Powered by Blogger.

How To Have A Successful School Year | Back To School Tips 2018

Hello everyone!

After a long summer break, I’m sure the last thing most of you want to do is think about going back to school (or college, or university!). However, since I’m going to university this September, I thought a blog post about how to prepare yourself during the back to school season would be appropriate!

I left sixth form back in 2016 and I haven’t had to worry about having to go back to school for long time, but now that’s all different! I hope that you find these tips useful and can incorporate them into your own preparations for going back to school!

After not being in school for a number of weeks, I’m sure a lot of people begin to feel some type of animosity towards school. It’s understandable; during summer break you can do whatever you want and sleep whatever time you like. There aren’t any rigid routines to stick to and you can carve out your time however you see fit.

However, carrying this mindset into the new academic year is going to do more damage than good! I’m a firm believer that your mind and your mindset shape your reality, and if your mindset is rooted in negative emotions, your reality will be rooted in negativity too. So, you may find that going back to school is a horrid experience, when in fact you have the power to change that completely.

Try to adopt a much more positive stance towards going back to school. The thing that helps me most is watching study YouTubers, such as UnJaded Jade, IbzMo, and Mariana’s Study Corner. More study bloggers exist on other social media platforms like Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest. Find some content creators that inspire you and get you excited to go back to school. (Maybe it also helps that I’m a massive nerd too, but hey-ho 🤓).

You can begin to shift your mindset by saying affirmations to yourself daily until you get back to school and all throughout the semester. Affirmations are short powerful statements that you say to yourself in the present tense to keep you conscious of your thoughts. For the context of school, you can try these affirmations out:
  • I enjoy attending class.
  • I have positive study habits.
  • Achieving high grades comes naturally to me.
  • I love learning new things.
  • My friends help me succeed in my studies.
  • I wake up looking forward to going to school.

Say these to yourself every day to change your mindset from a negative one to a positive one. When you control your thoughts and are conscious of them, your actions reflect this, which will then be reflected in your entire reality!
Now that you’ve changed your mindset when it comes to school, it’s time to reflect on how your last academic year went.

Was your year overall a success or a failure?

Did you achieve what you set out to?

Reflecting on the past, especially when there are some not-so-great moments can be tough sometimes, but when it comes to school, looking back on how it all went down will help you improve the future.

If you notice anything that you aren’t proud of, make a note to change it for the upcoming year.

One exercise that can certainly help is the Current Me vs Future Me exercise created by Lavendaire (or in this case, Past Me vs Future Me). In her video, Aileen draws out her current self and details how she wants her future self to be an improved version of herself. This can certainly help by you looking at your past self and detailing how you want your future self to be different.

When I did this in sixth form, I looked back on the me in Year 11 and made a note of how I wanted to change going into Year 12, and again when I was going from Year 12 to Year 13.

This is something that certainly helps, and it’s probably something you already do once the “New year, new me” season comes rolling in! Give it a go for your academic year, and see how you get on!

My next important tip is to set some goals – both academic and personal.

Goals give you something to strive towards, and offer motivation for the times when you feel overwhelmed or unwilling to work.

Examples of academic goals are to get an A in a specific class, to read all the class material, or to finish all of your work on time. Examples of personal goals could be to wake up early every day, to make more of an effort to speak in class, or to make sure you set some time aside for exercise.

You must make sure your goals, no matter what they are, are specific, realistic, achievable and time-specific.

Without a doubt, this just has to be my favourite part of the back to school season!

For some reason, I am just one of those people who get super excited when I go out to buy new notebooks, new pens, new folders, new everything!

Even though it’s exciting and I can get a little carried away, it’s important to do this with a strategic eye. Only buy equipment that you need and that you know you’ll use. Don’t buy a massive set of pens just because they look pretty when you know you’ll probably only use them once. Don’t buy a ton of pretty notebooks when you know you’ll get to the end of the year having only used a handful of them.

After buying all of your stationery, see what else you need for school, such as electronics, a new bag, or maybe even new clothes. The general rule of thumb though, is to not go overboard and only buy what you know you’ll use!

One thing I wish I did more of (but I’m glad I’m doing now) is to read over the material you’ll be learning over the course of the next semester.

Back in sixth form, I only looked over my psychology notes because we were going to have a test on new material the week we went back after summer (brutal, I know!).

This time around, I’m going over Chinese vocabulary and grammar (like in this Insta post here), and some anatomy because it’s been such a long time and the stakes certainly feel higher.

Use your shiny new stationery to go over content that you weren’t so strong on last year.

If you are re-taking any exams, this is a perfect time to go over the content because chances are, you still have your old notes with you. Go through the reading list provided by your university and do some research on any new topics you’ll be covering once you get back to school.

While buying new stationery is my favourite thing to do this time of year, trying to fix my sleep schedule is probably my least favourite thing.

Sleeping and waking up at a regular time when you’re in school is vital to making your school experience that much better. As I said above, summer means you can carve out your time however you wish and if that means going to sleep at 3am binge-watching something on Netflix, then so be it! Unfortunately in school this just won’t cut it.

Some things you can do to fix your sleep schedule are:
  • Wake up at the same time every day (5am, 6am, 7am)
  • Go to sleep early at roughly the same time every day.
  • Keep your alarm away from your bedside.
  • Disable the snooze option!
  • Sleep in a cool room, rather than hot, to improve quality of sleep.
  • Use essential oils, like lavender, if you have trouble falling asleep.
  • Have something to look forward to in the morning, like a good breakfast or journaling.
  • Pack your bag the night before!

During the academic year, I also made sure to sleep for at least 8 hours, but when it approached exam season, I could manage to run on 5 hours in order to make time for studying. Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep and that you’re waking up early. I talked about why waking up early is amazing in this blog post right here!

Fixing your sleep schedule now, rather than later will save you a lot of pain once you get back to school, so start now!

Last, but certainly not least, is to get yourself a good support system.

This can range from friends, to parents, to teachers, to siblings; anyone you can go to when things get tough, which let’s be honest, they will.

School – any type of school – is tough and it will challenge you academically, personally, financially, and in other ways too. Do not feel like you have to be brave and handle everything by yourself, because there is always someone you can turn to for help when things get difficult.

If I didn’t have the friends and teachers I did when I was in sixth form, I don’t know how I would have handled it all. Even if it meant dropping some people out of my life, ultimately it was for the better because it was for my greater good and I am much better for it now.

Make friends with people who will push you to succeed, speak to teachers who will help you achieve your goals and know that you are worthy of love and support.

On the other hand, make sure you are also being a support for other people! If you notice someone struggling, reach out to them and offer any type of help that you can. From the get-go, surround yourself with people who will only benefit and uplift you, and distance yourself from people who do the opposite. Doing this earlier in the year will make your future semesters much better.

So, that’s it!

I hope this post was useful for anyone out there heading out to school in September, and if you already started school, I hope you can find some value in the post nonetheless.

Having a successful academic year is all about building good habits early on and preparing in advance, because as the quote says, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

I wish everyone a successful and happy academic year, and that you achieve all that you set out to do!