Top 10 Holiday Wish List Items for Academic Success

‘Tis the season to eat Turkey and plan holiday shopping sprees. It is also the time of year when people begin asking what we gifts we would like for the upcoming holiday season.

It is easy to populate the Wish List with fanciful and fun things, clothes and accessories, games and adult toys, etc. Maybe we toss in a practical things or two. In many ways, the Holiday Wish List is the thing we use to give us the outward life we envision for ourselves: the outfits, the downtime, the decorative environment that reflects our personal style, etc.

If the Wish List helps create the life we imagine for ourselves, why wouldn’t it include items that can help make you a successful student?

It should. And, if you want to improve your personal self so that you can continue to create the life you envision for yourself post-college, the list needs to include items that can enhance your academic life as well.

View this year’s Holiday Wish List as a tool to help get (or keep) yourself on track  for the new semester. You can include a variety of useful items that will help you get more organized and stay focused. You need them anyway, why not put them on the Wish List?

Here are the Top 10 Things for Your Academic Wish List:

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  1.  A good planner. I’ve discussed planners before in Get on Track III. Make sure you get one that has ample space for writing assignments and a month-at-a-glance calendar. This makes your Semester Calendar portable.
  2. A large dry erase wall calendar with dry erase markers (in various colors) so you can make your Semester CalendarColor code your classes, activities, events, games, etc.and post it at your desk/workstation for easy viewing. If things change, everything is erasable. The calendar is reusable as well, which is always a bonus.
  3. Colored pens. These are great for color-coding lecture and reading notes, as well as making study materials that will benefit from eye-catching color associations.
  4. You should have used up your highlighters from the first semester! If you haven’t, then you need to highlight notes and study materials more.
  5. A few packs of index cards. These are great for flash cards, but you’ll also want to keep a list of important names, numbers, and email addresses by your desk (ideally on you wall). You can also make a card that include just information about your professors’ office hours.
  6. A flash drive. Yes, you have a computer and yes, Google Drive exists for a reason, but never underestimate the need for keeping your information in multiple A good flash drive is really helpful: it is portable AND it doesn’t require use of the internet. All you need is a computer. Determine what size drive you need 16GB, 2G, 4G, etc.
  7. Notebooks/paper for reading and class notes. You can use loose leaf, one-subject or three subject notebooks, legal pads, composition books, in any style: graph, wide or college ruled, blank, etc. Make sure to get one for each of your classes. Multi-packs of notebooks or legal pads are great and cost effective. If you are in art or architecture classes, ask for a sketch pad.
  8. A bulletin board. This is kind of like your command center. This bulletin board will hang above your workstation and it will help you keep all of your important materials in one place.
  9. A supply of pens and/or pencils (either a good, old-fashioned #2 or a refillable mechanical pencil) . Whatever you prefer to take notes with is what you should have on demand. Running out of pens in the middle of the day when you have to run to class…and then you forget you need more, until you’re in class the next day…a vicious cycle that can be avoided.
  10. Sticky Notes. Use these for notes and reminders, to hold the place of important points in readings or ideas toward which your professor points your attention (which means the information is important!), for things to review, etc.

Bonus Thing!

Starbucks Gift Card $25” target=”_blank”>A Starbuck’s card. Yes. I said it. Coffee. Tea. Hot Chocolate. Hot Apple Cider. Pastries.  Use the card to give you sustenance during the week and to celebrate your making it trough the week or month. Have a coffee/treat day. Mine is Friday. I completed the week, I got a lot done, I get a green tea latte to congratulate myself for my effort because I deserve a little a treat. So do you.

So remember: use your Holiday Wish List to help improve your life in a holistic manner, not just from a materialistic stand point. Your future, post-college self will thank you present-self for being smart enough to invest in your academic sense as much as you invest in your fashion sense.

Here’s to good Wish List making!



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