Preparing for the start of school can be overwhelming. You’ve just had a few months of freedom and you know what’s coming next: stress, deadlines, homework, and a little bit more stress. If you find it difficult to start school again after summer break, follow this list to help mentally prepare yourself for your best year of school yet!
1. Start to Get on a Better Routine
My mom always forced me to do this when I was growing up, but I always thought that living by the notion that I wanted to enjoy my last few days of summer was a much better idea. However, now that I’m an adult and getting ready to start my last year of college, I realize just how important a good routine is. If you have to wake up super early in the morning for school, your current sleeping pattern of 1 a.m. until 11 a.m. is probably not ideal. For at least a week before, make an effort to get on the proper sleep schedule to thrive in school. (Hint: go to sleep 8 hours before your alarm is set to wake you up!)
2. Make Goals
Every year since I started college, I’ve made a point to make goals for that school year. At the halfway point of the year, I go through and see what I’ve accomplished, what I still need to accomplish, and I’ll add any new goals I may have. I’ve found that this not only gives me a greater sense of accomplishment than just a letter grade does, because my goals go beyond school and grades. It also keeps me on track to accomplish things throughout the year. I can’t tell you how much I recommend it!
3. Have an Organization Plan
Don’t wing an organization plan when you get into school. Of course, it may alter a little bit as you adjust to your new routine, but try to come up with a solid organization plan before school starts. If you love notebooks over folders, stock up on notebooks. If you need a pencil case to remember to bring a pen to class, don’t forget your pencil case! Most importantly, though, find a planner that works well with your life, no matter what capacity it may be in!
4. Get Familiar
If you’re going to a new school and have anxiety, there’s a pretty good chance that you have anxiety about getting lost or overwhelmed. If that’s the case for you, spend some time getting familiar with the school. Of course, no one wants to spend their summer in school, but even just an hour spent locating your classes and locker with a friend will help keep you calm when the first few weeks of classes come along.
5. Know Your Triggers
Whether or not you have anxiety, we all have stressors that can send us over the edge. If a lot of your stressors come from the beginning of the school year, know what they are and prepare to tackle them head on. I really don’t like icebreaker games, simply because I don’t think that there could be a more awkward way to get to know someone, and they are prevalent on the first day of class. While I can’t really avoid them, I do try to get to know the people I’m paired with without the help of the game, simply so that it makes it less awkward and I can form a real connection with them.
6. Stay on Top of to-Dos
When you have anxiety, it can be easy to avoid your to-do list and let things build up. Believe me, I’ve been there. However, the longer it builds up the worse your anxiety will get. Rather than let it take over your life, make it a priority to finish tasks immediately rather than let them build up and create anxiety.
7. Find Something to Look Forward to
Whenever I’m really not looking forward to going back to school, I try to create little fun things that I can look forward to. I’ve learned that semesters go by much faster when I do that. I try to plan something for once a month, whether it’s a trip I really want to go on, an out-of-town shopping trip that I’ve dreamt of, or a concert for an album I’ve been listening to on repeat, those little bright spots can make school so much easier to get through mentally!
How do you mentally prepare yourself for school? Let me know what you do in the comments!