How to Prep for Back to School 2021

Hey guys! I have a new college-related post! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve done a college post, but I figured back to school time would be a perfect time to start up again. Some of you are probably back in school, but I know for me, school always started the last Monday in August while in high school, and then the first Monday in September in college.

So, for today’s post I wanted to share some essential steps to prepping for school. I’m gearing this more towards college, but most things can be applied to high school and younger as well. Let know what year you’re in, I’d love to know!

I’m currently as college Sophomore. Because of Covid, both the end of my senior year and now the first full year of college has been virtual, so I’m excited (and nervous!) to finally experience college as it’s fullest. But enough about me, let’s jump into it!

Complete Your Summer Bucket List

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Before you prep for back to school, make sure to finish anything you wanted to complete! That can be a big trip on vacation, a beach day, or simply finishing a book you may not have time to read.

Try to squeeze in a few last minute days of fun, because you’ll likely be busy once the new school year starts up. Maybe indulge in a hobby, finish a video game, make a special dessert or anything else you’ll miss once you become busy. I love to write creatively, so I make sure to finish any fiction pieces before the year starts.

Need some ideas? Try reading this summer bucket list article from Pop Sugar!

Buy School Supplies

I used to think I was pretty nerdy for liking to buy school supplies but from what I’ve learned, a lot of people love to buy school supplies.

It can be pretty fun! For college, I learned one 5-subject notebook is enough for me and I throw in a couple of folders in my cart. Otherwise, I’m just buying pens, pencils, highlighters and other similar writing utensils. Honestly, you can buy a majority of things in person but there’s a lot of cute styles of stationery online as well.

Some of my stationery favorites are the Zebra Mildliners, Papermate felt-tip pens, Pilot G-2 pens in 0.5 and Bic pencils.

Related Post: What You Need as a Commuter Student

Get To Know Your Classes/School

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If you are a new student, you may have to get to know the school. Make sure you know where your classes are, roughly how long it takes to get your school and where to find a map. If you’re going to a big college, don’t be afraid to drive around campus and get to know the area!

Have a screenshot of the school map on your phone, or write out steps if you’re particularly nervous to follow on the first day. Also, don’t sweat it! There’s going to be plenty of lost freshmen (and this year sophomores) and plenty of teachers and upperclassmen to ask for help. My college has students in blue colored shirts stand near the center of campus and help direct and chat with new students. Your college will likely have something similar.

Even if you are a returning student, it’s a good ideas to locate your new classes by knowing which buildings they’re in.

Read the Syllabus and List Your Required Books

Reading the syllabus is so important- everything you need to know about the class is in one place!

Things like attendance policy, required reading, extra credit, important dates and more are listed in a syllabus, so reading it before class is a great way to prep before back to school. You can often tell by a professor’s writing style too which things will annoy them the most, and the best things you should do.

As for required reading, it’s recommended to not buy the books early for multiple reasons. One, you could have to switch out of the class whether you want to or not. Two, a lot of time professors will lists books and never require or use them. Often times on the first day, they’ll elaborate if it’s really required or just “supplementary reading.” Having a list is important, and make sure to check the best prices per place. I usually buy from Amazon, but you might want to try Chegg, other used textbook sites, and your school’s own bookstore.

Get a Planner and Write Down Important Dates

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A planner is almost essential in college. Kudos to you if you don’t need one, but the other 95% of us need a place to organize dates and events to refer later. There’s a ton of places to get planners: Target, Amazon, Walmart, local stores, online and more. I adore this one I got from Amanda Rach Lee’s planner line (link below) but I also love a bunch from Micheal’s. They have a really wide variety of layouts, covers, and sizes so I highly recommend checking Micheal’s as well.

Also consider writing down important dates like days off, any future tests off your syllabus (just be careful not too get too far ahead because professors often deviate from their plans) and any school events you want to go to. Update periodically so you don’t have to dump loads of dates at once.

Related Post: February Favorites

Set Goals- Both Academic and Personal

Goal setting is not something you might have thought of, but setting a goal for yourself keeps you accountable and gives you steps in order to achieve your goals. Maybe you want to be on the dean’s list, or don’t get any bad grades, or makes some new friends. Whatever the goals are, make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. which means they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. All these factors will make you much more likely to reach your goals.

As well as academic, set personal goals. This is especially important if school is a stressful environment for you and you need to keep yourself accountable. Consider setting emotional-centered goals, or health-centered. Personal goals often interlace themselves with academic goals: likely, if your failing an academic goal, it might be a personal reason. Weather it’s burnout, grief, mental illness, or overwhelmed emotions, being aware of those issues and setting encouraging goals around them can be so important.

Clean Everything

When I say everything, I mean everything.

Your desk, closet, room, shelves, whatever else. You can get off to a bad start if after the first day you come home to a messy bedroom from summer vacation. Make sure you have a designated area to study and store away any school supplies. If you don’t have a desk, consider using a kitchen table, or a table anywhere that’s quiet. A bed isn’t the best place to study, but whatever works for you and your situation.

Fix Your Sleep Schedule

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I’m very guilty of not doing this, but fix your sleep schedule at least a week or two before classes start, especially if you have early classes.

Two weeks should give you enough time to adjust to waking up a little earlier each day without feeling exhausted for your last week of summer break. Consider going to bed an hour or two earlier and setting your alarm accordingly. Make sure you’re still getting the full 6-8 hours of sleep at least, or else waking up early will just be for nothing.

Related Post: Weird Studying Tips That Works


There you have it! There’s 8+ tips on how prep for back to school season. I always make sure to watch YouTube videos and read blog posts around this time to make sure I don’t forget anything!

Let me know what your back to school tips are and what year you’re in! Also, make sure to check out my socials (in the right sidebar) for more content and updates on new posts. Bye!