Preparing For the Fall Semester

Preparing for the Fall Semester!

I’m already freaked out that July 4th is behind us and the Fall 2015 semester will be starting in a little over a month. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not totally excited for what this new semester will bring! If I had to choose, I think Fall semesters are probably my favorite. Coming off of a 3 month summer break, I feel refreshed and ready to take on anything that comes my way! This includes preparing for the semester ahead which, let’s face it, is one of my favorite things. I usually begin prepping at the beginning of August. That way, I give myself plenty of time to get it together! Now, without further ado, here’s a list of how I personally prepare for each Fall semester!


Now is the time to get all of those DIY projects you’ve been dying to try out of the way! I know you’ve been pinning dorm organization and apartment decor ideas all summer and now is the perfect time to try them! I find that winter break goes way too quickly and I can never find enough time to get any projects done because of the holidays. So, I save all of my projects for the end of summer and that allows me to be able to proudly display them when I move into my new apartment or dorm!

2. Planner Hunting

My favorite activity! I spend a few weeks in the summer researching planners and deciding which one will work best for me. This summer, I even created a guide to help college students find the right planner! I also wrote a post about the beautiful Day Designer Blue Sky planners from Target so make sure you check that out if you’re still huntin’ for that perfect planner!

3. School Supply Shopping

(My second favorite activity.) I usually purchase a notebook for each class, a binder, some new highlighters/pens (if I need them!), and any other items I find “essential”. If you’re about to be a college freshman, here’s a post of what I think you’ll need!

4. Make a Packing List (and start packing!)

I usually always start making a list around this time of things I need to remember to pack! Since I’m going to be in a new apartment, I have to make sure I have all of the essentials for decorating and otherwise! Check out my post, “The Only College Packing List You’ll Need“! It has every single thing that I needed (and I made a note of the things I didn’t!) for dorm living and I even included a printable version! If you decide to use another list (such as one from Pinterest or one your school gives you), there might be some items listed that you might not have ever used before or thought you needed. Don’t purchase those items unless you’re absolutely positive you’ll need it and use it! There were a good amount of items I bought for my freshman year (and sophomore year!) that I didn’t end up using. I found myself asking, why did I buy this? Don’t be like me!

5. Check if the Syllabus is Posted

Usually I’m not added into classes on Blackboard until the week before the class begins (sometimes even the day before, SMH professors!) but I always check just in case. I like to start organizing myself as soon as I can (because I love it) so if the syllabus is posted in advance, it just gives me more time to start writing things down in my planner!

6. Set Some Goals

The last thing I do is try to set some goals for myself for the upcoming semester. For example, I’ve come really close to making the Dean’s List both freshman and sophomore year and this year I’m making it my goal to be on the Dean’s List! Other goals could be to go to the gym at least 3 times per week, study for at least an hour each night, or to go out more (I tend to be a homebody during the school year). The best thing about goal setting is that it’s COMPLETELY up to you! Make sure you set goals that are attainable but still will allow you to learn + grow!

What do you do to prepare for an upcoming semester?

  • I totally share your preparedness for class! I find shopping for supplies and organizational items to be so fun. I’ve already found my planner for the year and once it gets a little closer to august, I’ll start finding binders, folders, etc. This is summer I have to be extra prepared because I’m already starting to work on my senior thesis!

    • Hi Lindsee, thanks for commenting! What planner are you using this year? And senior thesis… that sounds like a lot of work. What is your major?

      • I’m using the classic agenda from Bando. They have such cute designs and stickers too!! :) I’m stressing over my thesis a bit because I’m not sure exactly where to go with it… But I want to get as much done as possible before the semester kicks in. I’m majoring in psychology.

        • I wrote a post about different types of planners I recommend and of course I included Bando agendas!! I think the stickers are adorable, I’m considering just getting a sticker book to use in my planner haha :)

          And I think that’s a great idea. You’ll probably thank yourself later for trying to get something done before the semester! And I’m a psych minor :)

  • I miss having an excuse to school supply shop! This post makes me so nostalgic for college!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

    • I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t school supply shop anymore. Luckily I’m going to grad school so I’ll get a few more years in 😉

      Thanks for stopping by + commenting!!

