As summer draws to a close and school supplies, syllabi, and textbooks grace your home with their presence, you may experience some mixed emotions. The end of summer can be a bit of a bummer, as the lazy days at the pool, sleeping in, and constant outing with friends fade into responsibilities, schedules, and schoolwork. You may be a bit excited about the upcoming school year too, however. New classes, new friends, and new opportunities can make even the most reluctant learners look forward to the fall each year. If you’re struggling to get back into the swing of high school after summer break, or if you simply want to be as prepared as possible for the transition from summer to fall, check out these back-to-school tips from SDVS.
Establish a Routine
Whether you attend a traditional school or an online school, you need a routine to ensure you’re completing your assignments and getting other parts of life taken care of as well. Start immediately—don’t want until you get your first big project or have your first test or feel like you’re struggling with time management. Start from day 1 of the fall semester by establishing a routine. Your routine may look incredibly different from some of your peers, but make a list of what absolutely has to be done every day, then a list of what should ideally get done every day. You may need to write out a schedule for yourself with hourly time blocks, or it may be enough to simply know the order in which you’ll complete the days’ activities. Either way, establish a positive and productive routine from the start of the school year to keep yourself on track with your various responsibilities and commitments all year long.
Set up a Work Space
This is one of the most fun parts of going back to school. Once you’ve purchased your school supplies and decided where your work space is going to be, set up the area to be conducive to learning and productivity. Whether you use the work space only for homework or if you’re a full-time online student who spends hours at your work space each day, it needs to suit your needs and help you get things done. Your work space might be a desk in your bedroom, a section of the dining room table, or a freestanding table in the living room. No matter where it is, it should be neat, organized, and as free of clutter as possible. Everything you need to do your schoolwork should be easily accessible, such as extra paper, pens and pencils, highlighters, and the like. Having a designated spot to work will help you stick to your routine and get your schoolwork done in a timely and effective manner.
Be Consistent About Sleep Times
This can be extremely hard, especially for all those night owls out there. Waking up for school can be a challenge for anyone, no matter how much or a morning person you are or if you don’t have to wake up quite as early as your peers. It’s important to get into a positive morning routine though, and being consistent about your wake-up times from day one will help. If you can muster the motivation to start a few days before the first day of school, that’s even better. And if you can maintain your early wake-ups on the weekends, that will help even more. Along with consistent wake-up times come consistent sleep times. This means setting a bedtime for yourself. This can be a struggle for high school students, but it will serve you well in getting back into the swing of high school after summer break.
Being organized is important when it comes to your physical work space, but organization is also about keeping track of what you have to do and knowing where to find the assignments that you need. You may choose to use a paper agenda to write your assignments in, or a digital calendar may work better for you. You might have folders at your work space to keep your assignments in order, or you might prefer paper trays or something similar. Know how you’re going to keep track of all your assignments before the school year begins, and be sure to stick with that organizational model all year long.
This back-to-school tip goes hand-in-hand with several of the above-mentioned suggestions. Starting the school year strong is about establishing those positive habits right from the start and maintaining them. It can be easy to wait until a few weeks into school to really get into the swing of things, especially since the beginning of classes is often more about expectations and syllabi than completing actual assignments. However, the sooner you can establish an effective routine, get organized, and stick to your schedule, the better off you’ll be when the rubber hits the road and you have multiple assignments to juggle.
Be Patient with Yourself
Sometimes, you can ease into a new school year with calmness and simplicity, but other times, a new grade level can hit you like a ton of bricks. One important tip to get back into the swing of high school after summer break is to be patient with yourself. You spend two glorious months with no homework, no tests, and no stress, and now you’re thrust back into the chaos of school, and you simply have to give yourself a break sometimes. It’s okay to feel like you need a little time to get adjusted to the new year, and it’s okay to struggle with some of these back-to-school tips. Just keep pushing forward and give yourself a little grace, understanding that both are important to your overall success and growth this school year.