I spent most of my life in California and am a Californian at heart, but I chose to go to school in Arizona. After almost two years of living out of state, I’ve gotten in the habit of packing on a tight schedule and what to do to make sure I show up for the new semester tan, rested, and ready.
Don’t over-exert yourself during your break
If we’re talking about a long break like winter or summer, I would recommend not doing something particularly tiring. I chose to get a job over one of my winter breaks and it was great to have some extra cash for the school year, but it wasn’t worth already being exhausted when I had to show up for classes. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the workload and it took me longer than usual to get into the swing of things.
Plan ahead when packing and re-packing
When preparing to leave my apartment in Arizona and go back home, I plan a week ahead. I build packing time into my schedule and even write down when I need to do it. I even start setting some stuff aside a few days beforehand that I am most likely to forget. It keeps me prepared and makes sure I take my essentials. When I’m re-packing in California to go back to school, I make sure to start doing it days beforehand and keep a list of things I need to grab on the day of my flight like my laptop, chargers, and phone, so I don’t forget anything.
If you can, go back to school a day early
It’s important to me that I have a day to prepare my books and school supplies. I always plan on coming home a day early because I absolutely hate unpacking and it usually takes me about a day to put everything back to where it was. I also like to prepare a few days meals ahead of time so coming back a day early gives me time to go grocery shopping and cook for the next week. This is particularly important for me – some of you might be amazing unpackers and can do it in a couple hours so judge for yourself what you like and what is important for you.
Deep clean your room/apartment before you leave
I cannot emphasize how much it sucks to come back home to a dirty apartment or how amazing it feels to come back to a made bed and clean floors. If you start your semester off with a clean living environment, it will make your life so much better. Bonus points if you can keep it up for the rest of the semester as well.
Come prepared with a schedule of when and where your classes are
If you’re anything like me, you prefer to have your classes back to back. This gives me little time to pull up my schedule, search for the particular class, and run to the building. I prefer to look down at my piece of paper, see exactly when and where it is, and walk into class ten minutes early. It also puts you in the right mindset for school and leaves you less stressed on the first day of classes.
Also published on Medium.