How To Prepare For A New School Year

How To Ensure That You're More Prepared For School This Year

Small changes you can implement to make a big difference!

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So, it's summer. You want to chill by the pool, hang out with your friends, work and make a little money, and in general, just forget that school even exists. However, you want to be prepared for next semester and go into the school year feeling ready to tackle your classes. What are some things you can do over the summer to ensure that you're ready?

First of all, get organized! Buy a planner and color code your schedule. Pick one color for each class and write down everything you need to do for that class. Also, write down your exam schedule when you get your syllabus, that way you'll never be caught off guard. If you're a more digital person, sync your Google calendar and have it send you reminders. You can also create a sticky note on your computer and have a constant list of reminders running there as well.

Next step: set goals for yourself that you want to accomplish. Personally, I have this written on a Trello board, and I cross off things as I finish them. It's both helpful and a good way to visualize and prioritize what needs to be accomplished. You can also do what I do and have long-term and short-term goals and a running to-do list, that way you can more efficiently plan your schedule.

Also, the more reading you can do about the subjects you're going to be taking, the better. Just some quick Internet searching before bed can help you A LOT in class, because the second time you learn material it's usually easier than the first.

To improve yourself over the summer, pick a skill you want to know but don't necessarily have time to learn during the school year and focus on it. For me, I wanted to get better at graphic design since I am on so many social media committees, so I taught myself a decent amount about graphics and color combinations. I am in no way pretending to be an expert at this, but it's something I enjoy. Find a passion and pursue it.

Finally, take time to mentally de-stress and prepare for the semester. This is YOUR time to relax, make sure you're taking care of yourself and your well being. While this is always important, it gets overlooked at school oftentimes because of homework or studying, but we all need to remember to put ourselves first sometimes!

I hope you enjoyed these tips and find them helpful! What are some things you want to learn this summer or something you want to experience?

Cover Image Credit:

Janet Elizabeth Herman

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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