on taking it to the library with me when I start on the homework grind.

My secondary planner is a Moleskine Weekly Notebook (that I bought in Italy oooohhh fancccyyy). This planner is very portable and compact. It’s not big enough to make any serious to-do lists, but its size makes it convenient to carry to my classes. I plan on using the Weekly Notebook to write down quick deadlines that I get in my classes, events, and paper due dates. After writing them in this planner, I will then add them to my legit planner on page flags. I prefer to put these deadlines on page flags because in my classes the due dates end up not being definite. It annoys me to have to cross them out of my planner, so at least on the flags, I can move them around if need be.


Funnily enough, school is not great for my mental health. The stress exacerbates my anxiety a lot. Before I start school, I like to get myself into a good state of mind my incorporating self-care that will be especially beneficial to me into my pre-school (not like preschool…but like before school starts, ya dig) life.

For example, on the week that school starts (since it starts on Wednesday) I start going to the gym again. Working out is a great way to start my day because it helps me get into a good headspace and work off some stress. Once school starts, I make extra sure to make workout a priority in my life as it helps manage my anxiety and depression.

This week, I additionally plan on spending time taking care of myself like painting my nails, doing a face mask, and making sure that my dorm is clean. All of these things are important self-care as they keep me calm and help me to take care of myself.

If it’s difficult to make self-care apart of your daily schedule, putting it into your planner like any other thing on your to-do list that needs to be done can be helpful. I plan on putting my face masks, walks, and other things into my planner.

Find My Classes

Now that it’s my third year on campus I don’t really need to go out and search for my classes, but it can be nice to take a walk around to figure out how long it’ll take to get to each class. I like to use this time to also find the best route to get to class, so that I can get to each one on time.

Hang Out With Friends

Once school starts, my free time is definitely a lot less…free. With three classes, working 5 hours a week, and being the co-editor of the undergraduate geography journal, I don’t much time to just chill. I like to use the time before I’m back in school to relax with my friends and foster these meaningful relationships to help them last through the school year.

How do you prepare for the new school year? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @travelingcurl. 

  • Ahhh really great tips! I’m really excited to get back to studying, I miss the social side of it! 😀 xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara | (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

    • Gwynn

      It’s funny, I had a good time this summer, but I’m so excited to be back to school! I hope you have a good school year!