Whether you’re just about to pack up and head back to school or you are returning to campus after a long holiday, you’ll want to make the most of this session.

Showing up for class and taking notes is only half a loaf of school experience. For the full loaf, try doing these 8 things during the new session:

1. Don’t miss that first day at school, orientation or welcome event
Not everyone needs to go to orientation, but if you’re a new student or in a school, you don’t want to miss your opportunity to get acquainted with your new surroundings.

Fine tune your study habits well ahead of time
Try one of these techniques, which might increase how much you can recall at test time.

  • Space out your study sessions rather than cramming.
  • Try studying in different locations each week.
  • Include several subjects in the study session rather than focussing on only one.

Give yourself a leg up on your classmates and stop by your teacher’s office hours
It’s never too early to create meaningful relationships with your instructors. Get to know your teachers. Those relationships generally result in other opportunities such as lab work or internships.

Improve your marketability by joining a club or other activity
This is particularly important if you’re in tertiary institution… If you’re trying to increase your odds of staying in school and graduating on time, get involved in a club or, even better, look for a student leadership position.

Find a good alarm clock and planner
To stay on top of their schedules, you need to have a good alarm clock (or app) and a planner system that will help you track assignments, tests and other activities. Without some time management tools, things can quickly get overwhelming.

Take advantage of school resources early and often
Experts say one of the biggest mistakes students make is waiting too long to seek out assistance. Most schools these days often have a variety of resources from tutoring to library to an academic support office. Use what’s available, and it doesn’t have to be when you’re in trouble

Hang out with the right people
If your friends are more interested in hitting the playground than hitting the books, this session could be a disaster for you. Look for people who have similar goals. Surround yourself with students who are committed. I don’t mean to say isolate yourself. Make a friend or two, just be sure they’re good ones.

Take ownership of your own success or failure
The final, and perhaps most important, thing to do during this session is to realise you alone are responsible for the outcome of your school years.

Start strong and you will finish strong.