Time to be honest, my friends – summer is almost over. Fall is coming, with its comfy sweaters and delicious coffee, but before it gets here, we have to survive back-to-school season. Despite having weathered back-to-school sixteen times in my life, it always fills me with excitement and anxiety. I just want to do well, and so I tend to… Overprepare. There are worse things I could do, but since I have so much back-to-school spirit, I figured I’d help you all prepare, too, with the supplies you’ll need to succeed in college. And my biggest pick this year is an eBook designed to help us all reach our full potential!
Supplies for Success (ft. How to Succeed in College)
If you want to cut down on backpack clutter, having three subject notebooks – one for Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and one for Tuesday/Thursday – will make your life so much easier. Unless you have a day with four classes in it, in which case, grab a five subject notebook and a snack, and know that we all believe in you.
Another essential? An accordion file. Get one for each school year, label the tabs with your classes, and keep the most important papers – your syllabus, study guides, and assignment handouts – towards the front of each pocket. No more asking for extra copies or downloading docs from the course website six times, and no more juggling four or five folders a semester. It’s wonderful.
Stock up on your preferred pens and pencils – it’s better to buy two or three packs now than be the student in a 300-person lecture begging everyone around them for a pen. If you’re a visual learner, opt for colorful pens to help you retain information. Highlighters are, to me, a necessary evil. I once wrote a sonnet about how much I hate them, but then I found “mildliners” online. Instead of neon colors, mildliners are pastels, so fellow highlighter haters, rejoice!
Inevitably, you’re going to want a planner of some sort. Whether it’s a bullet journal, one of those giant Lily Pulitzer books, or even an app on your phone, you need it to stay organized. Type A readers probably already have a planner or four picked out for next year, but for my fellow type B’s, this is the key to not forgetting your assignments and knowing in advance when you’ll be busy, which is essential in college.
A reusable water bottle might not be intuitive, but you absolutely need one. You’re going to be busy, and dehydration is a lot more common than you think! Dehydration causes fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and confusion – not things you want to deal with during the school day. So please, my friends, stay hydrated and take good care of yourselves.
I do have one more trick up my sleeve, though, when it comes to college success – and it’s actually a book.
How to Succeed in College from Sara Laughed
There are a million college guides out there. You could get separate books about essay writing, motivation, scheduling, and self-care. But if you’ve noticed a trend with my college supplies, it’s that I like to keep everything in one place. So my college guide of choice is How to Succeed in College.
How to Succeed is an eBook out from Sara, of Sara Laughed, and I’m lucky enough to be part of the launch team for this book, which does exactly what it says on the tin – takes you step by step through collegiate success. Spoiler alert – there’s a reason the title doesn’t end with “without really trying.” Success takes effort, but if you want to make it through the magical land of Getting Stuff Done, Sara will be your guide.
Seriously, though. Anything you can think of that you might need to know, she’s got covered. How to Succeed is laid out in chapters full of sections and subsections, which makes reading it straight through feel fast as lightning, and looking up specific advice a breeze. The book is also peppered with worksheets designed to get you on track and ready for success, which Sara walks you through, sharing anecdotes and advice along the way.
Sara and I agree on a lot of things, from the proper use of a syllabus to the dangers of procrastination, (“I seriously prefer having a terrible eight-page paper to a perfect first sentence.” might be one of my favorite lines in the book!), but she also has the fresh perspective I sometimes need on every topic she covers. And Sara covers just about everything. Motivation, organization, scheduling, note-taking, reading, writing, studying, beating procrastination, and even taking care of yourself are covered in detail, with helpful suggestions and succinct summaries designed to help readers succeed not in one area, but in all of them.
Do I think Sara’s advice works? I know it does. Last night, I realized that a class in my schedule got cancelled and I needed to replace it immediately, so I could submit my work availability. Luckily, earlier in the week, I had gone through How to Succeed in College‘s schedule planning worksheet, and jotted a few classes I wanted to take but wasn’t sure I’d have time for in the margins. It was a snap to look back to my plan and choose a class that fit into my current schedule.
I also used a few of her motivation strategies to get through this post, and every time I reference it, the positive energy inside makes me feel like I could climb a mountain, or run a marathon (both of which are things I cannot actually do). She strikes just the right balance in her writing, and all her advice is rock solid. I’ll probably be referencing her section on procrastination weekly once I’m back in classes – it’s motivating and it works. If you want to succeed when you get to campus, this eBook will help you do it.
You can get more information on How to Succeed in College here, or (if I’ve convinced you!), you can head over to Gumroad to buy your copy. When you support bloggers like Sara, you’re supporting an entire industry of writing tailored to your needs, and ensuring that great writers can keep writing. Plus, it’s less than $10, so there’s really not reason not to snap up this deal.
What are your key supplies for success in the school year? Anything I’ve left out? And are you planning on checking out How to Succeed in College?