I have just entered a UX school myself @ineffablefelicity , so, first of all, best of luck to you!
Before I ever thought about entering school, I read articles about UX and watched whatever YouTube material I could. In doing so, I started to notice things that I interacted with every day that could use a tweak or improvement. Because of my familiarity with it, I wrote up a document about those fixes to present to the company, if the chance ever occurred, as if I was presenting it to the lead UX or Web Development guy/gal themself.
I’m still working on that document.
I have, however, taken this pet project to this community when I had gotten stuck, received feedback, found a new direction to go, and I am still working on this between class and reading up on UX articles.
On top of your prior experience, projects like this with company, community, or even interviewee feedback will be something to show to job interviewers in your portfolio to say, “I have studied UX, here is my work, and what I have done qualifies me to work for you.”
As a side note, I have learned a lot from my school in my past week. So, here’s some topics to study/practice that I’ve gone over recently:
-Wireframes and ‘High-Fidelity Mockups’
-Research Techniques such as Interviews and Surveys
-Writing up a Project Brief (also knows as a Creative Brief)
-Usability Studies (Including reading about Motion Tracking, and Eye Tracking, though I haven’t done these kinds of test yet.)
Again, best of luck on your research!