Managing the back to school chaos

Managing the back to school chaos

Preparing to go back to school may seem dreadful, but here are five simple tasks that can make the transition less painful.

Just as it seems summer began, it quickly comes to an end. Regardless of how long you’ve been in school, the first day back can be overwhelming.

The beginning of each semester means a fresh start. New opportunities to excel in all areas are presented, and this semester could be the best yet.

1. Tie up any loose ends

One of the many joys of summer is being able to choose how to spend free time. Whether it be binging on a new Netflix series, picking up a new book or completing a bucket list of adventures, it is a good idea to wrap up these final moments of freedom before Fall semester begins.

With a clutter-free mind and a complete list of activities, one can be completely focused on school once the semester starts.

2. Create a routine

Getting back into a routine may seem like a difficult task. After all, who wants to practice waking up for an 8 a.m. class? According to Northwestern Medicine, humans are creatures of habit, and a structured routine promotes health and wellness that can provide major health benefits.

Purchasing a simple planner can help students create a routine. Checking the course syllabi for classes prior to the first day of class, and writing out due dates of assignments, will provide a tangible source of organization. By visibly seeing what needs to be accomplished for the week ahead, students can plan to complete tasks accordingly.

Understanding personal limits — for example, how long one can spend studying before becoming overwhelmed — can alter a routine to serve the needs of an individual. As stated by the University of Maine, “routines should serve you, you shouldn’t be a slave to them.”

3. Obtain textbooks without spending a fortune

In the rush of the first week of the semester, many students end up spending more than they need to on textbooks. But if students take some extra time to research and compare prices, they can save a lot of money.

Websites such as and use a price comparison tool that provides a list of all available online sources to purchase or rent a book from. These sites’ price comparison tools are free and allow students to compare prices from several websites within seconds.

The closest off-campus bookstore to KSU is the General Bookstore, where students can purchase, rent and sell back textbooks.

4. Review simple topics

According to an article by The New York Times, “summers off are one of the most important, yet least acknowledged, causes of underachievement in our schools.”

While everyone can’t engage in summer semester classes, students should spend time refreshing on basic math and reading skills throughout the summer to avoid drastically losing information that they’ve learned in the previous semester.

The New York Times says the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students amounts to one month per year, and the learning loss is cumulative from summer to summer.

Refreshing on topics learned previously can help prepare students to learn new information that is often built upon what was learned in previous semesters.

5. Managing stress

The Counseling and Psychological Services at KSU provide tips to ease the undeniable stress that comes with going to school.

According to CPS, the human body experiences natural high and low work efficiency periods. Students will be most efficient by taking short breaks when studying for a long period of time.

It also says that adequate sleep, moderate caffeine, regular exercise and meditation can help decrease stress levels and maintain a positive mindset.

In light of the stress school causes, one should always remember to take the time to share a laugh with family and friends. According to CPS, laughing is the best medicine.

Students can stay calm in the midst of the craziness of college, and avoid the stress that builds up at the end of the semester, by preparing in advance. This fresh start can provide a positive, stress-free semester.

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