Ethan Pham, The Paisano

Back-to-school traditions. We all have them. Some enjoy certain customs more than others. Some of us derive joy from purchasing an entirely new wardrobe. Others find pleasure in procuring that crisp, clean brand new trapper keeper (like anyone really uses those anymore, right?). Whatever the back-to-school tradition, we all have at least one. Here are among the most popular and relevant to college life.

1) Shop ‘til you drop:

Whether you are old-school and decide to make a trip to the local mall or tech-savvy and do all of your back-to-school shopping online, this pre-semester ritual is an age-old tradition that never dies. Let’s be honest, your closet is probably overflowing with summer attire at this point. When you are strolling through the mall and that really cool leather jacket catches your eye—you have no choice but to splurge! Or maybe your favorite shoe store is having a monumental sale online—you have got to buy three pairs! Studies show that a new wardrobe not only makes you look good, but it makes you feel good, too. After all, they don’t call it retail therapy for nothing!

 2) School scavenger hunt:

Let’s be honest, not knowing scares us. However, it is sort of intriguing at the same time. Naturally—no matter how many years you’ve been in school—you take a tour of your class schedule. Sometimes you have to take a random class that is totally unrelated to your major, but your advisor just says that you need it. Or maybe you have been in the same building for three years straight, but you just want to map out your trail to be sure. No matter the reason, there is an empowering (and exciting) feeling that comes along with a new class schedule. A feeling so compelling, that one decides that they must take on the role of tourist and scout out their future classrooms. Maybe you are preemptive and want to avoid the chaos of the first day back. Or maybe you are brave and bold and decide to face your fate head-on the first day back. No matter what your preference, playing the role of explorer is kind of a fun tradition.

 3) School supply serenity:

Brand new blank notebooks; the smell of freshly sharpened graphite; a state-of-the-art stapler; and that new hole-punch that perfectly pierces through paper; these are a few of your favorite things! If you are a lover of all things school supplies, just reading that should send chills throughout your body. Just like a new wardrobe can transform someone’s entire attitude, so can school supplies. For the overly organized, school supplies present a new outlook. New spic-and-span supplies can create a confidence that comes in the form of conquering the first quiz and maybe—just maybe—the first test. Just think about it: you decide to spend lavishly and purchase that pen that writes like a dream; you are taking notes and you love the pen so much that it becomes fun! Can you imagine, taking notes becomes fun?

4) Goal setting (and hopefully, keeping)

We all do it. Some of us write them down, others make mental notes, and the really ambitious print out a copy and post it on their wall! I’m talking goals. Maybe you have been meaning to exercise more since the year started. Maybe you really need to raise your GPA. Maybe you want to land a killer internship. No matter what you want to attain, goal-setting is important and not uncommon amongst college students. After all, you are in college so you have got the ambition part down. It is just putting it into action that is the hard part. Studies show that simply sharing your aspirations with a friend and creating the concept of accountability helps goal-setters reach their target. As you are assembling your list of personal goals for the upcoming semester, share them with a friend and have them share theirs with you! See how support can propel you towards success!

5) The last hurrah!

The “last hurrah” is necessary for a good semester. Whether it’s a spontaneous trip to the beach with friends or family right before the semester begins or treating yourself to a fancy dinner before your diet permanently consists of ramen noodles, you have got to relish the last moments of your summer. Ending your summer break on a positive note makes for the positive beginning of the semester. Some ideas for a last hurrah include a road trip, a trip to the beach or the river as aforementioned, treating yourself to a spa day, taking a trip to an amusement park, going camping, or simply spending quality time with friends or family. Maybe you have a growing bucket list; what better opportunity to cross something off? Whatever you choose, make sure to go out with a bang!

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