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Time for Spring Cleaning! Productive Tasks Before You Return to School

For some college students, spring and summer breaks are a time for jetting off to exotic locals and having some fun off campus. But let’s face it, most students come back sunburned, worn out, and not at all ready for the next round of classes.

Since college life is somewhat hectic, school breaks are a great time to get things done. Many tasks are impossible to complete while cramming for an essay test, so get a jump start on your next semester at Upper Iowa University by being productive before returning to school.

Start by making a to-do list

Simple enough. Just jot down all of the errands or responsibilities you have been putting off due to scheduling constraints. Need an oil change? Forgot to file your tax return? Been living off of mac-n-cheese for far too long? No matter what you put on your to-do list, you will definitely be pleased every time you check something off!

Schedule appointments

Going to the dentist may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but the “I have class” excuse doesn’t apply when you are on a school break. By scheduling appointments well in advance (maybe during your previous school break?), you can knock out your doctor’s exam, dental or hair appointment, and any needed auto repairs, all in one week!

Clean, clean, clean

They don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing! If it’s been a while since you have scrubbed your shower or organized your closet, roll up your sleeves and get to work! Clean sheets and dust-free bookshelves in your dorm room or apartment can go a long way towards reducing your stress levels and making your life more comfortable.

Decorate/reorganize your dorm room

Has the layout of your dorm room been bothering you all year? Move things around to maximize your space. Now that everything is clean and organized, break out the artwork that has been collecting dust in the back of your closet and finally hang some things on the wall!

Stock up on supplies

It's amazing how many pens, pencils, and notebooks you go through in a semester. Go through your desk drawers and check your storage bins to see what supplies are running dangerously low. The last thing you need is to spend your study time searching for something to write with.

Explore future classes

Take a look at what classes are offered in future sessions and plan ahead.

Buy your textbooks

If you haven’t already bought your textbooks for the next session, now is a great time to search them out. As a rule of thumb, avoid buying new unless you have no other choice. There are probably some used textbook sources in your area or you may be able to rent or borrow your textbooks if you are willing to put in a little extra effort to find them.

Practice your speed reading

Speed reading is a very useful skill to have when you have a heavy course load. Some tips for studying more efficiently include:

  • Stop saying the words in your head as you read
  • Focus on the words in the middle of sentences
  • Using the third word rule by skipping the first two and last two words in every line
  • Clustering words together

Remember: The faster you absorb information, the faster you can blaze through a textbook and go out for pizza.

Improve your note-taking abilities

Organization is key in note-taking, buy you also want to keep it short and sweet. If you find that your notes have become increasingly convoluted or difficult to read, it might be time to try out some new methods. Some suggestions for rebooting your techniques:

  • Stick to key words and short sentences
  • Use your own words, do not copy the professor verbatim
  • Use symbols to denote important information
  • Structure your notes in a hierarchy or outline form

Start an exercise routine

Everyone keeps raving about the recreation center, but you have never had time to check it out. What are you waiting for? Even if you don’t have time for complicated circuits or the aerobic classes don’t fit your schedule, just 10 minutes a day of walking, yoga, or dancing can regulate your moods, decrease your stress, and bolster your energy levels.

Being productive over your school break will help make your return to school a whole lot easier. For more useful tips and tricks, contact Upper Iowa University today!

Get a jump on next semester by being productive over break! To find out more, call 800-553-4150!

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