By
Robert Leitner ’17
08/30/2017

With summer winding down and the fall semester around the corner, there are several simple steps students can take to help them feel more prepared and relaxed to restart their schooling.

The University's Academic Success Center, which offers students free programs and services to enhance their learning and development, compiled these six things students can do now, while the summer sun is still shining, to help ensure success when the semester starts and the leaves start falling.

1) Gather course materials ahead of time

Take a moment to log onto myRider and check Canvas for messages from professors and distribution of syllabi. Knowing what's expected of you and purchasing required textbooks and other materials prior to the start of class can go a long way in helping you feel one step ahead. Make a list, double check supplies and come to school ready to succeed.

2) Get to know campus

Worse than missing a class is not even knowing where class was supposed to be. Take the time to genuinely familiarize yourself with important locations on the Lawrenceville campus and the Princeton campus such as classrooms, professors’ offices and dining locations.

3) Read outside of classwork

Every college course requires reading, and everyone’s reading ability can improve over time. Gain a little insight for the semester ahead by reading books and articles related to your major. This year, all first-year students should also be reading Trevor Noah's memoir, Born a Crime, which is the University's Shared Read selection for the 2017-18 school year.

4) Get a planner

College life is busy. Juggling class schedules, meeting with faculty, participating in extra-curricular activities and creating space for personal time all become easier when you systematically plan your weeks. Plus, checking items off a daily or weekly to-do list is a rewarding feeling in itself.

5) Determine departure times for commuting

Commuting to school adds another variable to already busy schedules. To minimize stress and nail-biting races to class, plan your departures ahead of time, making sure to leave ample travel time especially around busy rush hours where traffic could cause significant delays.

6) Check your Rider email

Important University business is communicated through email, whether it's information about financial aid, parking or course schedules. Stay up to date with relevant and important messages by checking your email often.