Last Month of Summer: How to Enter School on a Positive Note


Summer is almost over and school is about to start. Maybe, for some of you, it has already started and, for others, it's something that you are dreading. I am one of those people, I like school and the routine and sometimes even the work that comes along, but saying goodbye to summer is never easy. That's why I created this list of the 6 last things you can do to say a proper "goodbye" to the holidays and to make the transition of going back to school that much easier.

Make last-minute summer plans

This is the perfect time to reset and get your mind on going back to school and being fully ready. So, make those last summer plans, go to the beach with your closest friends, throw a bonfire at night with marshmallows. Watch the sunset and, if you can drag yourself out of bed, the sunrise. The smallest of plans with the people you love can help you relax and get you ready for school, a stressful and sometimes messy time. You can go on a hike with your family and discover new places you have never seen, or you can revisit those places that give you comfort.

If next school year you’re a freshman at college, the chances of you moving to a different city or even a different country are high, so I recommend getting to know your new “home”. Start by doing your research and then visit the most famous places in your new city, museums, restaurants, parks, so when you start school, you’ll already look like a local.

Read that last book

If you're anything like me, you love to read and you are always trying to start a new book and finish the last. And, if your school is anything like mine, you always have books to read that you probably won’t like and weren’t your choice. That’s why these last days are perfect for finishing the book you are reading, and if you can read a smaller book of your choice or start reading the books for school.

Because we are talking about books, it’s time you knew about “Goodreads”, an Amazon website where you can track your reads. I use it and it’s probably the best discovery I have ever made. You can add books to your shelves like “want to read”, “currently reading” and “read” and this site offers a description of every book you can imagine, and while collecting data, it can also tell the books it thinks you would like, based on what you have already saved. However, the most amazing thing about this site is the “reading challenge”. Every year you can pick a number of books you would like to read, and as you finish a book you tag it as “read” and it immediately goes to that year’s reading challenge.

(Click here for the Goodreads website)

Have a nice dinner with your (school) friends to celebrate

This is something I love to do with my friends. The last summer dinner all together, before school starts and we are all stressed with work and tests and we don’t have enough time to get all together to relax. So, get your closest friends and have dinner together. If you are a smaller group, you can go to a fancy restaurant and treat yourselves like you deserve. However, if you are a larger group (like me), you can get together at one of your houses, where everyone takes one thing and you divide tasks or go to the beach and bring your own food. It's always a nice way to spend the night, and you're sure to make lots of new memories.

Build A routine

When starting a new school year, having a routine already "planned out" is much better than making one in the first week back. That's why I recommend everyone having one, so the stress doesn't build up. I like to keep track of simple things in my life, like working out, reading, journaling and keeping a healthy diet. I use notion to log my habit tracker, but you can use an excel sheet or even a bullet journal. With this, you can cross out, every day, the habits you kept that day, and if you didn't do one of them, don't worry, it's not the end of the world, you always have the next day. With this mechanism built and with time, it will come as natural to do those activities you want to do, without thinking about it as a task, but more like a healthy habit, you are doing for yourself.

Organize your space

I find this one extremely important because I believe that a tidy space makes for a tidy mind. So, take this time to organize your desk, your shelves, all last year materials you don’t need, throw things away that you don’t need anymore and are just occupying space. What also helps me to stay creative and productive is to change my room layout a little. You don’t need to do this if you are happy with your room. However, if you do want to change something, sometimes the only thing you need to do is replace stuff or change your desk or bed position and you’ll feel like you have a completely new room.

I also recommend organizing your digital space, so delete every app on your phone that you don’t need or don’t use anymore, and delete photos that are occupying storage. Organize your email, delete all trash and spam, create folders and unsubscribe to things you don’t need to receive every week or month (like stores).

Start planning for the next school year and have everything ready

This is the last step on this list, and probably the most important since you want to start the new school year fresh and organized. During the school year, I like to have a schedule, so I can write everything I need to do, like homework, study, or projects. I personally like to use paper. However, if you like to keep everything digital, I recommend you use an app called Notion. I also suggest you only have one place where you write everything, either online or a bullet journal or an agenda. It’s easier and more organized than having everything in different places.

With these six ways to end your summer on a positive note, you will be more than ready to make it in the next school year. And remember, just because school started and you have more on your plate, does not mean you shouldn’t have time to relax and get your mind off work, so when you feel like you need it, take time and revisit those first three ideas.

Rita Duque
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Rita is a junior at a Portuguese high school. When she was 16, during quarantine, decided to start following her passion, writing. She hopes to become a journalist after college, where she will study Communication Sciences. She loves to read, write and spend time with her friends and family.