Prepping for Going Back to School As An Adult

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So you’ve made the decision and enrolled in a program – YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU’VE GOT THIS! Now I’m here to help you with what you need your prepare for the upcoming semester. Going back to school as an adult is hard enough, trust me. Read my list so you’re prepared to start your new life as stress-free as possible!

I’ll be listing some actual school supplies a bit farther down, but first I wanted to touch on some important things that can be easily overlooked when you’re going back to school as an adult. Take notes and enjoy your time back in school!

back to school supplies and prep for adults going back to school


You’ve prepared your schedule to fit classes in to your daily routine, but don’t forget to think about scheduling in time for studying and doing homework! This can be a MAJOR help, because it seems like things are going along pretty nicely the first couple weeks, and then BAM – all of a sudden you’ve got a bunch of projects coming due and tests to study for.

Decide how much time outside of work and class and home life that you can devote to homework and studying. Now, you don’t need to put aside so many hours a day. It’s just not realistic with all the things you have to do.

I recommend reserving a good chunk of time on one weekend day, plus a couple smaller chunks of time on weekdays, maybe in the evening or early in the morning. Use a planner to notate all your due dates and test dates, and then work ahead.

PROCRASTINATION DOESN’T WORK WHEN YOU’RE THIS BUSY. I can tell you from experience. If you’re a chronic procrastinator and can’t envision yourself ever breaking out of that cycle, it is so doable. My first time in school I waited until the night before to do literally every assignment. But back in school now, I aim to complete all my assignments with at least 5 days to spare. That way, if something comes up in my work or home life I’m not floundering trying to finish at the last minute.


Yeah, I know. You’re a total badass who is 100% capable of getting all the shit done. But you will burn out or get yourself sick if you don’t make regular time to relax. Buy your favorite beer or wine, read a book for pleasure, go out with your girlfriends or your spouse/partner/parents/children etc.

Even when it feels like you have a shit ton on your plate, stepping away will do you good. You’ll come back to your school work feeling recharged and reading to take on your day.


No one likes showing up on the first day of classes, all jittery with excitement and nerves, only to end up panicking because they don’t know which parking lot they as students can use, or where to get a parking pass.

If possible, I recommend getting your pass before the semester starts, and at the very least looking at the student parking lots on a map ahead of time. Extra points for preparedness if you have the time to drive to school and find the lot in person.

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to be worried about the parking situation when you’re already worried about the whole going back to school as an adult thing.

back to school supplies and preparation for adults going back to college


Whether you’re taking out loans, using scholarship or grant money, or paying out of pocket, make sure you know when payment is due and how the school is going to get it.

My school offers a payment plan over the course of the 4-5 months of each semester. Anyone can sign up for it, but you have to do it by a certain date, or pay the full balance at once. Make sure you look at this info way earlier than you think you need to!

If you have the smallest question, don’t be afraid to call the bursar’s office. No question is a dumb question when it comes to your school payments.


You’ve got what it takes to do this, I promise! So check your hair, grab your bag, and walk through those front doors.

Read on for a list of school supplies you might want to grab ahead of time.

Notebook made of recycled paper

Refillable pen

Pencils (colored too for note-taking) and a pencil sharpener if you don’t do mechanical

A coffee thermos and/or reusable water bottle

Sturdy backpack




Goggles for science labs

Any necessary field gear depending on what you’re studying

Your favorite alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage for relaxing once in a while

Are you ready for school?

Tell me! If you’re going back to school, what are you studying? Or what do you hope to study? Did I miss any of your favorite school supplies?

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