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Summer - Surefire Ways to Prepare for the School Year

In the spirit of the conversation here for the last few weeks (and given the fact that the summer is almost over) I thought it would be timely to post a few more ideas about how to spend your time in between semesters. Granted, my perspective is probably a little bit different – but this is a good thing. Like all of you, school isn’t the only thing I do; I also work full time, and I’m a husband and father. That being said, my academic life is very important to me – that’s why I’ve started writing here. I’m spending my summer preparing for my first semester of graduate studies. I’ve essentially broken this prep-work down into four categories that are useful no matter what your circumstances: administrative, financial, physical, and mental.

  • Administrative Preparation:
    By administrative preparation, I’m referring mostly to paperwork: immunization records, registration records, transcripts, resume updates, etc. These are all things that my new school will require and since schoolwork isn’t occupying most of my spare time the summer is a great time to pull all these things together. For me this is mostly a matter of locating everything and making sure it is up to date and checking with my school to make sure all the required paperwork is submitted. Taking care of things like this now can prevent a lot of headaches when the semester starts and will allow you to keep your focus where it belongs – on your work.
  • Financial Preparation:
    Taking a little time away from the beach, road trips, or whatever other plans you may have to make sure all of your financial aid paperwork is in order is sure to save you lots of hassle once things pick up and tuition bills are due. This is also a good time to review your finances overall and make the big decisions that will dictate your school year (will I have to work? How much do I have saved? Etc.). I’ve pulled a free copy of my credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies (start at and am in the process of reviewing these for inaccuracies and reporting any discrepancies. The summer is also a great time to earn money and/or valuable work experience. Work to save spending money, or even look for volunteer opportunities in an industry that you’re interested in. Either way, future employers will see this in a positive light as it shows that you have initiative and are responsible.
  • Physical Preparation:
    Moonlighting as a student isn’t always the easiest thing. Sometimes after a full day of work the very last thing I want to do is sit in class for several hours and cap off the evening with a drive home and some reading… but I don’t really have much choice. My circumstances require this so I deal with it. One way to make the burden a bit easier to shoulder is to maintain my health. The stress from school and other commitments, the long hours, the mental work involved – these are all easier to handle when your body is equipped. I’m using the summer to refine a fitness routine so by the time the semester starts I’ll be in tip-top shape.
  • Mental Preparation:
    Finally, I am preparing myself mentally for an enhanced workload and dramatic change in lifestyle. There are lots of ways to do this; I’m focusing mostly on organization. Most of you are probably familiar with GTD, I’m spending the summer re-reading the book and fine-tuning my organization system (things to explore in future posts). I’m also getting in some leisure reading (something I rarely have the time for when class is in session) and generally relaxing in order to rest up for what’s ahead. It’s just as important to keep your brain fit as it is to keep your body fit. This will keep you from getting burned out but allow you to stay sharp and focused once classes start up again. By honing my organization and workflow system I’m gaining not only time and efficiency, but the confidence that comes along with being prepared. Doing this now ensures that I’ll have a good system in place when the semester starts and it will only be a matter of enveloping some new responsibilities to make sure that it serves me well.

So, a quick recap: spend some time this summer relaxing, but don’t let the time slip idly by. Make sure you’re ready for the school year, focus on your goals, and do what you can to move them forward. Advance preparation will save lots of time and trouble down the road.


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Related posts:

  1. Summer Goals
  2. Your Ultimate School Year Begins Now! (A Motivational Guide)
  3. Things to do During Summer
  4. More Things to Do During Summer
  5. Winding Down for Summer

26 Responses to “Summer - Surefire Ways to Prepare for the School Year”

  1. Wow! It’s amazing when you realize that the summer is quickly drawing to an end. Its definitely cool that you are prepared for the fall semester, instead of many people who become dressed as they try to juggle thirty things all at once. Its always annoying to stop what you are doing during the break to figure out some paperwork but it is definitely worth it in the end! Also, I applaud you for keeping in shape physically, definitely a great idea.


  2. Sign up for your class early and get your books as soon as you can then read ahead so you have a head start. This will help you get your books cheaper. I just ordered all my books and got great prices. Get your books early and save

  3. Tylor says:

    search the google then find your site.
    that is a really excellent post.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Carlos says:

    Good tips! Thumbs up.

  5. used tires says:

    Right now I am a junior, I remember my freshman year of college, when I walked to classes for the first time, my school has alot of hills so needless to say I was very sore the next day when walking to classes. I’ve learned from experience though, as this summer, especially as I get closer to returning to school, I’ve been working out a little bit, as well as eating right, so that I don’t become sore and wear myself out the first week of school, hehe.

    Till then,


  6. I would say for your post “Awesome”. I can see your blog improving day by day and have good number of visitors, congrats for it. Your posts are very nice every time..

  7. Grade-A tips! The financial aspect is especially important considering the tough economic climate we are currently facing. Many financial aid programs now require you to submit additional documentation for eligibility verification. SO it’s best to get started ASAP!

  8. Yeah your summer is almost over and thats just great for this side of the world as our summer comes back, winter is not my favorite time of there year, nice tips can apply them to my kids when they go back to school.

  9. Hi there,
    Boy the summer has flown past that side of the world. Like Wendy mentioned this is great for us has summer is fast approaching, and I just can’t wait. I love the post. Have an awesome school year

  10. Is it that time already, I know here our kids are now on holidays for a month, its just crazy how this year has just flown by. Great post by the way.

  11. It’s always a bit of a bummer to see summer coming to an end; it seems shorter and shorter each year. However, this is a great guide to ease back into the school year and will come in handy with my preparations, especially the financial section. Cheers for posting it!

  12. Summer holidays are just the best, but one tends to procrastinate sooo much during them, it is scary. I’m glad to see some of us are more organised, with well defined plans and goals. Good on you, and all the very best for the new school season!

  13. It is tough to see the summer come to a close, but it’s also good to get back to learning. I enjoy school and seeing old friends…if it weren’t for the homework it would be ideal. Plus it is the basis of many of my teams…sitting around all summer in the heat I don’t do much besides watch TV and surf the net.

  14. Everybody loves summer! Too bad that there always be a autumn and everyone has to go to shcool :(

  15. Hey! Is it that time already, I know here our kids are now on holidays for a month, its just crazy how this year has just flown by. Great post by the way.

  16. Playing outside with the kids next door - all sorts of make believe games based on Batman, spies, etc. Building tree houses, sleeping in a wigwam, cricket in the street, blackberrying in the back alleys.

  17. Going on our bikes to the woods or outdoor swimming pool. Running around under the water sprinkler, lollies from the ice- cream van. An upside down summer when handstands were the thing to do.

  18. I have to say that its really great that we here in South Africa are going into summer ok its just the start of spring but its really great to have the warm weather again

  19. Mind Ruin says:

    I agree, it will be hard for college students to get loans for the schools they are interested in because of the bad economy at the current time.

  20. I myself had a hard time getting a loan in this economy.

  21. Yea getting a loan can be a hardship, but school is always worth it.

  22. used tires says:

    Great suggestions, now that I am in my 3rd year of college, I find myself transitioning from vacation to the new school year alot easier, because I’ve got the experience, and know most of the tips you’ve suggested here! =D

    Till then,


  23. embroidery says:

    Thanks! Really good tips!

  24. great information to for preparation for school year, we should really be prepare whatever we take like schooling.

  25. vektör says:

    Plus it is the basis of many of my teams…sitting around all summer in the heat I don’t do much besides watch TV and surf the net.

  26. I would say for your post “Awesome”. I can see your blog improving day by day and have good number of visitors, congrats for it. Your posts are very nice every time..