Ways to Prepare for Higher Education

University student happy to be graduating

5 Ways to Prepare for Higher Education this Fall

September is “back to school” for many people.

We often think of “back to school” as K-12 students or even university students ages 18-22. Very rarely does the general public think of older individuals or higher education focused individuals.

Further, many of us only think about the student and not the family members connected to those students. Because, in fact, the family members are also affected by “back to school.”

While we still have some time before September, there is no time better than the present to start preparing for the grind – the “back to school” grind.

If you aren’t a student nor have a student in your family, pass this on to someone to help them kick off this new school year on the right foot!

Budgeting Expenses and Time

Let’s jump into 2 of the biggest hurdles that anyone, not just students, face.

Dealing with Finances

We are all familiar with budgeting your finances. It can be tricky for anyone. I know that I have had a few moments in my life that I have battled with budgeting!

But, as a student, or a family member of a student, budgeting expenses is important.

Here are some steps that might help you:

  • Outline the money you are receiving per month or 2 weeks or year, etc.

  • List the set expenses such as housing, food, and materials like books

  • Subtract the set expenses from the income to get your discretionary amount

  • List how much you would like to set aside for savings

  • Subtract the savings from the discretionary amount

  • The final number is the amount you can spend on other “fun” items/activities

You can always play around with these steps depending on your specific numbers/finances and goals, but it is a place to start!

Dealing with Time

Time is a harder concept to budget. Finances is easier because you have a set amount you receive and a set amount you spend. You can also touch the cash as it is more physical. Time is not.

Time can go fast or slow when you don’t want it to. It is something we don’t have control over. We can always get a new job with higher paying wages/salary, we cannot get more than 24 hours in a day.

The best way to budget your time is to make sure you are working with productive habits and resources that work best for you!

But here are some tips to get started:

  • Do the tasks you think are the easiest first – because that will boost your confidence for the harder tasks

  • Set a timer for tasks – the human brain can only focus on something for about an hour so make sure change things up throughout the day

  • Schedule breaks and fun moments – remember, breaks and hanging out with your friends and family is a great productivity boost!

  • Date” different productivity resources – if you aren’t sure what this means, let me tell you!

Start “Dating” Productivity Resources

A few months prior, I discussed how your relationship with productivity is just like dating or a romantic relationship.

When a friend tells you about a great new person that they think will be perfect for you – do you automatically marry them? NO! You might go on a few dates, but you might also continue to go on some dates with other “candidates.”

This should be the same with productivity resources and habits. You can find a lot of blogs and gurus telling you that this ONE way works. Yes, it works, but does it work for you?

Each person is unique and not every way or resource will be useful. It is beneficial to test each one out until you find the perfect (or close to perfect) fit!

Join Organizations/Programs to Socialize

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is good to schedule time to have fun moments with friends and family. For students, the biggest recommendation is to join organizations and or programs on campus that let you socialize.

Student life should not just be about studying. Too much studying can actually backfire on your productivity.

Humans are social creatures, so socialize!

Just like dating productivity resources, date organizations. Try a few events from a few organizations and decide which is a better fit with you and your interests. The first one might be perfect, but it could also not be great for you.

If you are an older student, such as going back to school or completing a Master’s or PhD, joining organizations is a great way to connect and network. You never know who you will meet!

Mingling is not easy, for sure, but once you do it a few times, it will get easier. Trust me!

Think About Balancing Jobs and Studies

This particular way to get ready for student-life is to think about if you would like to have a job while you are studying.

You can:

  • Work full time, study full time (good for you, that’s really great!)

  • Work part time, study full time

  • No work, study full time

  • Work full time, study part time

  • Work part time, study part time

  • Work full time, no study (definitely an option, but a bit strange for this “back to school” article haha)

And within the work sphere, you can have different types of jobs:

  • Hourly / Shift work

  • On campus job

  • Freelancing

  • Salary / Office work

Stay tuned for an article about freelancing and side hustles!

Create a Routine

By this point, you should have an idea on your financial budget and your time because you have organizations you are apart of and know how you are going to format your studying time.

What is left is putting all these pieces together and creating a routine.

Again, this might not be perfect at first. You might have thought that this particular productivity resource is perfect, but once put into actual practice, realize that it is time for an adjustment.


It is easy to start doubting yourself and self-criticizing, but don’t! Productivity is an evolving adventure. Even if you find a great routine, in a few years, it might be obsolete.

Try not getting committed to one thing.

As always, if you need a little boost in your productivity and or if you need a partner in your productivity journey, schedule a free 30 minute call with me!

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