The first week of a new school year is exciting and busy: moving in, adjusting to a new schedule, and making new friends or connecting with old!  Even the start of the second semester has its excitement with a new schedule, new classes, and new expectations.
In the midst of it all, it’s important to make sure you are ready to get off to a solid start academically.  Here are some tips in four key areas to help you get ready… get set… and GO into a great semester!
1   Accommodations:
a.      If you are asking for accommodations of any sort, before school starts make sure to send the disability services office (or student services, the name varies among institutions) any materials they request. They will need time to review this to make their determinations.
b.     Early the first week of classes, stop by the disability services office (or student services, the name varies) to pick up accommodation letters to take to your professors. At some schools, you may need to schedule a meeting to do so.
c.      Deliver all the letters the first week!
a.      Before, or in the first week of classes, sit down and put your class schedule in your calendar/planner. 
b.   Look at when you have blocks of time that will work for studying and consider blocking those out – many students need 2-3 hours per credit hour per week for coursework (outside of class). 
c.     Set alarms if needed to remind yourself to get to class!
d.      If it helps, schedule in room cleaning and laundry times for yourself. 
e.   What about time to exercise, or a fitness class if that gets you going? 
a.      The first week, spend half an hour each evening with one or another syllabus, putting due dates for homework and/or papers, projects, and exams into your calendar/planner. Make sure to do this for all your classes.
b.     At the same time, working backwards from each major assignment or test, enter an earlier start date for writing or studying, as a reminder that can help you avoid a last minute crunch.
c.      During the first weekend of the semester, take a few minutes to  look closely at mid-term and finals times in your calendar/planner. It’s common to have multiple “due dates” or tests around those times. Think ahead about how you might spread out any studying, papers, etc. to limit feeling overwhelmed. Make note in your calendar/planner indicating what you decide about scheduling your study times, etc. during those periods.
Books and other materials:
a.      Whether you plan to buy books in the school’s book store, order them online, or rent them, it’s best to do this before the semester starts, or, at the latest, the first week of classes. That way, you won’t start out behind!
b.     Consider how you want to keep track of your notes and any handouts or other materials for each class: Notebooks? Folders? Accordion file? Then, purchase these and any other supplies you may need (calculator for example) before or during the first week of class.
With these four items attended to, you should be off to a strong start this semester!

If you think you might benefit from some extra support this coming semester, coaching may be just what you are looking for! Contact me for a free introductory session.
Posted in accommodations, ADD, ADHD, college, school, student

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