Back to school tips for the fall semester

Keep these tips in mind to have a successful term

Staying organized with deadlines, planning which courses to prioritize, and making time for the things that make you happy are some tips to have a successful term at KPU this fall. (KPU/Flickr)

Staying organized with deadlines, planning which courses to prioritize, and making time for the things that make you happy are some tips to have a successful term at KPU this fall. (KPU/Flickr)

Even though summer technically doesn’t come to an end until Sept. 23, for many of us, fall is in full swing due to the semester start. While the warm weather is coming to an end, a new school year and fresh start is here and ready to be embraced. This is a great opportunity to work on or keep up your GPA to get to know your instructors and classmates. 

Some students may be out of the school routine if they took the summer semester off and thus haven’t been at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since April. Others will barely feel like they even got a break if they took summer courses. There will also be some new high school graduates, students transferring from other institutions, or those heading back to school. Whatever the case is for you, these tips will help you get into the back to school rhythm. 


Stay organized with your deadlines 

Remember that deadlines are actually a good thing! These dates can help you work ahead on assignments and keep you organized if you have work from multiple classes due in the same week. 

Most instructors give assignment due dates on the syllabus, so you have no excuse of being unprepared when the day comes. If you don’t have a physical calendar or dislike using the one on your laptop, lists can be another solution. At the start of each week, I like making a paper list of everything I have to do for each class that week. I also write down dates of when essays, midterms, and other assignments are due, which forces me to start thinking about them.


Figure out which courses to prioritize 

Now that you are organized and staying on top of your coursework, it’s important to check in with yourself and figure out what class you might be struggling with the most. If you are taking a full-time course load, you’ll notice in the first few weeks of the semester which course will take up more of your time and energy. 

Students often put more effort and focus into the courses they feel confident in, however it’s better to do the opposite. That being said, don’t forget about your other courses along the way. For example, when you are focusing on school work, start with the hardest course first, which will probably take up more of your time, instead of waiting to get to that course till midnight. 


Make time for self-care and socializing  

While coursework can take up a lot of time for students, it’s vital you do things outside of school that you love to create a work-life balance. When you are doing homework, take lots of mini breaks from the screen and go for a walk outside or do some other exercise. 

Since KPU is a commuter school, students can easily fall into the trap of going home right after class. If you have a full-time job, this is understandable, but if you can stay around campus one day a week, do it. Set a goal to make a friend this semester or meet someone new in all of your classes. This will make your time spent learning feel less like a chore and motivate you to come to class to see some friends. 

If your courses are online, you can still try to make a friend, even though it poses more challenges. You don’t want to look back at your time at KPU and regret not having a social life. 

I hope you can use some of these suggestions to help you have a successful semester!