Welcome back, everyone, and CONGRATS to our students heading back to school! Whether you’re entering college, higher education, high school, or even middle school… this article is for you. Keep reading to learn about our best strategies for preparing for your first day and nailing your first week back into this new routine. Keep in mind, heading back to school may come with a large feeling of change compared to your summer… so ease in by following along with the below.
First Day of School Prep
- School Shopping Starts… Now! In order to truly get on top of several different courses, we encourage you to purchase the appropriate materials before your first day. Whether this means binders, folders, pens, pencils, headphones, a driving pass, or whatever it may be, setting yourself up for success is a great way to get ahead. We also encourage you to define your materials by class; for example, coordinate a blue notebook with econ, and a red notebook with psychology. That way, you won’t be scrambling on your first day and will decrease your chance of accidentally compiling notes across varying topics all in one space, and potentially losing track. If able, try swapping out your books and notepads on a regular basis so that you only bring relevant materials with you for the classes you have each day!
- Prioritize Your Routine: We know it can be easy to fall out of a regular routine throughout summer when most of our tasks are pushed to the side. However, during the school season, adhering to a structured routine is your best way to avoid missing projects or deadlines, and also to continue feeling your best.
- Extra Tip: To stay on track with all of your assignments and due dates, we encourage you to incorporate any of the following into your daily plan: an alarm clock, morning mindfulness, meditation or stretching, making your bed, taking a walk and getting some fresh air, or eating breakfast! We know that nobody is perfect, but trying to achieve at least a few of the above tasks is a phenomenal way to create a sense of accomplishment, productivity, and motivation ahead of any day.
- Practice Your Routes: Similarly to preparing class materials, we encourage you to set aside some time in the days leading up to walk around campus and get a feel for your daily routes. What we mean is… which way will you be heading to class? How much time should you give yourself to get to each building? Are your classes close together, or do you have time to head back to a dorm, library, or lunch in between? Getting a feel for the flow of your day, and mitigating the risk of getting lost during the first week, is an amazing opportunity to create confidence about your schedule… and excitement!
- Rest: Above all, we know that when your body is telling you to take a break, it’s because you’ve pushed yourself to the max. Make sure to afford yourself a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night to jumpstart your next day and maintain optimal energy and health. Especially during the first few weeks when there is a ton of new information and topics coming at you, making sure that you’re rejuvenated and refreshed for each coming day is your best bet toward maintaining energy for retention, comprehension, and success.
Once You Start Receiving Assignments…
- Task Prioritization: Between assignments, presentations, projects, and exams, it’s crucial to prioritize assignments based on their due date and impact on your overall grade. Make sure to avoid spreading yourself too thin across multiple projects; to prevent this, pace your study schedule out across days and a variety of times, and incorporate breaks so that you won’t be left with cramming for hours on end in the days leading up to due dates. By prioritizing obligations, you will find yourself on a healthy track toward success!
- Measurable Goals: A great way to set measurable priorities is to include goals for each assignment or study habit. Whether this means a one-hour goal of studying per exam each day, or a one-page goal per report or essay to be completed every other day, SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) will assist you in actually tracking progress and spanning obligations over a time period instead of cramming at the last moment.
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