It has been almost two months since the final school bell has rung! How wild is that? We all know August is the ideal month of the year to unwind, relax and enjoy the time you have left at the beach with loved ones! It's also a great time to binge-watch your favorite shows/movies of all time, read books you have been putting off since May, and chill.
As we approach the end of summer, it's important to start prepping for the upcoming school year. Don't stress if you haven't started yet, this article will guide you in the right direction. Remember to maintain a balance and take breaks when needed so you don't burn out. Enjoy the remaining lazy days of summer, but also prioritize your academic success.
1) Reflecting on The Previous Academic Year
Grab your journal and a pen, sit down on your desk, and let's start reflecting! Here is a list of reflection prompts you might consider journaling about:
Which areas did you most prioritize this past academic year?
How will you take care of your mental and physical health during stressful times at school?
Which study methods/techniques serve you well?
What are your academic goals for this upcoming year and how do you plan on achieving them?
What extracurricular activities will you take part in?
If you've already reflected on those topics, you could create your reflecting questions or Google some! Hence, you can write advice you have learned this year to help and guide your future self and other students. You can even draw a more or less list! Let's take, for example, reading: you would want to do more of that and less of browsing your phone every minute.
2. Maintaining your reading skills
Reading books regularly from a young age can have a remarkable impact on your life. It can lead to a larger vocabulary increase and improve your writing and communication skills. Research done by National University (NU) has shown that it can also increase your focus and memory by a great amount.
"Think before you speak. Read before you think." -Fran Lebowitz
Reading is not only an essential part of language classes, but also a fun activity that allows you to explore different perspectives and cultures. Whether you're preparing for standardized tests or job opportunities, reading can help you succeed. So pick up a book today and start your journey toward a brighter future!
3. Taking An Online Free/Paid Course
There are several universities, such as Harvard, Georgia Institute of Technology, and UC Berkeley that provide both free and paid online courses for individuals to explore their interests. Engaging in these courses is an excellent way to make the most of your time. In addition to being better prepared and less anxious for the upcoming semester, these courses can enhance your technical abilities. You can learn how to use software suites, develop research skills, communicate with individuals online more effectively, and discover your passion.
The top #3 free courses offered on EdX are CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science (Harvard), Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python (MIT), and IELTS Academic Test Preparation (University of Queensland). I discovered my love for computer science by taking the course called CS50 offered by Harvard and mentioned below. Since then, I have been coding most of the time.
4. Going Back To School Shopping
Let's be clear: who doesn't like back-to-school shopping? The pastel notebooks, mechanical pencils, gel ball-point pens, and post-it notes! The smell of new books visualizes a new fresh start for each student.
Creating a checklist that includes every item you need can help you keep track so you don't forget any items. If you don't know, aesthetic stationery can help you stay organized and be more productive. Using colorful pens or having a visually appealing planner can improve motivation and focus!
However, don't spend most of your money on these office supplies: prioritize a budget and stick to it (Keep an eye out for those back-to-school sales and discounts!). Purchase things you will use in the future: items that will help you as a student, such as clip-on lights so you can study at night without your eyes hurting you, index cards for making flashcards which will help you remember your notes quickly, and a laptop stand to maintain a good posture.
5. Setting Goals And Intentions
A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed that when people wrote down their goals, they were 33 percent more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads. If you're feeling lost or unsure of how to achieve your dreams, start by setting goals. Write them down, break them into smaller steps, and hold yourself accountable for following through.
Goal setting plays a huge role in creating a great vision for your future self and guides you on the right path. This ritual makes you notice the small changes that you don't witness.
Even if you haven't started setting goals yet, don't worry, you're not alone. But it's time to change that and take control of your life. A great application for goal-setting is Dreamfora.
If you download it, you're already one step ahead. With hard work and determination, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve!
6. Improving Your Time Management & Organizational skills
Effective time management is defined by Google as the ability to use one's time productively, particularly in the workplace. To make the most of your time during the upcoming academic year, Google Calendars will be your best friend. This platform can help you break your procrastination habits and keep your day organized by incorporating important dates for tests, due dates, and extracurricular activities.
Another great website is Notion if you prefer digital note-taking over traditional paper. It can assist in keeping your coursework orderly and facilitate collaboration with your peers. These two platforms are valuable tools that can enhance your productivity by keeping you on top of your schedule.
7. Fixing Your Sleep Schedule
We all love getting a good night's sleep in our cozy bed, but sometimes our habits can hold us back from feeling our best. Unfortunately, it's time to change a habit that's been causing you to feel less happy and motivated each day. If you want to see better results, try gradually adjusting your sleeping and waking times by 30 or 15 minutes.
It's not advisable to make a drastic change by suddenly sleeping at 10 PM when you've been used to sleeping at 2 in the morning for the past few months. With each passing day, you'll begin to feel more positive and maintain good mental health. Remember, you can do this!
I hope these tips prove useful in preparing for the upcoming school year. Keep in mind that you can follow the list in any order as everyone is different. What works for you might not work for me, but it's worth a try. Don't forget to take care of yourself! Catch you in my next article, adiós. :)