It’s the last day of August. You’re sitting with your friends on a picnic table, all with an ice cream cone in hand. You’re watching the sunset on the beach, knowing that tomorrow, it’ll be the first day of September. And with that, you know what that means – it’s back to school.
It’s a moment of anticipation of excitement. For younger students, it means another year of learning with friends, going on field trips, and receiving more responsibilities as a year older than before. For those transitioning to middle school or high school, it means endless possibilities of discovery – new friends, new teachers, new extracurricular activities, and new classes and subjects. For older students, this may be an emotional time because it could be the last summer with friends or family before moving for school, starting new jobs, or making other preparations for the next step in their academic career. No matter how old you are or where you’re at in education, September is the time to switch off vacation mode and get back into the mindset of school.
How can you do that, though, after far too many nights staying up playing video games or binging movies, and doing everything that isn’t academic? Here are five tips to help you ease your way back to the student mindset.
#1. Adjust your sleep schedule
When structure is lost, chaos ensues. Without needing to wake up at 7 AM every morning, you may have found yourself sleeping later or waking later. Scientists say that it can take anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks to fix a sleep schedule, so try to do this starting in August. It’s fine if you start in September – by the middle of the month, you’ll be well rested and catching those Zs!
#2. Re-establish routine
We are creatures of habit. Once we establish a routine, it’s difficult to break it. If you find yourself sleeping at 2 AM, waking at 3 PM, and eating dinner at 8 PM, you’ve got some shifting to do to accommodate for school, extracurricular activities, and hanging out with friends during daylight hours! Along with adjusting your sleep schedule, try associating blocks of time with what you would do if school is in session. For example, if you do homework for two hours in the evening, sit at your desk at that time. If you’re in school for the majority of the afternoon, go out and hang with your friends or go for a walk. Talk with your parents about shifting mealtimes back to normal. This way, when school starts again, it’ll be easier for you to fall into routine.
#3. Plan ahead
Check your mailboxes and email inboxes! The school will send your class schedule ahead of time, and if you’re in post-secondary, chances are you made your schedule at the start of summer already. Use this time before school starts to plan your route between classes, ask your friends for their schedules, and scope out your teachers.
For parents, this would be a great opportunity to look for after-school programs or talk with your employer about changing your schedule if you need to pick up your kids or take them to any activities. You may also need to re-establish carpool schedules or babysitting. Don’t get caught off-guard and stay on top of the game!
#4. Get geared up with proper supplies
Going back to school is also associated with sales and promotions at major electronics stores, stationery stores, and supermarkets. Stock up on essentials – file folders, binders, pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, locks, and much more. For older students, it might be the opportune time to acquire a tablet, laptop, headphones, or other essential items. Don’t forget to check your own class list of school supplies – every teacher may need you to bring different supplies, so be prepared!
#5. Look fabulous with your first day outfit
Electronics stores and stationery stores aren’t the only places to offer sales – so are clothing stores! Show off your new look with new threads and accessories. For younger students, it’s the first time seeing one another after two months, so it’s important to have an impressive first impression. Same with students starting middle school or high school – you don’t want to be perceived as a tiny, lost freshman, do you? Gain confidence with your look and if you make a new friend after they complemented your shirt, you know you found a friend of a lifetime.
And there you have it! Have a great school year and don’t stress so much. You’ll be fine.