College Corner: How I Prepare for Back To School

The academic school year is back, and I hope all of you enjoyed your summer. While this time of year always makes me a little sad that I will no longer have the luxury to not worry about assignments, it also makes me excited. Of course, my friends play a significant role in this excitement, but the true reason I get excited is because it is a fresh start. It isn’t a complete fresh start, but it is another chance to do it all over again and do it better.  

As a low-income college student, I know that I most likely won’t actually need to buy any of my books. I can simply find them on Berkeley’s databases or I can try finding them online for cheaper. Sometimes they can be available at some of the libraries on campus. I will exhaust all of my other options before actually purchasing one. 

I will get a folder for every class. Usually, I won’t need a whole binder for a class, but I can put my folders in my binder or just take the folders without ever buying a binder. The truth is, you don’t really need expensive things to learn. You don’t need the best folders or the best notebooks, you just need a willingness. So you best believe, I buy notebooks from the dollar store to prepare for school. You just need something that will last. Just be aware that there are quality things for a low price. 

Now, one of the most important things I do to prepare for back to school is this: get my sleeping schedule on track. It will kill me if I don’t at least try to get my sleeping schedule synchronized with my classes. For instance, if I don’t have any morning classes that means I can stay up to study, but if I only have morning classes that means I need to get everything done by the time night time comes. Throughout my time in education, I have realized that if I feel off throughout the day, everything I do will be off. Thus, it is important for me to be involved and feel ready to be involved. 

The most important thing for back to school for me, is to be self-aware in the sense that I come first before anything else. This means I will do my best to uplift and maintain my peace. Sometimes I write affirmations on sticky notes & place them in random places for myself to find. Throughout the school year, I will eventually feel burnt out. While the notes don’t fix the situation, sometimes they make me feel better. This self-awareness doesn’t just mean writing sticky notes. It means realizing when someone or something isn’t helping me and only draining me. 

It was this self-awareness that assured me I needed to leave my abusive family. The Estradas — they know who they are, did nothing for me, but hurt me. They did not stimulate my growth, but rather stunted it and leaving them was the best decision I had ever done for myself. Minimizing negative energy in my life and surrounding myself with people who truly wish me the best has motivated me to continue to pursue my goals. The most important thing is to be there for yourself and be around people that truly support you because the school year is rigorous enough to be around people who try to break you down.

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Yendy Rebollo

Yendy Rebollo

Yendy Rebollo is an independent, low-income, first-generation, undocumented or rather DACA-mented, woman of color navigating higher education at the University of California Berkeley. She has been an independent student since her senior year of high school, when she ran away from her abusive parents. It is in that same year, Yendy became a published writer with Yendy is currently double majoring in Ethnic Studies and Comparative Literature with a Minor in Education. She strives to attend law school as soon as she is finished with her Bachelor’s degree.

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