We’re halfway through August, which, to me at least, feels like the end of the summer. But happily, it’s not the end, especially since classes start mid-September for most students this year!
Even though we’re not quite there yet, there’s lots you can do now to get ready for the start of the year. These are some of the things on my #startUofT to do list before the grind begins.
Start reading. Fear not, I haven’t started doing reading right off my syllabi just yet, and for a lot of classes, you can’t get up-to-date syllabi until the first day of lecture. To gear up for the semester and start getting back into the academia state of mind, I’ve started reading a book recommended by a professor at a welcome session in June. (Tip: if you’re looking to do some preliminary reading to get ready for a class, check out a past syllabus for core literature or send an email to your prof or TA.)
Treat myself (to school supplies). My favourite part of starting up a new school year is getting new school supplies! While I mostly use my laptop, keeping a physical agenda has always been an important ritual for me to stay organized and relaxed, and I always like to carry around a notebook and some thin markers and pens just in case. (Another tip! Bring a paper and pen to your first classes at least, in case your computer dies or the professor asks students not to use electronic devices during class discussions, which sometimes happens during seminars particularly.)
Make a plan to stay healthy. It’s hard to keep on top of packing meals and getting exercise during the busy academic year, so I try to schedule regular times during the week for working out, getting groceries, and preparing food in advance. It’s not always possible to keep on top of these as things come up, but I know I’m more likely to get them done if they’re in my planner in advance rather than figuring them out on an ad hoc basis each week.
Connect with my mentor. I applied for a mentorship program for my Master’s, so I’ll be connected with a mentor from the year above me. We’ve connected over email and we’re planning to get coffee before orientation starts so she can answer some of my more burning questions and I’ll know someone around the faculty.
Apply for a work-study position. The work-study life is the life for me! There are tons of positions up on the Career Learning Network that offer flexible hours that let you make a little money and get some work experience, while still prioritizing your studies.
And unofficially, the last item on my list is to relax like it’s my full-time job! I’ll also spend the next few weeks eating lots of ice cream, spending time with family and friends, hanging out in the sun, and eating lots of ice cream. Yes, I’m listing ice cream twice, because that’s how much of it I plan to eat.
For more essentials for starting up at U of T, watch our Get Started Checklist playlist on Youtube.
You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and follow along with the #CrewCountdown, where we’re posting all kinds of tips and tricks for getting started at U of T up until the first day of classes.