The back-to-school season is upon us! Whether you’re a veteran or an active service member, a parent with kids or a student yourself, you’re probably wondering what needs to be done before that first day of school arrives.
Well worry no further because I’m about to give you some ideas. Here’s a list of six things you’ll probably want to do before school starts again:
1. Do something fun—Okay, so maybe this is isn’t specifically related to school. But with the summer ending and lots of new obligations just around the corner, now is the time to kick back and do something you enjoy. Make some time for one last summer adventure, a special date night with your spouse, one last page-turning thriller in your backyard hammock, or one last trip to the spa. Whatever you love to do or wish you could have done this summer, take a day to do it now.
2. Make a to-do list—Sometimes heading back to school can be a little bit . . . stressful. If you or your kids are developing a case of back-to-school jitters, maybe it’s time to sit down and gather your thoughts. Grab your laptop or a pad of paper and write up a grand list of everything you need to do before the big day. It will help you organize your thoughts and take a moment to pause and really think about what you actually need to do.
3. Set yourself up for success—As you’re making your list of things to do, try to think of all the little errands that would make your life easier once school is in session. Now is the time to take care of any car maintenance and fill your fridge with healthy, easy-to-prepare food and snacks. Call your credit card company to set up automatic payments. Set up afterschool activities for your kids or a study group for yourself. Whatever you can do now so you’ll have less to take care of later.
4. Do some back-to-school shopping—Who doesn’t love celebrating a new school season with some swanky new stuff? Make a day of it and take your kids out to buy some colorful new school supplies or a couple new back-to-school outfits. Or buy some for yourself if you’re game. If you’re shopping on a budget, check out the back-to-school ads in your mailbox too. There are all kinds of sales going on this time of year for clothes and supplies, so hit up those stores first.
5. Apply for your GI Bill benefits—Did you know the VA has lots of educational benefits for active service members and eligible veterans? GI Bill benefits are designed to help you cover the costs of education or special training, so before you head back to school or start any kind of new training program this fall, see what kinds of benefits are available to you by visiting va.gov/gibill.
6. Connect with others like you—No matter where you’re planning to be this fall, now is a great time to find out what resources for military members and veterans exist in your area. There are great web resources like this one, but you can also reach out in your local community or the university you’re planning to attend. There could be a thriving veteran’s group right in your area, but you’ll never know until you ask.
Want to read more articles like this one? Check out our awesome blog post about student veterans and FAFSA.