The first day at a new school can be a terrifying and nerve-wracking event. Whether you’re a freshman or a transfer, I’m sure there’s a lot going on through your mind as you try to prepare for the upcoming year. Today, we’ll discuss a quick and small checklist of things you should think about within the next couple weeks. If you aren’t a freshman or a transfer, you may already know this stuff, but it still applies to you.

Manage Your Time Wisely:

If you’re like me, you’re constantly struggling to get everything done. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it. I’m sure those energy drinks are coming in handy after not sleeping enough to complete your daily to do list. With school starting back up, it’s important to create a schedule for yourself that involves all your priorities. This includes classes, work, extra curriculars, free time, etc. You need to make sure you aren't feeling as though your day wasn't efficiently spent by the time you go to bed. It's alright if you feel this way every so often, but it shouldn't be a common theme in your life. You want to remain on top of your responsibilities. Be the baddie you're jealous of who has all their duckies in a row. I already have a blog out regarding time management, so I won’t go too in depth here. If you’re interested in checking it out, the link is here.

Financial Aid/ Payments:

Accept and decline all your financial aid based off what you want/need. If you are accepting loans, there may be additional steps for you to take to fully accept them. For work study, they may have a formal process of accepting it or a letter for you to find. This will be important to applying to jobs on campus. Any other financial aid may have additional steps, but it will specify whatever other requirements there are for your financial aid.

Look up the date your payments are due and hop onto a payment plan, if necessary. Disclaimer: Most schools charge a small fee for the payment plans, so be aware of that popping up into your payment.

Meal Plans:

You need to plan out your meals. Whether you are purchasing a meal plan from your school, or will be cooking on your own, or both, you need to know when and how you will be eating. It will be difficult to figure out your meals, especially if you have back-to-back classes. I suggest making small meals to eat on the go or carrying snacks if you have two or more classes in a row.

STAY HYDRATED! Make sure you have a water bottle, especially if you’re like me and go to school in a very hot state. If you’re in a colder state, maybe carry a warm drink in the mornings when it’s extra cold.


Try to login to the platform your classes are on. This can be Canvas, Blackboard, etc. Look to see if all of your classes show up. If they don’t, either get in contact with the school or your professor.

Find your syllabi ahead of time (if accessible to you) and add all of your assignments into your planner or calendars if you have one. It will be time consuming, but it’s worth it in the long run when you’re trying to find out what you must do and what assignments have due dates that are coming up.

Walk your classes. It is better to walk your classes in advance, so you have somewhat of an understanding of where your classes are. It will come in handy when you are lost, but kind of recognize the areas you have already walked through.

The first couple weeks of school may be a bit in foreign territory, but once you get familiar with your daily life, you’ll adjust pretty quickly. Take the time to make friends and find people within your classes to keep in touch with. Study groups are basically a necessity, so try to introduce yourself to people and get their contact information. For anyone starting this week or next week, we hope you are able to adjust to the new year smoothly.

Aatina Shaikh

Aatina is a sophomore pre-law student based in Dallas, Texas. She loves reading, going to the gym, and constantly expanding her intellect! Writing has been a passion of hers throughout her life and she hopes to continue with it on the side throughout her career. She is obsessed with fast food (Cane's and In N' Out specifically) and loves expressing her creativity in any way she can. 

Instagram: @aatina_k_shaikh

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