  • Ugh packing. It’s the best and worst at the same time! But, it’s always better to pack ahead of time than the day before! 😉

    • SO true!! My freshman year I was definitely one of those people who waited till the last minute. I waited until the day before to pack and it was so overwhelming (the fact I was leaving for college and the fact that I had to pack up my entire life in one day) that I began crying in the middle of my piles of clothes lol. Needless to say, I will NEVER be packing last-minute again!!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  • you’ve reminded me to check for the syllabus in my class this semester. Also, picked up a day designer planner at target yesterday…already OBSESSED :) xoxo

    • Woo hoo!! Which one did you get? Daily or weekly?

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      • I got the weekly! I looked at the daily but quickly realized I wouldn’t need that much detail. Hopefully this one works out well for me :)

        • Yay!! You’ll have to let me know how you like it :)

  • also, what font are you using for your photos? love it!

  • I loooooove school supply shopping. I could do it all day. I also love planner hunting.

    • Girl, we are two peas in a pod then. I seriously wish I could be someone’s personal school supply and planner shopper. I absolutely love it.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

  • I can’t wait to start officially going school supply shopping!! I already got my planner; the Large Lilly Pulitzer Scuba to Cuba. It’s my first ever Lilly agenda and I am super excited. I even did a review of it on my blog. My Sophomore year of college is going to be super organized. Whoo Hoo!!!!

    • I’ve never had a Lilly planner but my best friend uses one and really likes it!! I included Lilly planners in my “planner guide” here on the blog because I think they are so freakin’ adorable!! Come back to the blog in a few weeks, I plan to do a few posts on how I organize my planners!!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some love :)

  • Hey Kayla! I love school supply and planner shopping. I got a 2 year Vera Bradley planner and I’m already obsessed with it :)

    • I’ve never seen the Vera Bradley planners!! I bet they’re adorable. School supply shopping is the best!!

      Thanks for stopping by + commenting :)

  • Nice list! I’m actually just about to move-out of my college apartment and head back home for the summer, so I haven’t really been thinking much about the fall semester yet. I do love school supplies shopping though! And I am quite addicted to planners, but I normally look for them around New Year’s since I use yearly ones instead of academic. :)

    Melissa // The Hopeful Wayfarer

    • Hey Melissa!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving some love :)

      School supply shopping is the absolute best. What sort of planner do you use?

  • Kendall Lake

    Found this list via Pinterest, and I can’t wait to explore your blog! Always glad to find a fellow planner/office supply addict.

    ~Kendall //

    • Hey Kendall! I love, love, love your blog! I’m so glad you found me through Pinterest :)

  • This is a great list! Planner searching is always my favorite! Goal setting is always a great way to get started on the right foot for the semester. One thing I would add for myself is to start healthy habits now. It makes it easier than trying to pick up when the semester starts!


  • Danielle Redding

    Personally since all of my classes are online I make sure that I have at least one space if not two that I can hunker down and hit the books for a few hours in the morning with some great coffee and an easy breakfast. My other piece of advice is to get in the habit of eatting breakfast in the morning, even if it is just toast or a piece of fruit on the way to class. this is my sixth year in college and yes it took me five years to figure out that coffee is not breakfast. So I make sure I have lots of breakfast goodies in my apartment. If it happens to be one of the odd days where I fill in at work and my schedule is reversed so homework is a nighttime ordeal the same applies I have juice with club soda mixed in (great homade soda) and a protein packed snack.

    • Sounds like you have a great routine down! Thanks for sharing, Danielle!

  • Jacinda

    Thanks for sharing, Kayla! I was so excited to find your blog! I am actually a speech pathology major at West Virginia University! I will keep in tune with your blog. :)

    • Hi Jacinda! So glad you found my blog! Best of luck this semester :)

  • I start school tomorrow and I’m more nervous than excited. All these are really awesome tips to give you that confidence you need heading back. Thanks Kayla. :)