This post may contain affiliate links.
The complete guide to prepping for a new semester of classes! #College #Organize
With a new semester quickly approaching, my favorite time of the school year has once again rolled around with it: what I like to call Prep Day. The day before classes, or on the first day of class, is my favorite.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I absolutely love organizing. A new semester, with all new classes and assignments is the perfect opportunity to do just that!

I have a routine that I like to follow, so I’ve decided to break it down for you to give you the perfect guide on how to prep for a new semester of classes.


Without the Syllabus

Sometimes professors don’t hand out the syllabus until the first day of classes and, if you’re like me and you want to prep beforehand, that becomes rather annoying. Here’s what you can do without it!


Get ready with these 7 essential steps to getting ready for new classes! Can't miss these! #college #class #school I am an avid user of my Day Planner as well as Google Calendar for, well, everything. (Update: I recently started using a new planner called the Get to Work Book planner and I love it!) I enjoy to take the time before a new semester or new school year to copy down the dates that I know into those places.

When is your spring break? Do you have Memorial Day off? Is campus closed the day of Martin Luther King Jr. Day? When is your roommate’s birthdays? Take this time to put all those in!

There have been a countless amount of times when I am trying to coordinate something with somebody from a different school and I have to wait for them to look up if they have that holiday off or if their Spring Break corresponds with mine, here it’s all in one place and I’ll have it on demand!

Choose Your Planner

Not sure where to get started on the search for the best planner? Check out my guide to choosing the perfect planner here, and see some recommendations below:


Do you still have a notebook full of notes from your last history class laying around? Time to stash it or trash it!

Gather everything that you used in the previous semester, it’s time to decide if it’s worth keeping for future use or time to throw it out. I am the most guilty of forgetting this step and letting everything pile up on top of each other!


My favorite part! Now that you tossed out that history notebook, don’t you need a new one for your math class? Take a shopping trip to your favorite office supply store and stock up on all the things you’ll need for this semester. (Don’t forget the post-it notes!)

Pro Tip: Want to update one of your notebooks or planners? Try creating your own custom cover!



Get ready with these 7 essential steps to getting ready for new classes! Can't miss these! #college #class #school Now that you’ve stashed, trashed, and shopped the next step will be much easier.

Find a home for everything!

I’m very particular about the way that I organize my desk drawers and the top of my desk, so here’s the time to find a system that works for you.

How I organize my desk: Essentials on top, commonly used in the first drawer, notebooks not currently in use under that, and then the last drawer is for storage and graded papers that my professors have passed back.

As you can see in the picture on the left, I use cheap clear plastic organizers from the $1 store or $1 section in stores like Target to organize the small items that often get thrown around in “junk” drawers: washi tape, ribbons, post-it notes, flash drives.

With the Syllabus

Finally got the syllabus? Great! Time for phase 2.


Get ready with these 7 essential steps to getting ready for new classes! Can't miss these! #college #class #school Now that you’ve gotten all the important dates for your classes listed on your syllabus, put those to use. Last semester I tried something new, making an assignment schedule, and I have to say it worked fabulously! Create your own assignment planner to ensure that you’ll never miss a deadline.

I never missed any due dates, I was often the one to remind a classmate that we had a paper due the next day that our professor forgot to tell us about, and it definitely saved my grade.

I’m really excited about being able to make another one for the new semester! Is that weird? Check out my tutorial of how to make and use one here.


Whoops. I am always guilty of waiting to order my textbooks until the last second. While some students prefer to get on ordering them as soon as they register for classes, I prefer to wait until I have read the syllabus or corresponded with the professor before spending any money.

A lot of the times the book that the school will tell you that you need for the course will not be accurate, or the professor may personally decide not to use that book for their course. Either way, if you have no ordered your textbooks yet, now is the time!

Pro Tip: Do not buy from your University’s bookstore! Always, always, rent from another site. This will save you mega money that you can save for your future. If you’re at a loss for ideas, my favorite place to look for the best textbook prices is BigWords. They instantly compare tons of different bookstores so you save the most that you can!


Get ready with these 7 essential steps to getting ready for new classes! Can't miss these! #college #class #school Now that you’ve organized the important dates all in one spreadsheet, it is incredibly helpful to have them in more than one place.

Copy these dates into your day planner and your calendar (again, I use Google Calendar). Trust me, it will come in handy when you’re planning an early morning doctor’s appointment to know if you have a paper due the night before that you might be up late working on.

This also comes as a great backup version of the assignment schedule, but on the go!

Whether I’m preparing for a new class, or an entire new semester of classes, that’s what I do to get ready to go.


But Wait, There’s More!

In fact, there is so much that I want to share with you to help you prepare for new classes that I’ve created a free 5 day e-mail course to help you out. That’s right, 5 days worth of tips (like this post but SO much better!) for free right in your inbox.

