Written by on October 10, 2014

Getting into the “school mindset” and starting your quarter off the right way

Fall quarter can be a tough transition. Coming from a relaxed, summer state of mind into a hectic, busy, this-is-due-tomorrow mindset is a hard adjustment. However, this transition is something that has to be done sooner or later, and I have definitely figured out that sooner is so much better than later. And keeping stress levels to a minimum is key in this transition.

Hopefully by now, week 3 of the quarter, everyone is back on track. However, for the stragglers, here’s a few tips to keeps stress levels down and create an almost seamless transition into fall quarter:

Really know your class schedule

This means to know the building and room number, know the professor’s name, read the course description on PASS, talk to someone who has already taken the class, read the syllabus online (if it is available early). Basically, know what you’re signing yourself up for. Knowing as much information as possible about the classes you are about to take can help ease the stress from this transition because you’ll know exactly what to expect from each class.

For example, I signed up for a philosophy class a few years ago with a certain professor. I hadn’t really done any research on the class or the professor. All I knew was that philosophy was going to be a difficult class, so what did it matter which professor I had? However, after speaking to a friend about that professor, she told me about a better professor who taught an easier philosophy class. I switched classes right away and was really happy I had that conversation. This new professor seemed much better than the other and I was able to pass the class.

Why nap when you could get your homework done?

In other words, use your time wisely. I have heard this piece of advice many times, and I’m sure you have as well. However, instead of just brushing it off to the side and ignoring it (like usual), I started putting it into practice in the past few weeks. While it has been a hard habit to keep up with, my stress levels are lowered when I do take the time to be productive instead of napping or binge watching Netflix.

Still make time for some summer fun

Just because school starts doesn’t mean summer activities have to end! We live in a beautiful town with many outdoor activities all year round. The beach is only 15 minutes away. Famer’s Market is every Thursday. Hiking trails are all over SLO ( and might be more fun to experience when the summer heat has passed). If you make good use of your time during the week, you will definitely have time to get your summer fix all year round.


Overall, the best way that I have found to transition into fall quarter is to have a good balance in life. Using all of your time to study might lead to burning out in the middle of the quarter. Likewise, using up free time to binge on your favorite T.V. show will not lead you to good places academically. So, make time for the fun stuff, but make sure that you are up on your school work in order to help make this transition the best it can be.

How do you ease this transition?

Read more on cal poly, fall quarter, kennedy library, Robert E. Kennedy Library, san luis obispo, and summer.