I thought it would be helpful to make a list of a few tips and tricks for those of you preparing to go back to school. These tips can be helpful for both undergraduate and graduate students returning back to school.
I remember that as a high school student, transferring to a university as an undergrad was a bit of a hurdle for me to get over. Especially going into the study of mechanical engineering, I learned quickly that my way of doing things had to change.
So now as a new student transferring into grad school, I am ready to make the transition and I want to help others looking to do the same- or with similar interests.
Tip #1: Use Your Downtime Wisely
Downtime can be your biggest enemy or your biggest friend.
Use your downtime wisely by studying, preparing for school, researching, and networking.
What I mean by this is that your “free time” should be used to create opportunity. Opportunity for you to refresh on the skills needed for your studies and for school such as refreshing your math skills, writing skills, and or reading skills.
I’ve actually enjoyed having time to read and write again.
Refreshing on your math skills will especially pay off if you are seeking a specialized quantitative degree in engineering, business, or finance.
It is also very important for you to use this downtime to network with other fellow students or faculty at the school or university you are going to. These connections can help you in the future.
Tip #2: Make a Plan/Strategy and Stick to it!
You want to create a plan or strategy to keep you focused and on task.
For me, setting up a weekly schedule has helped.
For example, you want to make a plan that will include what time and what days you choose to study, read, write, research, solve and work math problems (or whatever you choose), to keep you focused.
Once you have an action plan and the key areas you want to focus on, integrate this plan into your daily routine and stick to it.
If you need someone to hold you accountable, let your family and friends in on your plan so they can help you stay focused.
Also, setting up a time table in relation to when school starts will help you. Setting up a time frame for your prep work will decide the intensity of your work within your schedule.
Tip #3: Practice Makes Perfect
As school approaches, you want to practice being a student again. Yes I know this doesn’t sound fun, but especially if school is coming up soon, you want to practice waking up on time and getting use to having work to do.
For me, this has meant waking up early again and having articles and posts to put out on my blogs while also keeping myself engaged at church, and in reading different books and articles, while still maintaining and balancing my relationships with friends and family.
These are skills that you don’t want to loose because you will need them when school starts back up again.
Tip #4: Research Classes and On-Campus Activities
As a new or returning student, it is important for you to know where everything is on campus and around your school. It also important to know what activities are planned on your school’s calendar.
This means knowing where your classes are, knowing where the library is, and knowing where tutoring classes are held.
I would encourage you to take a trip to your campus and map out physically where everything is, so that when you start school, you will have already figured out your routes and vehicles of transportation.
These are just a few tips that will hopefully help those of you venturing back to school this fall or in the future. Hope it helps!
Thanks for reading.