Top 10 ways to get ready for school

It’s no secret it can be hard to come back

1. Dress only in Cavalier gear

A staple of the University community is at least half of the students being dressed in University garb. It wouldn’t be a normal day if everyone were dressed normally. In order to feel like you’re back on Grounds, dress up your entire family in Cavalier gear — even the dog or the cat or the hamster. I don’t know where you’ll find a shirt small enough for your hamster, but maybe your grandma can whip something up. If the clothes aren’t enough, go so far as to change your bedding, your posters and even your wallpaper to orange and blue. 

2. Ruin your sleep schedule

The perfect way to feel like you’re in college again is to have no sleep schedule at all. Maybe you have an afternoon class one day and a morning the next in the spring semester, so start sleeping like it. Most nights, I either stay up until 11:30 p.m. or 2 a.m. — there is no in between. Who even knows when I’ll wake up most days? Maybe I feel like I’m living some cursed life where I’m tired all the time, but that’s just part of being a college student, right? 

3. Change your diet

Your family is probably feeding you too well, and you’re getting spoiled. We all know that a college diet consists of whatever warms up in the microwave fast enough and whatever wine was cheapest at Kroger. No more home-cooked meals or getting all of your food groups. Vegetables? Never heard of them. The only fruit I get is when I walk past Juice Laundry once a week and feel bougie enough to buy something. My breakfasts consist solely of coffee and despair, and dinner isn’t usually till 9 p.m. when I finally wake up from my afternoon nap. #livingmybestlife

4. Go to the library

Try to find a library as dismal as Clem 1 or the basement of Clark. Bring the heaviest books you own and plenty of snacks and chargers. Once you get to there, it’s important to lay out all of your school supplies and try to look as productive as possible. Then do absolutely nothing. At. All. Stare at your phone, watch Vine compilations on YouTube or suddenly find the motivation to sort all of your pens — but whatever you do, do not get any work done. That defeats the entire purpose of going to the library. 

5. Distance yourself

Eventually your grades will drop to devastating levels and your funds will be depleted from too many weekends spent at Trin, so it’s best to start distancing yourself from your family to avoid impending embarrassment and shame. Your mom can’t see the fact that you only have $2 in your checking account if you never respond to her texts! How will you grandmother know that you haven’t had a real meal in two weeks if you don’t call her back? Maybe they’re worried about your sudden dip in communication, but it really is for the better. 

6. Reminisce about good times

Here’s a little rhyme you can repeat to yourself when you’re feeling particularly homesick for Grounds — “Twas the night before spring semester when all through the Lawn, not a creature was stirring, not even a frat boy named Shawn. The lights were hung on the Rotunda with care, in hopes that returning students soon would be there. The Hoos were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Tony Bennett danced in their heads; and TSully in her kerchief, and TJ in his cap, had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.”

7. Open your University email

If you’re like me, you’re avoiding opening your email. Whenever a professor sends me an email, a piece of me dies. Please do not send me a syllabus. Please do not tell me what to expect in your class or how many papers I’ll be writing. But if you really want to be fully prepared, this is one necessary evil for coming back. Just remember to take it slow at first so you don’t die of shock from all the upcoming stress. 

8. Fill out financial aid

FAFSA is such a pain in the butt, but unfortunately, we have to fill it out each year. Filling it out reminds me of how little money I actually have and how much I waste on food. I honestly never realized how much I was saving as a first year every time I went to the dining hall. If I stopped spending so much money on eating out, I could probably have enough money to eat out somewhere nice rather than McDonald’s every Thursday. 

9. Start walking everywhere

Nothing pains me more than having to walk almost everywhere. My legs are so small, and my determination is so weak, but it’s something that has to be done. No longer will you have the luxury of driving places and parking for free. No longer will you be warm and dry when going from place to place. Break out those sneakers and parkas because you’ve got a big storm coming. 

10. Stock up on tissues

College is hard, my friends. Being an adult is quite the roller coaster, and sometimes that roller coaster becomes a little too much to handle. It’s important to have tissues nearby for when the stress makes you get sick or when you find yourself crying in the club because of a heartfelt dog video. I highly recommend the kind that come with lotion, or else your face will be feeling really scratchy and red, and crying is bad enough without an irritated face. Maybe this would be a good time to call your mom — just avoid talking about grades, money or your dating life. 

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