School kicks off in early September for most, for others it may already be a grueling reality. Whether you are already trudging through the halls or enjoying your last few mornings of MTV, here are a few tips for starting the school year off right.
1. Start waking up a little bit earlier each day. It’s harder to make yourself go to bed earlier than it is to wake up earlier (even if it doesn’t feel that way!) Avoid ‘back-to-school jet lag.’ Jet lag doesn’t only happen when you return home from a European vacation; starting a new routine (like cruising into first period by 7:45 am) can take a big toll on your first weeks back at school, which can have a significant impact on your grades for the year. Try adjusting your sleep patterns for a few days in order to prepare for your upcoming schedule.
2. Review your summer reading. Get a leg up! If you had a summer reading assignment, skim over your notes or even browse a few on-line resources to get you back into the game and refresh your memory. Start off the the semester by speaking up in class and sharing your opinions. If you show up unprepared after having the entire summer to read a few books, your teachers will definitely notice. Set the tone for success your first day back in class; arriving prepared to discuss literature will almost certainly set you on the right track from the beginning.
3. Organize your life (aka your closet)! This should be fun. The weekend before classes begin, take stock of what you want to wear for the fall season, and make sure everything is clean, pressed, and ready to wear. (Rule of thumb: touch everything hanging in your closet; if you haven’t worn it in over a year, time to donate it to Goodwill.) The first few weeks of school can get crazy with new classes, clubs, and adjusting to a schedule again; organizing your closet and pairing a few key ‘grab ‘n go’ items ready to wear will minimize some of the start of the school year stress and boost your confidence walking into class.
4. Pick up a back-to-school sport. Even if your consider yourself to be un-athletic or uncoordinated, physical activity is a learned (and rewarding) skill to develop. Exercise can sharpen your mental acuity, help with sleep, and build confidence- not to mention help you make new friends. There are plenty of options; consider yoga or cross country running if balls terrify you.
5. Set goals. You hear this all the time, but what does it really mean? Envision how you want the first semester to unfold. Write down a few things you would like to achieve this year; aim for a certain GPA, reach an athletic benchmark, or even stick to a evening and weekend study ritual. Next, consider ways to achieve these goals, and set guidelines for yourself in order to measure your progress along the way. If you picture the way you want your year to go, you have a much more realistic chance of things going your way. Check out some goal setting apps to keep your goals within reach.