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Whether you are starting college as a freshman or a seasoned student, you are probably trying to organize some last minute preparations before hitting the books for another year. Every student has a different objective for the upcoming year, but the steps to achieve them are often similar. We at College Prowler have compiled three of our top tips to make the transition into a new school year seamless and less stressful.

1.  Start Early

Sounds simple, right? Many students (including myself) tend to wait until the last remaining weeks before the first day to begin planning. This only causes you to build stress and anxiety to a level that is going to be unmanageable. Take little bites over the course of the summer, and allow your smaller efforts to build over time. This way you will accomplish more with a stress-free head and exert less energy overall, saving it instead for poolside sunbathing and cross-country road trips. While most students will be spending their final summer days scrambling to accomplish their goals, you will still be enjoying the freedom of your vacation.

How: Map out what you need to accomplish before you head off to school and give yourself due dates for each task. Now don’t make this homework for yourself, but instead a guideline to keep you motivated. Commit to spend anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour tackling one of your tasks every or every other day. Make it a part of your lunch routine, right before you go to bed, or after you wake up and all of these bite-sized steps will build upon another and before you know, you’ll be finished.

2. Start Happy

This may sound odd, but it could really make all the difference in the world. If you view the start of a new school year as an event that you dread, then every step along the way will feel heavier than the one before. If you are truly unhappy, then take a step back and question why you feel that way to identify some possible opportunities to improve your attitude.

How: Some simple questions to ask yourself could really help you discover the root of the problem. Such as, “Am I unhappy with the school I am attending?”, “Do I wish I studied for a different major?”, “Am I worried about a class or paying for school?”. There are hundreds of questions you can develop and you may be surprised which one rings true. Once you identify the problem(s), simply tackle those issues first. Once you extinguish those fires, you’ll most likely notice that your overall attitude and eagerness towards a new school year will dramatically improve giving you a strong start.

3. Start Healthy

Now we aren’t telling students to lose weight, change their diets, or seek medical attention, but we are suggesting that they define what a “healthy” state is for them and develop a plan of attack. Health can vary from person to person and can include physical and emotional components. If you feel that one of these are off balance in your life, then take some time to create a plan to get back on track.

How:  If you’re more focused on the physical and want to lose those “freshman 15”, then develop a realistic path to achieve that goal. If you are more concerned about the emotional side, then don’t be afraid to confront it head on and realize that there are many resources to help you solve your issues. This may be the most important way to begin a new year since a healthy start will allow you to feel confident to tackle any problem or goal that may come your way.

Beginning a new semester at school should not be the most stressful part of your year, but instead be one of the happiest and most anticipated. It’s a clean slate that opens you to new opportunities and endless possibilities. What steps are you taking to begin a new year off right?

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