Ah, September: the leaves are turning brown, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes are in the air, and school is back in session. Going back to class after having a three month long vacation can be a bit stressful and even a bit scary, but don’t fear, that’s why a senior is here! In this article, I will give you advice that I have learned throughout my four years in high school on how to prepare for your school year ahead; from balancing your education while maintaining a social life to starting your morning off awake and ready to go, this article has all the advice you might need to have an exciting and successful school year.
One of the most common troubles that a student can encounter is getting up in the morning. Who really enjoys waking up early to catch a bus, anyway? The first thing you want to do is go to bed early! As tempting as it is to stay up late to binge-watch your favorite TV show (You’re not alone!), you are going to learn your lesson when you sleep through your alarm or you wake up, feeling like a zombie. Try to turn off your devices off an hour before you go to bed and try to relax by reading a book or magazine. Now, if you’re watching the two-hour season finale and you need to know what happens before you go to sleep, try turning on the “Night Shift Mode” on your device, if it is available because it helps reduce some of the blue light that can keep you up all night.
The second thing you want to do to be awake and alert in class is to wake up at a reasonable time. Instead of turning on twenty different alarms to wake you up from your state of slumber, just set one alarm with a loud and annoying sound, forcing you to get up. Now it may be tempting to hit your snooze but to catch a few more minutes of glorious zzz’s, go into your device’s settings and see if you can turn off the snooze button so you actually wake up and make yourself that much needed cup of coffee. Plus, if you get up earlier, you have more time to eat a good breakfast, so your stomach doesn’t demonstrate it’s impersonation of a whale call in the middle of a silent classroom.
Another piece of advice is to stay organized! We’ve all been guilty of throwing things aside such as your homework or computer, telling yourself that you’ll pack it up later and that you know exactly where it is, but then your bus comes and you’re scrambling around in a panic searching for your lost item(s). Make sure to prepare yourself the night before school, whether it be laying out your clothes, packing your bag, or preparing your lunch, being organized can help reduce unnecessary stress during the year and make you feel more relaxed, knowing that you are ready to go when the bus driver honks the horn.
Sometimes grades can be a bit hard to maintain especially if you’re a busy person like many high schoolers, but here’s a tip on how to get a few extra points, do your homework! Teachers often count homework as part of your grade and if you do it on a daily basis, the points add up, then before you know it, that one test you failed is pretty much erased from history. Speaking of tests, don’t forget to study ahead of time. Every student knows the pain of cramming the night before and barely remembering what you read because your brain is too tired to function, so start studying as soon as you hear about the test. Find a method of studying that works whether it be flashcards, recording yourself, or going on one of the millions of helpful studying websites. Make sure to take a short break every thirty minutes to let your brain retain the information you were studying and you can also chew gum, because if you chew the same flavored gum during your test, you might remember better! (Make sure you are allowed to chew gum in class though before you try this tip.)
High school can be stressful and overwhelming, but please remember to take time to relax and spend time with your friends and family. As important as grades are, your family and friends should come first, so make sure to take some time to put your books away and spend time with your loved ones. Whether it be going out to your local cafe or going to the movies, spending time outside of the classroom can be beneficial to your health, making you feel less stressed and finding it much easier to focus. Don’t be ashamed to take a break if you’re stressed, you’re only human! Call a friend and ask to go out for a few hours, trust me, your homework can wait, you’re only young once.