As the summer winds down, I decided to make a checklist for all the things I want to have done before going back to Swat. Some things on the list are more mundane than others, but I highly recommend all of them.
- Stock up on Toiletries It’s a really basic step, but there’s nothing as annoying as getting settled in at Swat only to realize that you forgot to pack shampoo or toothpaste and now need to go out of your way to buy some before your schedule gets hectic. If you’re flying to Swat and it’s difficult to bring a big stock of toiletries, I highly recommend getting in early enough so that you have time to go to Target or the Co-op to stock up before classes start.
- Get a Name/Face Refresher If you’re like me, you might have trouble remembering people’s names after being away for the summer, or maybe you’re new to Swat and you want to make sure you don’t accidentally call your new roommate the wrong name. That’s what Facebook is for. All you have to do is take a quick look down the list of Swarthmore students on your friends list. It’s a simple way to avoid awkward greetings at the beginning of the year.
- Sleep Personally, I try to prioritize sleep at Swat even when my schedule is hectic, but it can be hard to do that sometimes, and so it’s important to get sleep while you can. Trust me, you will feel much better if you start the semester with plenty of sleep instead of staying up until 3am every night doing whatever.
- Get Excited about your Classes Unless you decide to drop classes, these are the subjects/professors/classmates that you’re going to be spending the next 14 or so weeks with, so it’s a good idea to get excited about them. That can include rereading the course syllabus, taking a peak at the assigned readings (if you know what they are), or even just messaging friends that will be in that class with you. If you’re already excited about them, I wouldn’t go overboard with this, but it’s nice to start the semester with some enthusiasm.
Enjoy the last bit of the summer, and good luck!