Everything that you need to start off your college years right, in 5 simple days. Check it out:

you’re an incredibly handsome guy who

What do you do to get ready to start new classes? Tell me below!


Preparing for New Classes
Tagged on:                                                             

29 thoughts on “Preparing for New Classes

  • January 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I’m in my fifth year of college and I find myself not being as organized as I used to be when I first started. Your post gave me a little project for tomorrow…I start on Tuesday (oops)!
    Emilie recently posted…5 Tips To Stop Waisting FoodMy Profile

    • January 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Haha trust me I was that way with high school! I’m glad I could inspire you! I was super worried about missing deadlines when starting college, and these tricks definitely helped to keep me on track.
      Glad I could help!

      Keep in touch,

  • January 11, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Love these tips, Dani! I like the idea of an assignment schedule. I love getting super organized at the beginning of the semester. It’s a great way to ensure that you get off to a good start.

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

    • January 14, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Haha I’m not that organized, but I’m trying to be! It really gives me peace of mind when I feel like I have things together in an organized fashion!
      Glad you liked it, please let me know what she thinks 🙂


  • January 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Great tips, recently I’ve created my assignment planner and it does help! Its truly a good way to organise your time and studying. And if talking about textbooks, for this semester I prepared even additional ones for my extra and math studying! Those are my plans for the nest semester – extra studying!

  • January 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Great tips! My spring semester doesn’t start until February 2nd (weird, I know) but I’ll definitely keep these things in mind for when classes start in a few weeks!
    Brittney recently posted…Pura Vida Bracelet Giveaway!My Profile

  • January 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Wow! I wish I was this organized in college! This would have helped me so much!

  • January 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    These are great tips and something I need to share with my kids, my oldest two are in high school and can apply for early college, where they can leave high school to finish are community college while earning college credits for free. They truly will need your awesome tips

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I’m an organization junkie, too! I had to go to Staples to get some folders today and I had to exercise SO much restraint to not buy the pretty colored pens that were on sale (because I have enough, and I need to stop). I don’t know how I’d get through the semester without my planner!

    • January 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      “Organization junkie” I’ve never heard that term before, but definitely is me!
      Staples is my happy place! I have to fight so hard to resist all the pretty notebooks and post-it notes. My boyfriend has to literally drag me away from the notebooks at Barnes and Noble whenever we go.
      Glad somebody relates! 🙂
      Dani recently posted…Semester Goals: Spring 2015My Profile

  • January 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    WOW! You are really organized! I don’t even have a daily planner because it’s totally impossible to plan something a month ahead here. Maybe a week but definitely no more…

    • January 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

      I completely agree, planning way far in advance is difficult! I rarely plan anything a month in advance, but having the important dates for classes and such that are already planned handy to go when I need to reference them comes in great handy 🙂
      Dani recently posted…Semester Goals: Spring 2015My Profile

  • July 3, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Just found your blog through Pinterest, and I absolutely love it! Thanks for the great tips on this post, and I can’t wait to read through your archives and subscribe on Feedly.

    • July 3, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Aww thank you so much! I’m glad you like it 🙂 I hope to see more of you!

  • July 6, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Great post! All useful tips 🙂 The assignment schedule is a life-saver, having used it myself last semester after finding it on Kirsten’s blog. So glad you mentioned it!

  • September 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I love your tips!! You are great, keep making these kind of entries. Thank you!!

  • January 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    One of the things I do each semester to get ready, is set up the new file folders on the hard drive of my computer. I go to school completely online and so I have to save all of my files to my computer before submitting them. Having them all set up ahead of time, at one time, saves me a lot of time later.

    Thanks for all the great tips and posts!

    • January 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Yes! I also create new file folders on my hard drive: One for each class. Totally forgot to include that, great tip!!

  • January 7, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    hey Dani 🙂

    Your post is great, and I love that you included what to do without the syllabus! I feel like I can’t function without my syllabi being posted before the class. I also wanted to comment so you could check out my blog as well and see if it intrigues you or not! It’s a blog for girls suffering from depression, anxiety, or a period of grief.



    • January 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      I’m in the same boat, Jennifer! Without my syllabi I used to feel unprepared and lost, that’s why I started finding ways to prepare without it. I will definitely check out your blog as I suffer from anxiety and depression as well, sounds like a great resource.

  • July 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    One thing that is annoying is when I get my syllabus…and there’s no dates. It just says what we’re going to be working on. So there’s no way to plan ahead of time for assignments.
    SimplyAqua recently posted…Owlcrate: May 2016My Profile

  • January 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I print out a copy of my schedule and put it in the cover of my planner and set it as my phone background. I also totally revamp my backpack and usually wash it too. Lastly, I highlight the sections of my binder so you can see from the top which one is for which class! Happy organizing yall!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this:
Read previous post:
NEW YEAR same me (1)
New Year, Same Me: Inspired