Practical Back to School Tips That Actually Work

During this time, you find 'Back to School Tricks' and the like everywhere, with generic tips like study more, get more sleep, eat healthier, be prepared, etc. I think we can agree that in the beginning we all try to follow these rules, and they work pretty well for the first couple weeks of school. Then, you start following them less and less until it's the middle of March, or sooner, and all we have left is half a pencil, a crumpled paper, and more stress than we need (sound familiar?). These tips sound pretty good reading them, and you can envision yourself putting them into action, but in reality, it's a bit more complicated. That's why today I bring to you Practical Back to School Tips That Actually Work.

1. Don't Show Up On the First Day with All 50 of Your Pencils. I say pencils, but this is for all of your materials really. Don't bring all of your school supplies in on the first day, just bring some. If you only have 5 pencils with you, then you might be a bit more frugal and careful with them, not lending them out to everybody and leaving them everywhere. Mark a point every two months, or so, where you restock your supplies. Say the first Monday of every month you give yourself 5 more pencils. That way, you don't get to that point in March where all of your supplies are used, lent to people who do not return, or MIA. You can do the same with enthusiasm. Have a point every month, or so, when you step back and look at everything good that you've done, and refresh yourself with a newfound passion to learn and do well. It's much better to gradually use all of your materials, rather than use all of them in your first month.
2. Be Realistic. It's not practical to have spent the summer going to bed at 2 am and waking up at noon, then when the first day of school comes round you go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6:30. About a week or so before your school/work starts, try going to bed half an hour, an hour, or even 15 minutes earlier each night. Also in the realistic category, don't go into the school year thinking that you'll get all A's, and eat healthier, and exercise, and participate in extracurriculars. You can't study all the time and compete on 5 sports teams and be student government president and be social (well, maybe you can, but I don't think that it's healthy to.) Know your limits, but also push yourself to do something different. Take up different activities gradually and it'll be easier to fit them all in your schedule, while still having time for yourself.
3. Make Sacrifices. Not of the fatal variety, but much easier versions by comparison. This really works if you procrastinate and wait until the very last minute for everything. If you get an assignment, tell yourself you're going to do a certain amount that day, and if you don't, then sacrifice something such as dessert or TV. You can't go to that movie with your friends until you finish your paper. With sacrifices also comes rewards, so be sure to reward yourself for doing well, too. If you study and get an A then you get ice cream, or something like that. It's all about manipulating your pains and pleasures to be your best.
4. REST. Rest is one of the most important parts to a successful year, and unfortunately, one of the most forgotten. With so many things to accomplish, you might forget to rest your body and mind. At one point last year, I became very stressed and overwhelmed because I had so much to do and think about, that even when I was sleeping I wasn't really resting. I didn't wake up refreshed and ready to go. I was constantly grumpy and hectic, and it feels like there is always a weight on your back. You really just need to remember to take a step back, breathe, and reorganize. Remember that it's not the end of the world and that it'll all work out. What I like to do when I'm feeling like this is to tell myself that in the future, this probably won't matter at all and I won't even remember it. If I do happen to remember it, I'll probably laugh at about how worked up I was over such a little thing. Picture your ideal, happy future, where you won't remember getting frustrated about studying for tests. I know many of you don't ride horses so this probably won't make sense, but it's like when you are first learning to canter: you might get stuck with a super fast bouncy trot and keep trying to canter, but it won't work unless you reorganize back to the walk and try again. Just step back and look at the situation with unbiased light.
Cheers to a great school year!

2 comments:

  1. completely agree with all of these! I'm a law student and definitely need my rest! :D

    Makeshift Munch

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  2. Yes, I NEED rest! Great post

    Maria
    From Metro Cards to Meal Plans: a College Lifestyle Blog
    http://mariaefischer.blogspot.com

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