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5 Steps To Being Prepared For Back-To-School

August 9, 2018

Whether you’re helping someone get ready for a new school year or continuing your own learning, learn how to be prepared for back-to-school.

I know what you’re thinking – it might be too soon to discuss back-to-school too loudly. August is still in its early days which means there’s plenty more summer to enjoy. But getting ready for a new year of school is not something that can be done at the last minute. If you’re a parent, this can be especially true if you’re dealing with kids at the college level. Whether it be their first or last year, there’s a lot to get ready for. Or maybe it’s you yourself preparing to head back to school. We’ve previously looked at the growing trend of adults continuing their education. No doubt you have a lot on your mind about the possibility. So while you don’t need to abandon summer fun, it’s a good idea to start thinking ahead to how best to prepare for the coming year in school. Here are some simple steps to follow to keep yourself on the right track.

Make a to-do list.

Whenever confronted with a situation that requires a significant amount of work, preparation and organization – as back-to-school certainly does – the best starting point is the old-fashioned to-do list.

Nothing sets you off on the right path like this tried-and-true method. When you have so much to do and the first day of school is creeping up on you, it’s good to have a comprehensive and clear look at what needs to be done. Start with the big items. What is of top priority to get you or your child ready for class? Jot down everything you can think of. Then expand off of that. Think about those individual tasks and what you need to complete them. Talk to your kids or anyone who can offer insight so you are not missing anything crucial. Once you have a definitive list, it’s just a simple matter of checking everything off.

Make a shopping plan.

Any parent will know that back-to-school shopping is a major deal. It can get rather expensive, too. We’ll tackle some money-saving tips for your back-to-school need next week, but for now let’s look at how best to organize the forthcoming shopping spree.

Your kids might not have appreciated the event much when they were younger, but for university kids, back-to-school shopping is a whole different ballgame. Gone are the days of glue sticks and safety scissors, but now you have to fill dorm rooms and apartments along with their backpacks. If you’re returning to school, you’ll likely be more focused on the classroom necessities, but it can still be overwhelming. To help handle the challenge, categorize your shopping list and determine what you need. Think about classroom essentials, look at the class information you have so far, then move on to bigger things. What does a college student need for the school year? If possible, ask others who have taken the class or gone to the same university. Your shopping list will probably be quite unwieldy but from there you can make reasonable cuts and narrow things down accordingly.

to-do list

Make an attack plan.

Once you have a shopping list and a to-do list set out, you now have to look at how to bring everything together. That might seem pretty easy, and the preplanning certainly helps. However, you need to approach the actual completion of the to-dos in a way that is on schedule and in a way that you can manage.

Let’s start with the schedule. While summer will be around for a while, that first day of school is certainly coming faster than you think. And that doesn’t mean that you have until the last minute to put everything together. Again, there’s going to be a lot to do and you certainly don’t want to be rushing everything in the week before. Take a look at your to-do list and start working it into your schedule. Determine what is time-sensitive and when it needs to be done by. Of course, when you are making a schedule, you need to take into consideration what you can handle. Packing in too much will have you running off your feet for the rest of August. Prioritize, consolidate and delegate – that will help the whole thing get done much smoother.

Address the stress.

In all the craziness leading up to the start of school, you can ignore the emotional aspect of it. As a parent of a student, you are likely feeling certain anxiety about your child going off for the year in school. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first child going away or your fourth. It still stings. You don’t want to burden your child with those feelings, but it’s also important you don’t leave it unaddressed either. And you can bet your child is having some mixed feelings as well. Give them the opportunity to voice their concerns. Discuss the anxieties and offer any reassurance you can. If you’re the student in this case, don’t feel that you’re too old to be nervous about school. As we previously discussed, there are a number of worries older students have about returning and they are perfectly legitimate. Ignoring any such feelings is only going to make things worse.

Get excited.

While there are certainly anxieties that go along with school, there’s a lot to be excited about as well. When the butterflies in the stomach start to flutter, it’s time to remember why it’s all worth it in the end. Remind yourself or your child of the adventures that lie ahead in the new school year. New people to meet, new experiences to be had, new things to read and a whole lot of new things to learn. Give encouragement wherever it’s needed – and that includes yourself. Because as hectic as it might be preparing for a new school year, for proud parents of students or students themselves, it’s all worth it in the end.


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