With summer over, it is finally that time of the year again. Whether you are looking forward to it or completely dreading it, there’s no way to avoid it.
Back to school season.
Though this may not be everyone’s favorite time of year, (mine for one, is Christmas,) there’s still ways to make it bearable and memorable as the days go by. Here are just a few tips and tricks to having a great year.
ONE. Stay Organized!!
Now this one is definitely an obvious one, but there’s nothing better than a clear mind and a clear space. There are many apps you can use to stay organized (ex: Google Calendar) and be on top of your schoolwork and other extracurriculars. Getting organized and staying organized can be fun too! Maybe you like planning, get a cute planner, some pens and markers, and go crazy! Maybe you can make your planner or calendar colorful, and that will keep you motivated to work on your calendar more and stay on top of things.
TWO. Make Goals!
This one is another thing that sort of goes along with staying organized. How are you going to have a good school year if you aren’t sure what you want to aim for? These could be school year long goals you want to have completed before summer, semester goals, or maybe even weekly goals. By working towards these thing you’ll be able to feel a sense of accomplishment and be proud of yourself as you work towards your goals and completing them. Making goals also gives you something to look forward to as you work during the school year.
THREE. Get Involved!
Right now, I’m a senior in high school. I didn’t do much these past three years, but now I find myself reaching to join to any club that seems to interest me. It is really refreshing to get involved in school, and it lets you feel like you’re really a part of your school instead of someone who just goes there. Getting involved doesn’t necessarily mean school only though. If there’s any clubs or volunteer opportunities out there that really interest you, then by all means, join them! If you aren’t able to join anything right now, it’s okay! There’s always next year, and there may be some other ways for you to get involved in your school or community.
FOUR. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!
There’s a saying that there’s ‘No Place Like Home’, now that is true, but that isn’t to say that there isn’t anything with letting loose and trying new things once in a while. You might try or do something that you honestly never imagined doing and find yourself immensely enjoying it! Granted, you might try something new and find yourself hating it, but that’s okay too! You still took a chance and put yourself out there, and that is something to be proud of! Personally, I am a pretty extroverted person, and like keeping things in a routine, but sometimes I do find myself doing or trying something that I sincerely never expected of myself, and I end up loving it. So, go out of your comfort zone! You might enjoy it!
FIVE. Get Lots of Rest!!
Now this is another obvious one, but getting an adequate amount of sleep (around 8 hours) every night, can drastically change your attitude and mind. I mean, no one enjoys getting up early for school anyway, but at least you will be well-rested when you wake up. We all now that it is hard to get exactly 8 hours of sleep every night, but make sure that you are getting the right amount of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed. And it’s not just waking up in the morning that getting enough sleep helps you, it will also help as you get through your day, and you will be more alert and less inclined to sleep in class! Meaning that you won’t miss any important words on instruction while you try to catch those Zs that you missed out while you were asleep.
SIX. Plan Ahead!
This step can apply to almost anything. Maybe you make your lunch for school; you can make it the night before school so that you are able to get ready for school quicker. Maybe you have a big paper due in a couple of weeks. Maybe now you can research a topic and start brainstorming an essay layout that way you aren’t scrambling and trying to figure out if your essay sounds good enough the night before. I can speak from experience when saying that planning ahead is extremely beneficial. There’s something about getting important work done before they need to be or getting prepared for things in advance that can fill yourself up with pride and accomplishment. Also, you never catch yourself scrambling around trying to get things done ever again!
SEVEN. Improve Study Habits!
Maybe one of your goals for the school year is to make better grades. Or maybe college season is coming around and you want to keep up your GPA. Either way, it’s good to improve your study habits! There are many ways to do this. You and your friends can get together and start a study group! Or maybe you can start recording lectures in class to play back later and takes notes. There really is no right way to study. It’s really easy to find a way that is right for you! You could form a study group with a few of your friends and meet at the library or stay a couple of hours after school. It could be highlighting, or rewriting notes, or maybe not taking notes at all and just listening. Maybe make a little bit of study time after school and listen to a good study playlist and just go over notes and concepts until you are confident that you understand them. But make sure that you can find a way that is beneficial to you and stick with it all through the school year. Soon you’ll see yourself getting the grades that you want, or improving the grades that you already have.
EIGHT. Make Some New Friends!!
Now this one may be a bit of doozy. I am pretty sure that all of us have our set friend group already, the ones that you have been bonding with since before you can remember. You can still make some new friends! Or maybe this is your year at a new school! This would be a great opportunity to meet new people! Though it may sound nerve-wracking to some, meeting new people is always great. For me, making friends is really hard, but over the past few years of high school, and just school in general, I have ended up making some really great friends that I am glad to have by my side. Though I may not really be close with those people anymore, I am still glad that I had the chance to meet them and become friends, a chance that I wouldn't have had if I hadn't put myself out there. You never know what great and meaningful friendships may come out of it! And it’s always great to make new memories with people (and new memories with the same people as well!)
NINE. Work Hard! (And don’t get discouraged)
Everyone wants to do good in school, as much as we may hate it. And it’s good to see hard work pay off. So, make sure to always put your best foot forward when tackling anything; (assignments, homework, projects, etc.) and do your best work. You should be proud of yourself and what you are putting your time and energy in. But, unfortunately, there are times where we do our best and don’t get the results that we want. Don’t give up!!! It may be disheartening at first, keep pushing through and work harder for next time, and I’m sure that you will do much better! And please remember, you are way more than a ranking, a letter grade or test score. This is a mentality that I still struggle with and something that took me a long time to accept. It may feel really hard at times, that's for sure, but school and classes, and juggling a social life while learning becomes a lot more breathable and easier as time goes on.
TEN. Find Ways to Relax!!
School is a big stressor. So, when you feel yourself getting stressed, find ways to relax! It could be drinking tea, reading a book, doing a face mask or having a mini dance party! It doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s something that relaxes you and makes you feel happy. School can be tough sometimes, but you are tougher so don’t let it get the best of you! For me personally, I take some time in the middle of the week, maybe a Wednesday (or Friday if the week is busy and hectic) and sit on the couch and watch an episode of Gossip Girl while doing a facemasks or paint my nails. I just do anything that makes me sort of forget the stress of the week. Find something that really helps you forget the week and also be like a little reward for working hard and staying productive.
ELEVEN. Use Class Time Wisely!!
This is a new strategy I learned last year in school: If your teacher is done with the lecture or lesson and you find yourself having a few moments to yourself, then use them! You can start working on homework or make a list of things that you need to do after school! You can also take this time to ask your teacher any questions that you may have about the lesson or some concepts that left you confused. Those small class moments can mean a big difference between the amount of homework you have or the interest in the class subject. It’s definitely helpful in the long run so please, utilize it!
TWELVE. Cherish the Memories!!
A picture is worth a thousand words is right. Thanks to photos and videos you are able to remember this great school year for years to come. Now, I don’t mean that you have to go it and get a professional camera and film, but if you want to, go right ahead! Looking back at photos and videos from a special moment or period of your life brings back wonderful memories and feelings of that moment. You don’t have to capture every single moment if you don’t want to, but at the very least, take pictures and videos of the moments that you never want to forget, or the ones that you might. In the end, you might be able to make a little montage or display showing all of the wonderful times that you experienced through the year and will be able to remember them forever.
So go forth, use these tips and have the best school year ever!