Back-to-School Smart Tips
It’s FINALLY almost time for school again, and I know a lot of you are excited (I know I am!), but there some excellent pointers to keep in mind as school starts back up again.
Before school starts:
1. Get a really good planner you like. Most students aren’t accustomed to using planners or don’t keep up with it. Planners, whether you know it or not, are just as important, if not more important than binders and pencils. I know that all through middle school, high school, and college, I would have been completely lost without my planner. Planners are EXCELLENT for writing down quiz dates, test dates, homework, and after-school activities. Some schools will sell planners and those can be excellent, but I also recommend looking around at Office Depot, Barnes and Noble, or Wal-Mart/Target for other general planners that organize by time and day. Weekly planners typically do not work well for people with full schedules, so try to stay away from those.
2. Be sure to have an organization plan. What does this exactly mean? Figure out what you will use the best organizationally. Do you like file folders, binders, folders, or all of the above? I tended to lean toward a combination of file folders and/or binders. File folders can be great solely for homework, or you can purchase several for each subject. Some teachers will specifically ask for binders and dividers, so it helps to have those ready as well. Additionally, if binders have not worked for you in the past, reconsider your organizational method. Do you think adding more dividers would help? Should you make a switch to file folders? Decide before school starts so you’re all set to go. Make sure you know what folders and/or binders will be for each subject. This leads onto my next point:
3. Color code! Most students need something to stand out in order to notice it. Be familiar with what each color will be- red for English, blue for Geometry, green for Biology, etc. If you happen to choose binders as your organizational system, you can go ahead and put in the labels for obvious tabs such as : homework, graded quizzes, extra paper, notes, etc. The same tip applies to file folders- put in labeled tabs.
4. Get ahead in your classes. If you weren’t studying during the summer (like you probably should have!), then start taking a sneak-peak at what you might be learning in school. Most school districts have a school catalog with each grade, subject/class, and a small description of each course. If you school happens to have a website, explore it by all means! It doesn’t particularly matter when the teacher posted the resource or information, it can still prove useful for the school year. Curriculums may vary slightly from year to year, but the basics will generally stay the same. Even if your school doesn’t have a website and/or teachers don’t post resources and/or notes, simply look at the classes you plan to take. If you plan on taking high school Biology, go to your local library, see if you can find any textbooks (it doesn’t even matter if they are college-level! It will help you in the future!) , workbooks, CDs, or study-books about Biology. Additionally, libraries often offer web resources. It’s never too late to start getting ahead! At least for the first few weeks of school, you’ll breeze right on through!
The Night Before:
1. Put everything you think you will need in your backpack. This includes your file folders, binders, and/or folders. Don’t forget spirals, lots and lots of pencils, a few pens, plenty of paper (if you don’t use spirals), and colored pencils or markers.
2. Don’t forget your lunch! I can’t think of anything worse than going to your first day of school without lunch (no matter how old you are!). If you plan on buying lunch (which I would recommend against, since you might be unfamiliar with the menu options), don’t forget to bring money. Be sure to pack a healthy lunch with protein, carbs, water, and maybe something sweet, but small. You don’t want to be hungry the rest of the day, but you don’t want to be stuffed either, so make sure you know yourself well (or just ask your loving mom or dad to make it for you <3).
3. Get lots of rest. Some students tend to believe they can go all day on only 5 hours of sleep, but sleep habits are extremely important to academic habits. The more sleep, the better! Aim for at least 8-9 hours of sleep.
First Day Jitters:
1. If you are in middle school, high school, or college, immediately write down your schedule in your planner (if you do not already have a school planner). If you choose not to use a school planner, it is essential to write down your schedule for every week. For example, if my first period class was Algebra 1 and I had a planner that organized by time of day, I would designate the lines from 7:30am-8:30am for just Algebra 1 by writing by 7:30am- Algebra 1 and then at 8:30am (when Algebra 1 was done), write Biology. If there were no times written in the planner, I would simply write at the top line “1st Period- Algebra 1”, skip about 4 lines, and then write “2nd Period- Biology”, skip another 4 lines and so on and so forth. I would continue the pattern for about three weeks.
2. Don’t panic! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming… well, you know the rest. If you find yourself lost the first day, don’t worry! There are plenty of other students that are going through the same thing. I’ve ended up going to the right classroom at the wrong period twice in middle school. Just be sure to pay close attention to your schedule. Try carrying your schedule in your pocket so if you need to whip it out to check the room number, the period, or the teacher, you can!
I will post more tips when it gets closer to school. I hope you enjoyed and take my tips to heart! Have a wonderful day.