“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond.” –Malala Yousafzai

Back To School

This year I am going into my junior year of high school, the year everyone refers to as “the hardest year.”  I have to start thinking about colleges, AP classes, taking the SAT and the ACT, and being an upperclassman. Yes, we all dread school starting.   Just the IDEA of waking up early, doing homework, and studying for & taking tests just stresses me out!  Luckily, there are ways to make school somewhat easier.   These are my top nine tips and tricks for a non-stressful back to school experience.

1. Start Fresh:  Before school starts, there are many things that you need to do to get ready for the year. One of the first things you should do is start fresh. Throw away all old school supplies and all old clothing and books and bags that you no longer use, or even better if they are still in good shape, donate them! Replace your old things with new things that will help you feel more in place and ready for the school year to start. I recently did this and you wouldn’t believe the weight that was lifted off my back.

2. Get Organized:  Make sure all your things are organized and ready for the first day of school. Have all your things in place, binders filled with paper, and pens and pencils in a pouch ready in your bag/backpack. Make sure you go through your things every week and throw out unneeded stuff to stay organized throughout the year.

Back To School

3. Get Prepared: Most teachers offer a syllabus that recommends the supplies you will need for their class, most of it is stuff you won’t even end up using throughout the year, but I always end up buying it all anyways just to be safe. If you have friends in older grades that have had your teacher in the past, get some information and tips about them so you can be ready and prepared for what you have in store throughout the year.

4. Give Yourself a Break:  Once school has started and you are already neck deep in homework in studying, homework and studying can get really frustrating and annoying. Studying for hours on end without even paying attention won’t help you! Make sure you take at least a 10 minute break every hour of school work. Make yourself a healthy snack, listen to some music, and relax. Make sure you are refreshed and ready to continue studying.

5. Set Priorities:  Something to keep in mind throughout the year is to make sure you have your priorities straight! Is your favorite TV show really worth having to pull an all-nighter to finish your assignments? Make sure you finish all your work and studying, and then reward yourself! Trust me, this method works wonders.

6. Give Yourself a Bedtime: Yes, this may sound childish, but during the school year it is a necessity. If you really want your brain to learn and understand then you need a proper amount of sleep! Staying up all night and having to wake up at 6:00 in the morning is not healthy.

7. Make Note Cards:  I have learned many study tips and tricks throughout school and have come to realize a few work best for me and others. One of my favorite ways to study is to make notecards. I learned this trick last year, and it is by far the best studying tool I have ever used. Every time I have made notecards I have aced my test, and that is not a coincidence. Basic notecards, definition on one side, word on the other. Making them will not only help you learn but then studying them over will force you to memorize. They are also nice to pull out right before your test for a quick refresher!

8. Put Together a Study Group:  Another awesome way to study is putting together a study group and working together. Personally, I work better independently, but many people work good in a group. Get a group of people in your class together and spend the day studying. Think of ways to remember certain things and quiz each other on different sections.

Back To School

9. Take a Deep Breath:  Something you have to remember to do is to take a deep breath. Keep in mind that the weekend is around the corner and that summer is in less then a year. School isn’t the worst thing ever. And it is something you have to do, so do it with the best of your abilities.

Good luck with the upcoming school year! I hope that you can use these tips to your advantage and have a non-stressful year!

What do you do to help prepare and excel in school?  I’d love to hear your ideas too!