AMU APU Online Learning Original

Returning to School: Tips for Student Success

By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice

Many students around the nation are preparing to go back to school. There are many benefits to returning to school. Returning to school helps students grow in their knowledge, sharpen skills, fall back into a routine and refocus on their goals. In addition to building knowledge, returning to school enables students to build their network of friends and peers.

Strategies for Effectively Returning to School

It is important to have a comprehensive game plan when returning to school. Returning to school often involves a change in routine. One strategy is to adjust the time students rest and wake up based on the new school year schedule. For example, if a student’s new wake-up time is 8:00 a.m., he or she should set an alarm for that time a couple of weeks before school starts in order to adjust to his or her new routine.

Organization Skills

Organization skills are essential for students. Prioritizing school often requires students to make changes in what they do in their daily routine. A student’s daily schedule should include fewer non-educational activities once school starts.

For students who find it difficult to fit everything in during the day, one strategy is to write out daily activities on an hourly time log. If students list what they do throughout the day on an hourly basis, they will be able to quickly identify time-wasting activities.

For example, students may not realize the amount of time that they spend – each day – on social media or watching television. Creating a time log that accounts for each hour of the day will easily identify which activities to eliminate in order to free up more time.

Time Management

Time management is very important for students returning to school. It is important to set time aside for homework. Leading up to the start of the school year, students should proactively let their friends and family members know that his or her schedule – and focus – is returning to studying.

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Distraction-free studying is vital to every student’s success, so students should seek out a quiet place to complete coursework within a home. For working adults attending college, it may be necessary to wake up early – before other family members – and use that additional “alone time” for studying. A student should avoid multi-tasking when completing coursework in order to fully focus on his or her coursework.

Work-Life Balance

A proper work-life balance is also important for students. All work without any down time can cause burnout and can have an adverse impact on a student’s grades. Therefore, it is important to set time aside for exercise and activities that are relaxing to the student. If the schedule during the week is complex, this down time may come on the weekends.

In conclusion, utilizing strategies for student success can help to reduce stress and can help students as they work toward their learning goals. Proper rest, taking notes in class and asking questions are all additional strategies that can help set students up for success.

Jarrod Sadulski

Dr. Sadulski is an Associate Professor within our School of Security and Global Studies. He has over two decades in the field of criminal justice. His expertise includes training on countering human trafficking, maritime security, effective stress management in policing and narcotics trafficking trends in Latin America. Jarrod frequently conducts in-country research and consultant work in Central and South America on human trafficking and current trends in narcotics trafficking. He also has a background in business development. Jarrod can be reached through his website at for more information.

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