How To Survive Another School Year

How To Survive Another School Year

It's August and that means it's time for the back to school craze, but don't worry, here are a few tips to keep you on top!

It's August which means kids, teens, college students, and parents are all dreading the same thing; school. Although, school doesn't have to be something to dread, summer may be ending, or already ended for some, but with a good mindset and these helpful tips school might just be enjoyable.

If school has taught me anything, it's that you can never know what's going to happen, which is why I gathered a few items to aid in any situation. The first is something I know almost every kid in my school uses and the second is something that never disappoints me: portable phone chargers and extra cash. Keeping a portable charger in your locker, backpack, or bag can mean easy access when you're far from an outlet. Keeping one near by can also be a huge lifesaver for when you forget to charge that night or morning. As for the cash, it's been there for me during all those forgotten bake sales and last minute ticket sales. This makes having some extra money one of my most used tips!

Hand sanitizer, hair bands, band aids, chapstick, gum, and a tide stick. I keep all of these in my backpack at all times, and at one point or another, I've been extremely thankful for each item. I can't tell you how many times the bathroom has run out of soap, I have forgotten a hair band for gym, my breath spelled bad, or I spilled something on my clothes, but these small, inexpensive items can be amazing for you or a friend.

The above objects are great for social emergencies, but that's only part of surviving school. The more daunting is just about everything else, and while our tests and homework take up most of our time, keeping organized can make a huge difference in study habits, grades, and time.

As far as organization goes, I recommend an assignment notebook, post-it notes, locker shelves if you use lockers, and binder dividers if you prefer binders, but overall, color coating.

The assignment notebook is something I used to skip, thinking I could remember it all. Then I started forgetting page numbers, dates, and full assignments. Taking an extra minute to write things down goes a long way and can reduce stress from trying to remember everything.

Post-it notes, or something of the like, are also a great way to remember important messages and can be fun as well with their colors and designs. Locker shelves and binder dividers can also help you keep subjects straight as well as divide what's important. Lastly, keeping everything color coated is a surefire way to make grabbing what you need quick and easy.

But lets face it, for most of us school isn't fun. Well now that the social emergencies and ways to stay organized are covered, we can move on to the fun category, items to brighten your day!

You can start improving your day as soon as you get up by creating a morning routine that makes you happy and works with your schedule, but don't forget to leave time to pick out an outfit. Feeling good in your clothing choice can improve your mood more than you think and give you a major confidence boost.

Another way to boost your mood can be as simple as a playlist. Music is one of my favorite ways to gain energy and get excited about the day to come. Books, paper to doodle with, or other methods of entertainment can also create a sudden happiness you wished you had earlier.

Other school supplies like colorful or patterned folders, binders, notebooks and your favorite pens and pencils can put a smile on your face as you get to pull them out!

There are a lot of simple ways to improve your boring school days, so the best thing to do is be prepared and do what works best for you.

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Five Ways to Deal with a Loud Roommate

There is still hope...for a good night's sleep

There is nothing wrong with wanting to bring friends over to your dorm or apartment, but sometimes it is not the right time. During the day, it is completely fine to blast music, but when midnight comes around, it becomes obnoxious. Getting woken up on a school night is not fun, so here are some ways to handle having either one or two loud roommates.

1. Play Loud Music(With/Without Headphones)

If their talking extremely loud or having a loud karaoke session with their friends, it’s only fair to blast your mixtape or your favorite song. Really good ear buds or headphones will do the trick too.

2. Bring Over Your Friends

They want to have a party, then make it a party! You can ignore your roommate while having fun with your own squad. If they get annoyed when their being just as loud with their friends, it means they are hypocrites and it is not your problem.

3. Buy a Big Fan

This works better in an apartment where everyone gets their own room. I know from personal experience that once that loud fan comes on, it blocks out most of the noise surrounding you. I don't recommend using it during the winter unless you get really annoyed.

4. Leave

This is my least favorite solution since it’s not fair, but it isn't a bad idea when you’re on the verge of cursing someone out. Try finding a friend to hang out with. If not, drive or walk around for a while. Just find some peace and quiet, especially if you have to study.

5. Talk to Them

Even if you don’t think they will listen, it doesn't hurt to try. You could address them while their being loud to remind them that you're not deaf. Or you could sit them down and make some sort of an arrangement where you both feel comfortable. If you talk to them and they chose to still be obnoxious, then you might want to consider the other solutions above. Or better yet, get a new roommate.

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Find Some Time To Do Nothing

Why the suburbs raised me well and I didn’t realize it.

I was born and raised in a small village in Upstate New York called Pittsford. Population: 27,219. I mostly hated growing up there. I always thought I was destined for a city- constant people and things to do. Probably because I was and always have been bad at boredom. Boredom, in many ways, is my worst enemy. As a kid, I never knew what to do with it. I would drive my mom insane pacing around the house trying to get her to take me to do something or play a game with me or just let me ramble about how bored I was to her.

She would incessantly ignore me to the point where I would freak out and get so tired I would have to take a nap. Then she would say - “there you go, that’s all you had to do was just be still.” I never understood that- “just be still.” It made no sense to an anxious, vigorous mind like mine. “Just being still” was just simply not an option.

After almost 10 years of this routine - boredom, anxious pacing and freaking out - I had had enough. I was in 9th grade and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had one last major ‘freak out’ over winter break that year. It lasted nearly 10 hours. I had plainly lost my mind. One shattered mirror, a smashed iPhone and many slammed doors later, I was nearing the end of some of the most painful, dreadful 10 hours of my life.

I found myself lying on a bench in the hallway of my mothers' house, squeezing my head and telling it to shut up. My mom sat with me silently for many hours, repeating the words “just be still.” I got it- I finally got it. That was what was wrong. My head could not be still and boredom itched that reality a little bit too harshly.

With lack of ability to find constant entertainment in my small little town and quaint, quiet neighborhood, I was forced to face the demons in my head that boredom would expose. I realized, through many anxiety attacks and silent days and nights alone with my thoughts, I realized that there had to be an alternative reality- that life couldn’t possibly consist of such incessant anxious nagging thoughts because otherwise, the human race wouldn’t exist.

As a result, I came to understand more of the depths of my being and the crevices of my mind that often acted like black holes. I began to reach inwards for long-term contentment instead of reaching outwards for provisional bliss. Boredom thus has forced and allowed me to come to know myself on a deeper level.

I have been able to understand the demons of the mind and know them on the most personal level possible. I have also learned how to combat these demons before they are even born as a result of knowing them so deeply. So, despite the bad reputation that boredom gets, I attest that it is one of the most crucial parts of personal and spiritual growth. Contrasting with the words of Tyler the Creator- I proclaim that we, the human race, “find some time to do ‘nothing’.”

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