Student Life

To-Do List: Starting a New Semester

Here's the 10 things you should do at the start of each new semester.

Shawna Newman

January 04, 2023

To-Do List: Starting a New Semester
It's hard to keep track of everything you need to do, so making a list is helpful!
When starting a new semester in college or high school, there’s so much going on that it’s hard to keep track of all the tasks that you need to accomplish.

New Semester To-Do List

Here’s a list of things you should do sooner than later to ensure you’ll stay ahead during the semester:
  • Finalize Your Class Schedule Arrange your class schedule to ensure you get all the classes you want. Go to all your classes to evaluate which you’ll take and promptly drop the classes you’ve decided not to take. You’ll want to complete this task as soon as possible so it doesn’t impact you negatively.
  • Pick Up School Supplies Determine what other items you need to replenish such as notebooks, planners and other supplies. You should also use this as an opportunity to get your new student ID, parking pass or bike lock.
  • Track Down Your Textbooks Visit the campus bookstore or sites like Amazon to rent textbooks you’ll need. If you feel like you’ll use the books after your course is over, you may want to buy the book instead of renting it. Renting or buying used textbooks is a great way to help the environment.
  • Learn Your Way Around Campus Map out an efficient route to classes so that you’re not late on the first day. Consider noting the location of your advisor’s office, the health center, the student union, the gym, and the library. Go to each of your professor’s office hours and introduce yourself—TA's (Teacher’s Assistants) count, too! Check out your school’s study abroad office to explore options.
  • Create a Study Schedule Use a calendar to make note of important dates coming up. This includes holidays, big assignment deadlines, other due dates, exams and finals week. Be sure you organize all the class syllabus documents so you can easily reference them. Consider connecting with your counselor or student advisor. They may also have a list of important dates you should add to your list.
  • Connect with Your New/Future Roommate College students will want to meet their new or future roommates. Consider meeting them at a coffee shop or different dorm dining halls—use this to connect while learning what dorms have the best food options. While you're eating—evaluating food options—use your time together to discuss what items each needs to bring. Make a list of the items needed and visit local thrift shops together to see if you can find what you need.
  • Attend Club Meetings Many clubs have informational nights at the beginning of each semester. Look for announcements around campus. If you have any interest in an extracurricular activity, you should plan on attending the club’s informational meeting!
  • Apply for a Part-Time Job There are pros and cons to having a part-time job while in school. If you can, find a part-time job that offers tuition reimbursement and scholarship opportunities.
  • Make Time for Some Fun Purchase season tickets to school sporting events. They’re typically cheaper for students if you buy them at the beginning of the year or semester. Some students even get into games for free. If that’s the case for you, get something with your school’s logo on it to wear on game day or school spirit events.
  • Check in with Family Check in with your family and friends. Even if you feel like you were just home on a holiday visit, they likely miss you much more than you know! Sometimes it’s nice to hear you’re doing well.
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