Need help getting off on the right hoof?: 10 tips for acing back to school


Olivia Barrett / hilltop views

Titouan Grebot (left) and Alice Turelli, two foriegn exchage students from Europe, sit outside the village preparing for their first week of classes on the Hilltop.

It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things, but here are ten tips to get you back into the swing of things.

Get organized. It’s time to start adding everything to your Google Calendar — everything between your research paper on the stars and your best friend’s birthday. Every event should have its place on your calendar so you won’t lose track of your life.

Use Google Calendar. You can keep a physical planner, too, but you might forget to frequently check it one day. That “Syllabus Quiz Due” notification on your phone WILL save your life.

Use Google Docs. Laptops can be unreliable. Sometimes, things get deleted and there’s really nothing you can do about it. Use Google Docs to ensure that all of your hard work pays off. You don’t want to get a zero on that paper you spent hours on just because your laptop battery decided to give out. USE GOOGLE DOCS!

Do everything step by step. Prevent feeling overwhelmed by completing each assignment a little at a time. All nighters are not fun.

Don’t forget to reward yourself. You spent five hours studying for your exam on Friday? Watch an episode from your favorite series. Or make a meal that isn’t ramen and really savor it. You deserve a break!

Make friends in every class. Not only will this help you feel at home, you’ll also have an extra resource. When you miss class, they’ll fill you in. When you’re stuck on a certain topic, they’ll help and walk you through it. Friends are super helpful and sweet. Just don’t forget to return the favor if they ever need it.

Go outside. We have such a beautiful campus and it’d be a waste to stay cooped up in your room all day. Maybe take a walk around campus each morning or read a book under Sorin Oak. The sun will re-energize you and get you to focus on what needs to be done.

Be active. This doesn’t mean going to the gym every single day. You can walk around the soccer field a couple of times a week or do some daily yoga in your room every morning. RecWell also offers a variety of activities including GroupX classes and Outdoor Adventures. Being active will clear your mind and improve your overall well being.

Explore Austin. There is so much to do and see. Make a bucket list of places you want to see, restaurants you want to eat at, concerts you want to go to, etc. You’ll feel more comfortable in this space if you know more of it. Austin is your space. Use it. You’ll have fun and make memories which is also a vital part of the college experience. It’s all about balance.

Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. College is hard and getting back into a routine can be tricky. It’s more common than you might think to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Stop by the Health and Counseling Center and sign up for a counseling appointment. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, reach out to a friend, an RA or a favorite professor. Everyone here wants to see you succeed, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Take care of yourself.