Even though I’m not going back to school this year (WAH!), I did go to school for 16 years of my life. And, not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty good at it. School was where I always excelled — I thrived off of structure, deadlines, and schedules activities. That being said, I know school isn’t for everyone. Getting into the swing of things can be hard after a three month hiatus, so here are some tips for going back to school with a bang. Let’s get started!
1. Get organized.
Buying school supplies doesn’t automatically mean you’re organized — you actually need to start writing things down and keeping things in a designated place. Not every organizational method works for everyone, so pick what works best for you! Whether you use a planner or are attached to your phone’s calendar, use the tools around you that lead to your success. For example, when I was in high school I used a traditional planner. When I was in college, I used a combination of planner and iPhone calendar. And in my post-grad life, I bullet journal. Each method of organization requires different skills and worked at different points in my life. The important thing is to remember to write things down — everything important from homework assignments, to project deadlines, to lunch plans with friends — to ensure you don’t drop the ball.
2. Create an unofficial uniform.
I work best when I feel confident in the clothes I’m wearing, and I’ve learned to accept that unofficial uniforms are the best way to feel good and not eat away time in my morning routine. Some people swear by laying their outfits out the night before, but I find having similar wardrobe items is just as easy — and you know it always looks good. I know being an “outfit repeater” is the most heinous of crimes, but your wallet will thank you for the extra money and your brain will thank you for the extra sleep. My uniform is either a dress with a jean jacket or jeans and a tank top with a chunky sweater.
3. Carve out you time.
With back-to-school activities, sports events, and catching up with friends, it will be hard to find a moment to yourself to breathe. When I tell you to take a step back once a week to squeeze a workout in or get an extra 20 minutes of sleep, please do it. Personally, if I don’t spend at least a little bit of time alone, I end up lashing out at people because I haven’t given myself enough time to recharge. “Me time” might also be essential for you to get valuable study time in or submit job applications. The world will not end if you miss out on one party or sporting event to take care of yourself, I promise.
4. Schedule everything.
And I mean everything. One of the best pieces of advice I got during my senior year was from my mom about scheduling my time. I was working 20 hours a week at an internship, taking a full course-load, and I served as a leader in three separate organizations on campus. You could say I was spread pretty thin. But, my mom told me to schedule out my entire day — waking up, gym sessions, class, work shifts, homework, lunch with friends, when I was going to schedule — everything. And guess what, it worked! I knew exactly when I was going to be completing the tasks on my to-do list, and the stress melted away. If you’ve got a crazy schedule (or just a time management issue) try scheduling every single moment of your day for at least a week, and see what happens!
5. Get outside your comfort zone.
Meet new friends, join a new organization, visit your professor during office hours. A new school year means new opportunities. It can be easy to settle into old ways and comfortable friendships, but pushing yourself to try new things could mean the difference between just another school year and the year that everything changed.
Going back to school can always be a little stressful, but it’s completely manageable if you prepare for it. What are your favorite ways to get ready for the new school year? Let me know in the comments below.