To all of my fellow college students, the time has come. Summer has been interesting for some, great for others, and boring for the rest. But now it’s time to buckle back down and prepare for the semester. I’m going to be honest to all of my readers, I’m sure most of you know what back to school week in college is really about: parties, social events, cookouts, rush, etc. But remember, as a college student, one of the main keys to success in college is time management.

Here’s a list of things you definitely need to be doing to start the semester off right:

1.     Check e-mails –  Professors sometimes send e-mails to students prior to class starting. Some professors may even have an assignment due on the first day and it is your job as a student to be responsible and find out for yourself what your professor might want.

2.     Get your books – I suggest you get books when you go back to school. Some people wait until classes start due to schedule changes that may occur, and that is fine as well, but professors typically start assigning things right after the first day of class. So GET YOUR BOOKS !

3.     Take care of errands on campus – This can be anything from making sure your financial aid is situated to getting necessary paperwork in on time. Anything related to your tuition that may need to be solved definitely falls in this category as well. Whatever you may need to get done, it would be best to get done before classes start.

Use a to-do list to help you with your time management. Pick times when you want to be productive during the day to make sure you are prepared for class, and then have fun at night. Or between daytime events take time to run your errands.

It’s essential that the things you need to have done before class are accomplished BEFORE class. Successfully preparing for class can reflect what kind of student you are and essentially how successful you will be this semester. So do the right thing. Balance out significant errands and fun opportunities. Get what you need done in a set time-frame and still make time to enjoy being back to school. If you can do that you will be set for a positive semester!

Erin Lewis is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina studying English and Women and Gender Studies. She is on the executive board of the NAACP at her university,  member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and a member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She aspires to become a professor in a women studies department and write a book.