So here we are: after spending a few months relaxing and basking in the summer sun, the months have rushed by and left us in the dust. It is back-to-school season.
Now, we are faced with the prospect of change again, unfamiliar and intimidating. It threatens to push away the idea of going back to school altogether, for fear of failure, or worse, of dissatisfaction. But we must remind ourselves that what is coming is just another season, another opportunity for growth, another chance to do our best.
Here are some ways to prepare for back-to-school without unneeded stress, and with a positive mindset and open heart.
What are some back-to-school tips?
Use a planner
If you are admittedly like me and you open up your planner for the first week of classes and then promptly forget about it, it may be better to find some other organizational method[DR2] that works for you, such as the Sticky Notes on your laptop or the calendar app on your phone. Planner or no planner, the key is to be able to see what is coming so you are adequately prepared. Leave no room for unsavory surprises!
Create and adjust to a routine
Routine. The word itself brings a groan to many lips. But routine does not necessarily have to be boring. Find a way to start acclimating to a school routine. Start setting alarms a little earlier each day. Start going to bed sooner. Set consistent mealtimes so your body can get used to its biological clock. By doing this, you will find that you have more time to enjoy your day, as you will be well-rested and energized.
Spring…or autumn cleaning
There is no better way to feel productive than to clean (unless mindless cleaning starts to become an excuse for not doing other things). Be intentional with yourself: what do you really need to keep? The old pair of jeans that finally ripped beyond repair? The dried out markers from three years ago? Sort out what must stay and donate or give away the rest to minimize waste. Clean your study space, your kitchen, [DR3] and anything that gets overlooked during the busy school year. Back to school sales are created for the purpose of enticing you to purchase things you don’t need so plan before you shop for more things.
Cut yourself some slack
Going into the school year, it can be easy to serve too much pressure on your own plate. But it is important to not let any one particular thing affect everything else. Whether it is one bad grade or one difficult project, nothing is the end of the world. Have faith and give yourself some room to breathe by meditating, taking a walk, or talking to loved ones. [DR4]
Last, but not least, find balance
The most important thing to remember is you are only human, and humans cannot do everything all at once. Remember to balance homework with other activities and work with play. Going back to school should not have to mean that your life is on hold!
Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay served as a summer 2019 intern with the communications strategy team at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. A senior at Belmont University, she expects to graduate in December 2019 with a degree in English and Art History.
[Posted August 19, 2019]