As summer comes to a close for college students, many are moving back to Bloomington, some preparing to step onto campus for the first time.
When it comes to preparing for a new semester, many students tend to overthink. Whether it's wondering if they bought the correct school supplies, not knowing what room or building their classes are in or even just stressing out about the syllabuses for their classes, it can be hard to manage the stress.
To be fair, when a professor waits until the last minute to send out the syllabus or create the Canvas page for the class, I get stressed too. I like knowing what to expect when I walk into a classroom, especially if I have never had that professor before. Sometimes uploading the Canvas page the morning of the first day of class is not enough notice.
It can be even more stressful when it's your freshman year and you don’t know what to expect. College is pretty similar to high school in the aspect of what you need to do to be ready for a new year.
Walk through your schedule on campus before classes start if you don’t know where a building or class room is located. This will save you time on the first day of classes and hopefully prevent you from being late. My freshman year, I walked around campus a few days prior to the start of classes because I wanted to know where all of them would be. At the very least, you could leave early on the first day so you have time to find your classes beforehand.
Looking over your syllabuses before classes start is also helpful. Some teachers lecture on the first day of classes, and some just walk students through the syllabus. It is better knowing what to expect from a professor and their class than going in blind.
As far as school supplies go, having a backpack, writing utensils and something to write on for the first day is a good starting point. I don’t think I have ever bought a textbook before the first day of school except for my freshman year and most of them I didn’t really need. Now, I usually wait to see if I actually need the book because sometimes a certain book is recommended but the professor says not to buy it or that it won't be used very much.
The most important thing to bring is a positive mindset. Just remember it is still summer until the first day of classes, so there is still plenty of time to start preparing. Many students are moving back to Bloomington currently which can take a while, but remember that you need to make time for yourself as well. Maybe go shopping for new clothes to wear this semester or grab some ice cream with friends you haven’t seen all summer.
Everything can be stressful but preparation and exploring campus is the key to a great start for the semester.
Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a senior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.