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Your Back To School Survival Guide: How To Get Through Week One

Time to go back to school.

Whether you’re heading back to college, starting your first week of grad school, or taking classes online, heading back to school can be tough. It can be hard to get readjusted to assignments and papers when you spent all summer working and emptying your brain of what you learned the semester before. So how can you not only survive but thrive your first week back?

Sleep, sleep, sleep

I know that in college, sometimes it can be fun to see how long you can go before you crash, but don’t do that your first week. Your first week might be the only time all semester where you can consistently get 8 hours or more of sleep each night.  Ok, I might be exaggerating, but the point is to get that sleep while you can. Make sure you are well rested for the first few days of sitting through lectures and syllabi. 

Buy A Planner

I don’t understand people who don’t use planners in their everyday lives, but in college or graduate school it’s essential. You need to make sure that you spend time writing your homework assignments, papers, and tests into your planner. That way, when you lose your syllabus, you are still know everything that is due. Also, planners are adorable. So go to your closest Target or TJ Maxx and stock up on your favorite colorful planner.

Go To Class

Honestly, I was pretty much a huge overachiever in college. I hardly ever skipped class, and when I did, it was because I was sick. So, I don’t understand people missing syllabus week, but whatever. Make sure that you know what is expected of you on your first day and have all the supplies you are going to need. Also, it’s an excellent way to scope out friends or potential cute guys you get to hang out with all semester. 

Get There Early

Now I’m not talking about 15 minutes early; you’re not a freshman. But, get to class with enough time to get a great seat. We all know that if you attend a smaller college or graduate program, the seat you pick on your first day will most likely stay yours for the rest of the semester. So make sure that you get to sit by your friends, not that weird guy who chews gum too loudly in the front. 

Don’t Sit Too Far In The Front

Do you want to get spit on? Do you want to check your Facebook, email, or Telegram without being under intense scrutiny? Now, you do want to make sure that you can hear and see the board, but try to aim for a nice middle seat. Once again, if you arrive early enough, you won’t be stuck with those dreaded seats in the front.

Have Telegram Up

Now I don’t know what your app of choice is, but for me in college, Telegram was it. It’s an app that enables you to text/instant message huge groups of people, send memes and GIFs, and is also downloadable on your desktop. That means that you can have your browser open during class. When I was in a particularly brutal class last year, I formed a telegram group with my closest friends, and we chatted the whole time. Just make sure that you are good at controlling your laugh. And that you only use Telegram in classes where paying attention is optional. 


The first week is going to be when you have the most time all semester to properly set up your apartment or dorm room. So make sure that you print out pictures, scour Etsy, and Pinterest your dorm room to perfection that first week.

Go Out To Eat

Don’t, and I repeat Do Not eat on campus that first night. Unless you want to deal with a bunch of freshmen that don’t know their way around, terrible food, and getting run into by everyone on their quest to find something decent to eat. Take your closest friends and go to a restaurant or order a pizza. That way, you can enjoy each other’s company without the terrible cafeteria food.

Set Goals

Take some time in that first couple of days when you have less homework and demands, to make a list of achievable goals for the semester. That means taking some time to truly self-reflect, and set your mind on what you need/want to get done this semester. That could be getting a certain GPA, joining a new club, or to stop obsessing over that boy. Either way, if there is something you want to accomplish, college is where you are going to have the most time to get stuff done.

Reunite With Friends

Spend that first-week making amazing memories with your best friends. Since many of you don’t have a ton of homework, have a movie marathon, go to Sheetz, play a game outside, or go to the bar. But please don’t spend your first week in the library. You’ll have plenty of time to die there throughout the semester, trust me.

Make New Friends

If you are in grad school, you might be seriously missing your college friends right about now. But, why not make some new friends? You are fortunate enough to have a pool of people your age with similar interests in your classes. So why not sit by someone you don’t know in your first class? Why not have a conversation with someone you see around campus? If you put yourself out there, people will reciprocate.

Look Cute

Plan out your first day of school outfit/outfits, and wear them with pride. Because you’ll be getting a decent night’s sleep, you’ll actually want to put real effort into your hair and makeup. So, enjoy that while it lasts. And if you don’t have anything new to wear, why not go shopping with your friends? Every girl loves a good excuse to shop.

I hope that these tips can help you as you are getting through your first week back to your home away from home. Just remember to enjoy this special time, it goes by too quickly.


If you are struggling with not going back to school this fall, check out this article!

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