Do you hate the back to school season? Have you forgotten how to write during these holidays? Are your bad grades getting you down? Well. I have the solution to all of your problems with a quick 10 Things You Need To Do To Start The Year Well
1. Getting everything done before hand
Try to take advantage of the spare time you have now that you won’t have in the future to finish all unfinished tasks that you have been putting off and get a head start. If not, they will pile on and you will start the year on the wrong foot.
2. Be mentally at ease
You need to be mentally at ease at the beginning of the year. You can’t already go into the new school year stressed out or thinking that everything is going to go wrong. School will get more hectic as the months drag on, but you don’t want your brain to be overcrowded as well. Try different things like meditation, yoga, journaling, manifestation or anything at all that helps your mind be tranquil. It doesn’t have to be any of the clauses I listed above, it simply has to be something that works for you.
3. Set goals
Set goals, even if they are miniscule ones. Have clear what you need to do in order to achieve them. Your daily habits are what are going to help you improve in your individual subjects. It also doesn’t have to be/shouldn’t be something you ardently hate or else you are not going to commit to it. It should also be realistic. For example, if you are trying to improve your grade in one of your language classes you can set a goal to read a book in that language. Make sure that the book is of your liking and to space out the reading enough so it doesn’t get in the way of your other classes and can serve as relaxation in between studying or classes.
4. adjust your sleep schedule
It is normal that during the holidays you went a little off the rails and started sleeping at 5am and waking up around 4pm, however this schedule is not going to be sustainable for the school season. It is really hard to make such a drastic change so quickly. The best way to do it is to gradually change day by day, hour by hour your schedule, this way your body won’t notice the difference and you will be back to your normal routine in no time. If you aren’t a morning person and despise waking up early I recommend you find different strategies and/or techniques to help you wake up in the morning. Whether that is preparing a yummy breakfast the day before or splashing cold water on your face first thing in the morning, or putting your cell phone far away from you that way you have to get up, you need to find whatever works best for you. It is really cliche to say this but sleep is genuinely one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your brain and for yourself. So think about it like this : sleeping enough makes you a better student.
5. get organized
As school starts, assignments, tests and homework are going to start to pile up (which is dreadful I know), but a good way to avoid additional stress is to find a way to make sure you keep track of everything. Now, I am not going to tell you to make a pretty, color coded to-do list because that simply doesn’t work for everyone. The key is to find what works for you, so long as you are getting everything done, it doesn’t matter what method you are using to remind yourself, as long as you make sure you have one. It can be as simple as looking at the timetable for the next day to make sure you didn’t miss any homework for any of your classes or as elaborate as setting alarms for yourself on your phone for when you need to do assignments. Whatever works for you!
6. Buy all the materials you need
I know that this is a boring and overdone piece of advice but I really felt the need to include it. Luckily for you, chances are that you already have all the materials you need, or most of them, so you simply have to find them and make sure they go into your backpack (on all the days they are needed). If you are a minimalist and aren’t a fan of the whole stationary station extravaganza I suggest that you stick to the basics, two pencils, two pens, a highlighter, an eraser, a sharpener and a ruler. That is truly all you need (of course you will need additional supplies like calculators, protractors and art supplies but that is more subject specific). There is no need to go over the top, but if that inspires you to work harder, by all means do so. The point is that having the necessary materials for your classes is extremely important if you want to excel in them. P.S. If you want an “excellent” effort grade, having the necessary materials at all times is listed in the criteria.
7. Work unmotivated
This is probably my biggest and most profound piece of advice : “work unmotivated”. Do not wait for motivation to reach you. Of course, it is amazing to have that random spurge of motivation and get 5 assignments done in one hour, but inspiration like that is fleeting and deadlines unfortunately are concrete. You may be wondering : “How in the world am I going to force myself to work if I don’t have motivation?”. My best advice is to just start, don’t procrastinate, don’t plan it out, don’t overthink it, just throw yourself at it and go. A more precise piece of advice that I can give is to set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes, whatever playlist, soundtrack or dead silence you require to work and start. The timer will make you feel pressured to start plus give you the relief of knowing that soon it is going to be over. Trust me, once you get yourself to work you are going to find deep focus and the time is going to fly by. Also try to schedule breaks in between to make yourself feel more motivated. For example, work for 45 minutes, rest for 15 minutes and repeat (if needed). Your rest is going to feel much more satisfactory when you have worked for it. Last but not least, I suggest having a greater goal in mind, if you always have a greater goal pushing you forward, you are going to find the willpower to work even on your worst days.
8. Find hobbies
With the back to school season it is important to maintain a balance between school and your personal life. A great way to find hobbies and/or socialize with other people is to join ECAs (these can be inside or outside of school). That way, you can discover what you like doing on your off time that motivates and relaxes you whilst interacting with people with similar interests. If ECAs are not your thing, you can always pick up a new hobby online (e.g. find videos on how to draw on Youtube, take an online cooking course, etc.) What’s most important is to find a hobby that adheres to your likes and what you are looking for. For example if you are looking to be physically stimulated and like the arts, you may try dancing. The most important thing is to find something that will take your mind off of school so you can be a better student when you are in it. It doesn’t do anybody any good to be constantly stressed, so find escapism in the little things.
9. Take breaks
School is genuinely going to test you in a load of ways, not just your abilities in algebra, but also your mental endurance. Thus, it is very inevitable and also probable for burnout to happen, but there are ways to avoid it. The first and foremost thing is to take breaks. Something as simple as that and we sometimes forget to do it. When we have a lot of deadlines coming up, or we are stressed about an upcoming exam we tend to work nonstop in the fear that we aren’t going to finish or we aren’t going to ace the exam. However, it is humanly impossible for any brain to hold their attention span for that long and it is undeniable that the brain won’t be working at its full capacity all throughout. So take breaks, even if they are short ones, even if they are “not productive”, take them. You are capable of working when your tank is on empty but you won’t get as far, remember that.
10. Take constructive criticism well
This is precariously difficult because we as human beings tend to take constructive criticism rather badly, we omit the word “constructive” and feel like we are being criticized and insulted, however this is not the case. Even though it is a hard mental exercise to actively listen to constructive criticism, it is one that is going to help us grandly. We must remember that any criticism we receive on our work is not personal and it is there to help us. Moreover, if you keep an open-mind and actually listen to what is being said, you have better chances of improving for the next time. So, you have two choices, continue receiving constructive criticism that is the same all throughout, or receive constructive criticism that gradually lessens and morphs into compliments. Constructive criticism is not a bad thing, quite on the contrary, it means that we have the potential and the means to improve, but only those who actually listen to it will improve.
I know they were supposed to be 10 but here’s a bonus one because this has been an out of the ordinary year. Have fun! We have been having a really stressful year so just remember to take it easy and relax. Everything is going to turn out fine and work itself out in the end. Remember that your mental health comes first, you are a person before you are a student.