It's time to head back to school, but wait - are you ready to get back into your academic rhythm again? Click through for 5 tips to make this semester your best one yet.

If you’re anything like me, you’re likely dreading the return to school after your lengthy hiatus from college classes. After a well-deserved winter break filled with holiday festivities, Netflix catch-up marathons, and mornings of sleeping in, finding your academic rhythm again may prove to be challenging.

Being granted several weeks — or even a month — off from school can feel like an extended vacation, but, unfortunately, it was only temporary. Now is the time to reclaim the groove of scholarship and tap into your intellect for another fun-filled semester.

How can I get back into the school mindset, you ask? Luckily there are several ways you can prepare for the start of classes and tap into your academic rhythm again:

1. Adjust your sleep schedule. This is probably the single best way to feel well rested and regulate your routine again. Going to bed a few hours earlier each night will make it easier to rise early in the morning when your incessant alarm awakes you to start your day. It’s best to start doing this at least a week in advance to assure you don’t fall asleep in class!

Check out: The Top 10 Ways to Fall (And Stay) Asleep

2. Map out your schedule. Purchasing a calendar or planner of some sort is a very useful tool and a smart investment. It’s wise to map out your schedule and follow your class syllabi religiously to assure you meet all of your deadlines. As a college student, I know the ease with which our academic lives can become disorganized. Keeping a calendar within reach will help alleviate any plan conflicts as well as anchor your focus.

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Must read: Keeping Track of Your Busy Life: The Art of Using a Planner

3. Learn to pack ahead. If you’re a student who must get up early for morning classes, packing your bag the night before is a smart idea. Get into the habit of preparing your books, homework, and even lunch the night before so everything is ready to go in the morning. This prevents you from possibly running late and also reduces the risk of you forgetting anything at home.

4. Refresh your memory. Most schools offer some sort of online forum for students to connect with their peers, professors, and class descriptions. It may be wise to take a few minutes out of your day to log on to your school’s website and reread class descriptions. This will help remind you which classes you’ve signed up for so you know what kind of semester you’re about to embark on. Additionally, you may even be able to download your syllabi early to get a head start on mapping out your semester.

5. Purchase your textbooks early. Save yourself the embarrassment of going to class without having read the first chapter because you haven’t yet picked up your textbook. You can easily print off a listing from your school’s website to pick up your books and be prepared to dive right into your new course loads!

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With all of these valuable tips, you should be prepared to kick-off the new semester relaxed, prepared, and with a fresh and open mind. Coming off of winter break and falling into the routine of academia is a bit challenging for all of us at first. However, taking these careful measures will surely get you back into your academic rhythm once again!