How To Start The School Year Off Strong

How To Start The School Year Off Strong

15 tips and tricks that will prepare you to kick-off the school year right.
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I have now officially been in school for 17 (never-ending) years, and over the years I have learned a few tips and tricks on how to stay positive and organized for a successful school year. These are some things that have worked for me, so I thought I would share them.

1. Keep A Planner

Whether it is a physical notebook or on a program like Google calendars, plan out your schedule! This includes your classes, meetings, assignments, office hours and anything else you might remind yourself to do. This tip is so simple, yet incredibly useful to staying on top of things.

2. Find Your Best Way to Take Notes

Your optimal form of note-taking may be on your computer, hand-written, jotting down everything or short-handed bullet points of the major topics.

3. Write Down Your Goals (And How To Achieve Them)


At the beginning of the semester it is crucial to make realistic goals for yourself, along with a plan of action. Once you have some attainable goals, go ahead and actually write them down somewhere (I recommend the notes section of your phone) so that you can check up on your progress and reward yourself!

4. Change Up How You Study

There are so many ways to study, including making flash cards, looking back at notes, watching videos and listening to lectures. Do not be afraid to try something new and find what works best for your preferred learning style.

5. Find Your Ideal Study Spot

It is important to not only spread out your studying over an extended period of time, but also to study in a location where you know you can focus.

6. Get A Study Buddy

For each class you have, try to find a study buddy or form a study group that can meet before every exam. Personally, I think that learning from other students can be immensely valuable.

7. Know Your Limits

This can be taken in a lot of different ways. But what I mean is know when you cannot do anymore, whether it’s mentally, physically or emotionally — know your limits. It’s good to push yourself to achieve your goals, but your health should always be your priority.

8. Get Involved

The beginning of the school year is a great time to get involved in new clubs and organizations and meet new people. Plus, this will make it so that not all of your focus is on academics 24/7.

9. Do Things That Make You Feel Productive

Some days will be off, and that’s okay. But I find it really helpful to remain “productive” even on the days I don’t have it in me. For me this means getting things done that I’ll probably have to do eventually, such as going to work, exercising or doing laundry.

10. Get In Tune With Your Emotions

Notice the relationship between your emotions and patterns of behavior. When we evaluate actions through our emotions, it makes it easier to predict and either embrace or change how we behave (if so desired).

11. Forgive Yourself

Know that we all make mistakes. We are only human, and the most beneficial thing we can do is learn from our experiences.

12. Communicate

This one is pretty simple, but it’s really important to talk to your roommates, friends, family, and professors. I usually enjoy writing letters, Face Timing, or face-to-face communication, because they are more meaningful than texts and emails.

13. Say “Yes” More

Obviously stick to your morals and beliefs, but in general, try to say “yes” more. School provides us with so many opportunities, and you never know when you’ll be faced with something life-changing.

14. Don’t Take Anything Too Seriously

That exam, class, embarrassing moment or whatever it may be doesn’t matter as much as you think it does (at least in the long term).

15. Practice Gratitude

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, or what you want, enjoy the simple pleasures and joys that you do have. Every day is a gift, and no matter how much you have, you have something to be grateful for.

Cover Image Credit: Mobile Mag

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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13 Ways To Beat The 'Sunday Scaries'

They may not have to be as scary as you think.

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It's been proven that 76% of people in the US experience "really bad" stress on Sundays, this stress known as the "Sunday Scaries" or "Sunday Blues." I have experienced the "Sunday Scaries" pretty much every Sunday since I started high school. Then, I remembered an episode of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," in which Ned tried to figure out a way to not dread Mondays. He eventually convinced his teacher to play a movie on Mondays, which got me to thinking of how to not dread Sunday nights leading into Mondays. The following are 13 ways to turn your Scary Sunday into Sunday Funday.

1. Exercise

Whether it is going to the gym, taking an exercise class, going for a run, or simply taking a walk, do it. Exercise increases endorphins in your brain and benefits your physical health immensely. You will feel more productive and energized.

2. Eat well

Skip the junk food on Sundays. Junk food is loaded with sugars which can increase levels of stress and depression, and often leave you feeling hungry so you eat more. Eat a healthy dinner early in the night so that you go to bed full and satisfied.

3. Drink a lot of water

Drinking water not only throughout the day but also at night will help you to wake up more refreshed in the morning.

4. Go to bed early

I'm not saying you need 10+ hours, but get however many hours you need for a good night's sleep.

5. Write a list of what's on your mind

Writing out a list of everything running around in your head can help it feel less messy. When all of the to-dos are disorganized in your head, they can be overwhelming. By writing a list you are able to see everything that you need to do, and then it doesn't look as bad.

6. Watch your favorite show

Grey's Anatomy, Friends, The Office, Sunday Night Football, etc. Watching whatever makes you feel content and relaxed (although those SNF games can get pretty intense) is a key ingredient to relaxing for the upcoming week. Reading a good book is also a great idea!

7. Get your work done in the morning/early afternoon

Get whatever you need to get done in the morning and/or early afternoon. This way, you have the night to relax, you are not staying up late Sunday night to do last minute work, and you are able to get better sleep.

8. Plan something to look forward to on Monday morning

Plan to wake up early and make your favorite breakfast, listen to your favorite playlist, pick out an outfit you feel good in, go to your favorite coffee shop, watch your favorite show, or whatever gets you in a good mood. By having something to look forward to Monday, you are more likely to go to bed happy and excited to wake up in the morning, instead of dreading it.

9. Call your parents or friends

Call your parents, your family, your friends, etc. just to catch up. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

10. Listen to new music

This way you pay more attention to the music, the lyrics, the feel of it. You aren't able to push the music to your subconscious and think about all the stresses coming up in the week.

11. Write out your week in a planner 

Cry? Watch Netflix? Attempt homework? Check. Check. Maybe Check.

12. Set a goal to complete by the end of the week. 

Setting a goal allows you something to focus on that you want, not something that you need to do for others. This goal leaves room for "me time." Whether it be finding the time to watch a movie, setting up a fun night with friends, or cleaning the house throughout the week so that you don't have to do it last minute on Sunday.

13. Make stress your friend. 

In Kelly McGonigal's TED Talk, "How to Make Stress Your Friend," she explains how seeing stress as helpful can lead you to live a healthier life in two ways. The first way is that when you see stress as positive, although your heart still races, your blood cells do not constrict as they would if you thought of your stress as negative. This helps you maintain a healthier heart and decrease your risk of an early heart attack. The second way is that stress releases oxytocin, which makes you more social.

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