The start of any new school year brings with it a rush of emotions, concerns, and hopes. Will you get a manageable schedule? Is your bestie in any of your classes? What will you do for lunch? How much homework can you expect?
We doubt that anyone – students, teachers, parents, or school staff – enter a new school year completely stress-free. (If you happen to be one of them, please let us know.) Before we can help you crush this year’s start of the school season, recognize that you are not alone. Whether they show it or not, everyone around you is just as nervous, anxious, hopeful, and frazzled as you are. But with these 9 simple tips, you can prepare yourself for one of your best back-to-schools ever!
1. ASK FOR HELP IN ADVANCE
Checking your school calendar over the summer should show you when your teachers, principal, and other staff members start the year. They need to get classrooms ready, organize schedules and syllabi, and catch up with one another as a team.
Use this time to address some of your concerns. Those of you starting a brand-new school can contact the office to request a tour or meet some teachers. School veterans can check in with new teachers to introduce themselves and get a jump on the year ahead.
2. ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
Going from summer break to school days can be brutal. Teens, especially, are not designed to wake up early and hit the ground running.
After spending a summer (or even just the last few days of summer) sleeping until well past noon, train your mind and body to wake up in time for school. Wake up a little bit earlier each day until you hit what will become your new regular time. The sooner you start doing this, the less excruciating the first day will be.
3. DO A DRY RUN OF YOUR COMMUTE
Building on #2, practice your route to and from school. And learn a backup route. GPS is great, but not all systems account for new construction, accidents, or detours due to weather events. Time how long it takes you to get to school, then add another 50% for your first day to account for anything that might cause delays.
If you get a ride to school, make sure to communicate with your driver before your first day. Make sure they know your address. Ask them what time you can expect to be picked up. If you take a bus, try to get the name and phone number of the person in charge of your route at the bus company.
4. THIS IS A FRESH START
Whatever happened last year, it’s in the past. Every first day of school is a chance to reinvent yourself, to do better, and to make this your best year ever! Maybe this will be the year you make all new friends who love and support you. You could be applying to college this year! This could be the year you finally get organized so you can have more free time. Right now, your school year is pure potential. How will you make the most of it?
5. PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS
Emergencies come up all the time, especially in business. But you know that the first day of school is coming and you know when it will happen. Stay on top of your entrepreneurship responsibilities by scheduling at least a week’s worth of social media posts ahead of time, fulfilling outstanding orders, balancing your budget and, if necessary, posting a notice on your website or shop page that all orders will take a little longer than usual for a week or two. This will be one less thing you need to stress over as you settle into your new routine. (And it’s good customer service.)
6. SET UP YOUR SPACE FOR SUCCESS
Having a designated area for homework and studying goes a long way toward your success at school. And while minimalism may be trendy, it’s not always doable. Instead, try to find a corner or area of your home that you can use. Ideally, it should be quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday family life. Don’t stress if it’s not. Invest in a small desk that will be used only for homework and studying. (Try Facebook marketplace or a local thrift shop to save money and the environment.) Organize your space according to how you work. Are you close to an outlet for your power cord(s)? Is there space for both a laptop and textbooks?
Having a well-organized space will also help your brain learn how to get itself into “work mode” on days when you’re having trouble concentrating.
7. PACK A SNACK
The last thing you need is to go hungry all day because you got lost on the way to the cafeteria, forgot to refill your school account, or just lost track of time. The night before your first day, pack yourself a snack that’s full of nutrition and will fill you up for the rest of the day.
8. ASK YOUR PARENTS FOR HELP
Believe it or not, parents are not mind-readers. Much as they might wish they were, it’s true. If you need help with first-day jitters, getting organized, or anything else on this list, your parents are there. They’ve gone through first days of school, too (even if it was zillions of years ago). They also know you, love you, and want to help. They may see you struggling or stressing and not know what to do. Make life easier for yourself AND them by being honest about needing their guidance and support. Since they run a family and maybe a business as well, you never know what kind of helpful life hack they can teach you!
9. REMEMBER PAST FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL
By now, you’ve probably had at least 10 other first days of school. And you survived them all! Remind yourself that no matter how nervous or scared you were, you got through all those other first days. You’ll get through this one, as well!
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