Graphic designed by Yuner Lu

The Essentials for an Ideal School Year

Four glorious summer months have gone by quicker than we expected. Now we’re back to attending Zoom lectures, taking notes, and probably drinking more coffee than water to push through all of the work. It can appear daunting to get back into your school routine and resume your academic and professional habits, but it’s not as hard as it seems.

Get back into a routine that works for you

No matter what you’re adjusting to, it’s extremely helpful to have a routine to follow to make sure you’re on track and organized. Give your habits a specific space in your life in an optimal environment where you’re motivated to work and check things off your to-do list. Having trouble with this? Ask for help! Whether it’s with a family member, a work colleague, or a friend, share your goals and talk about what you want to accomplish. This way, you get to work with someone you’re comfortable with and celebrate your successes.

Organize your school responsibilities and other commitments

Once you’ve got yourself into a routine, the next helpful step is to plan out your workload, meetings, calls, and personal working sessions. If you prefer the idea of seeing a list in your hand, purchase a planner or calendar and start crossing things off your list as you’re completing them. Amazon has some perfect options for under $25! If you like keeping things paperless, try out a new platform! Websites and apps like Monday.com, Asana, and even Google Calendar create a great visual space for you to schedule your tasks and see the progress as you’re working through them.

Sounds unusual, but stay active on social media!

You often hear about limiting your time on social media, and that’s a fact. But given our current situation, platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Discord are the best sources to stay involved in the school community. So many associations actively post on their pages about events and hiring for open positions throughout the school year. The Ted Rogers Students’ Society themselves constantly updates the student body on their Instagram and LinkedIn pages about upcoming events and initiatives that may be of interest. Sign up for some and explore several opportunities throughout your academic and professional journey!

Think about your goals and plan accordingly

Academic, personal, or professional, it’s important to keep your goals clear in your mind. Take a look at your classes and prioritize the work early on to give yourself the time to commit to everything as needed. If you’re focusing mainly on your academics this year, make sure you’re maintaining continuous workflow and study sessions while staying on top of any work that comes your way and prioritizing any tasks as needed. If you’re nervous about your assessments, take a moment to create a timeline for yourself to get a sense of when tests are coming up and when assignments are due. For more tips, check out our suggestions here. If you’re a co-op student, you can focus on researching possible career paths and checking in with your co-op coordinator to discuss the application process and any next steps. Do you want to work on your technical skills to apply to a future summer internship? Sign up for some bootcamps with friends and develop skills in applications like Microsoft Excel, Tableau and Python!

Make sure to have a work-life balance

One of the most critical things you need to do is make time for yourself. The last thing you want is to burn out when you need to be working your hardest. So take time every day to do something away from your regular school and work responsibilities. Get a coffee with a friend in between classes, fit in a workout after a long day, or go for a walk around your neighborhood. Whatever it is, make sure you’re taking real breaks where you’re giving yourself the chance to recharge and take a breath.

Without a doubt, we’re going to have to work hard and put in the time to achieve all the goals we’ve set for ourselves. But it’s important to remember that we’re still learning and working on bettering ourselves everyday. So, experiment a bit and find out what works best for you. Here’s to another fantastic school year!