I spent my summer working at a day camp. When I wasn’t pouring Kool-Aid or playing tag with 10 year olds, I was commiserating with my other college-aged counselors about the inevitable return to school. We were each in different academic years and majors, but it seemed that we all had the looming stress of the semester over our heads. After sharing various coping techniques with each other, my coworkers and I compiled different ways for college students to slay their fall semester. Here are 5 tips to help you mentally prep for fall semester!

  1. Get Your Act Together

Actually go check your school email. You know, that account you’ve been avoiding for the past three months? Filter through and make note of any important dates that administrators or the school has sent you. While you’re at it, delete any spam or junk email accounts that keep sending you stuff just for the heck of it. Then, schedule everything in your phone/computer using Google Calendar or any other scheduling app of your choice. Or, if you’re old-fashioned like me use a trusty planner. Now you’ll be on top of your game even before classes start.

  1. Buy Your Books Early

I have friends that aren’t even aware that we have to buy textbooks for a certain class, then rush to the bookstore to buy a book only to discover it’s on backorder. To me, this seems like the most anxiety-inducing thing ever. If you’re a nerd like me and have to have textbooks in your possession (BECAUSE WHAT IF YOU NEED THEM FOR THE FIRST DAY??) save yourself the dreaded move-in day bookstore hustle and order them as soon as your professor lists them. Using sites like Chegg.com ensures that you can find your textbooks for the cheapest price available. You’ll save yourself a lot of running around the first week of classes by simply ordering your textbooks online during the summer.

  1. Talk to Your Roommates

Ah, the group chat with the roomies. You’ve been in constant contact with your roommates all summer, sending each other inside jokes and memes, but now it’s time to get down to business.  Before move-in day figure out your living situation. Divvy up whose bringing what, which supplies and furniture you need, etc. It’s also a good idea to talk about each of your daily routines, like what time everyone goes to bed, wakes up, showers and so on. After establishing all this, you can then return to sending each other Rare Pepe memes. Haah, that crazy frog.

  1. Physically pencil in “Me Time”

My coworker’s sister had something called “Kelly Time” from 9:17 p.m. to 9:53 p.m. At these moments she would do the same thing every day: tie up her hair, put on a face mask, and go to the fridge to get a glass of water. If she didn’t do these acts at the exact time every day, she would panic. Now I’m not saying to be as extreme as Kelly, but it is important to make sure you’re making time for yourself during the school year, especially when transitioning from the halcyon days of summer to academic life. Take 20 minutes out of your day just to do something you like. Set aside these moments and focus on just that activity. This can keep you feeling centered and less frazzled.

  1. Pick Up a Healthy Habit

Start exercising, stop drinking pop, vow to eat at least one fresh fruit a day, whatever you choose. By picking up one beneficial habit and following it each day you’re reminding yourself to put your health before your schoolwork. That way on those really bad days you can tell yourself, “Well, at least I drank my water quota for the day.”


You might be dreading returning to school time like my coworkers and I, but with these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a healthy and happy transition to campus. Now go outside and enjoy those last few summer days before classes start again.