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Headed to college this August? Congratulations! Before the real work begins, there are five homework assignments you should take care of: a plan for each of the following topics!

While we’re joking about the homework (you’ll have enough of that before you know it) you should consider each of the items on this list and develop a plan for each. Whether you’re sure of what you want to do, or unprepared for the academic demands of college, this list will get you closer to a smooth transition.

Speed of Your Degree

You not know what you want to do yet, or you might feel pressured into a certain career path. Instead of spending money on a degree you’re not sure you want, you should consider quicker degrees. You could earn a certification and save up for something else. Or, you might find that you love your quicker degree and want to keep that job forever. An automotive & diesel technology college in NY could get you started as a mechanic, a CNA course could get you started as a Certified Nursing Assistant, or you could pursue an associate degree in nursing program.

Sticking to Gen Eds First

You might be certain you know what you want to to, in which case you’re ready to sail full-steam ahead into your degree of choice. If you’re less certain about your degree, it helps to stick the general education credits in your first semester, as much as possible. That way, you have more time to switch majors if you need to. In fact, it’s a good overall strategy to get gen eds out of the way early, because as you get into upper-level courses, you’ll want to spend your time focusing on them, and not on a 100-level course. Some of the STEM education courses especially are known for being more rigorous, so you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared to make the most of them.

Make a Study Plan

As you get your schedule ready for this upcoming school year, you should take note of how much work you’re taking on. A credit-heavy semester means more studying, and a few tough classes can also send you into a tailspin. Make sure you have a few days every week you can sleep in (if you can nab those later classes) and make sure you find timber blinds in Brisbane, or whatever city you’re in, to block the light while you snooze afternoons, or even if you decide to go to bed before the sun goes down.

Your Relationship with Your Professors

In high school, you might not have thought much about your relationship with your teachers. You might even have been disrespectful or a blatant rule-breaker. In college, you should treat professors more like CEOS and less like parents. You don’t have the option to defy your professors: high school was free, but now, you’re gambling thousands on your future, and you should hone your ability to respect the men and women giving you grades. As you develop a relationship with them over the years, you may be able to relax a little, but it’s always better to err on the side of formality.

Your Future Salary

Since debt is an increasing problem for students, you should take careful stock of your future before you proceed. Not every 8-year degree student stops to think about their future salaries, but psychologists forking over thousands may make as little as $43,000 a year: hardly as much as a doctor or surgeon facing the same tuition rates. Before you prepare for your future, make sure your degree will support the tuition you’re aiming towards. If it doesn’t try to get scholarships or other financial aid that you don’t have to pay back.

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