Image Source: Pixabay
By Dan Matthews
Summer has finally come to an end, and that means that students all over the country are working on getting back into their school schedules. After months off and time away from the classroom or homeschool, though, starting up with school again can be a bumpy transition. You may feel unorganized, a little scattered, and even unmotivated to start focusing on your education.
That’s normal, and you aren’t alone in feeling that way. By making a few simple changes in your life, you can start the school year strong and set yourself up for long-term success.
Start With a Good Morning
Your morning sets the tone for your entire day, so make sure it’s a good one. Set your alarm early enough so that you aren’t rushed or running late, and don’t let yourself hit the snooze button endlessly. Even if you’re homeschooled, you should be eager to rise and shine. Try to schedule your morning so you have time for something you enjoy, whether it’s taking a quick walk as the sun comes up or reading a book as you eat breakfast.
Speaking of breakfast, make time for this important meal. Breakfast gives you the energy you’ll need to get through the school day and it also kick-starts your metabolism and has even been linked to better memory and concentration.
It’s easy to overlook breakfast in your rush to get started with your day, but there are many ways to fit it into your schedule. Keep a list of quick breakfast ideas to use on your busiest mornings. You can prep many breakfast recipes ahead of time, and if you keep your kitchen stocked with items like granola bars and hard-boiled eggs, there’s no reason to have to skip breakfast.
Whether learning at home or in the classroom, you can’t expect to succeed in school if you aren’t organized and focused, so make it a priority to get organized as a student. As the school year starts up, one of your first tasks will be to create a schedule that outlines your class time, your time spent on homework, and other obligations like extra-curricular activities and appointments. With your schedule written down, you can better plan out how and when you’ll study so you can stay on track with your school work.
You’ll also need to create a space where you can work. This should be a clean, clutter-free, distraction-free area that allows you to focus completely on your studies. Invest in a desk, comfortable chair, and desk organizers so that you can easily find the books and supplies that you need.
As you organize your space, consider the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalists live with fewer material possessions, and that can make it easier to think clearly and focus on creating memories and experiences, rather than on attaining new possessions. A minimalist lifestyle can let you focus more on your education, and with fewer possessions, organizing a space for your homework will be easier both now and during the next school year.
Understand and Embrace Your Learning Style
Learning is a complicated process, and everyone learns best in different ways. Some people are auditory learners and best absorb information by hearing or speaking it, but for visual learners, it’s important to draw pictures or receive graphics explaining that same information. Tactile learners may use gestures or move around while processing and absorbing information. Your learning style may be entirely different from that of your parents, your teachers, or even your peers, and trying to learn in a different style than your own can be difficult and ineffective.
If you’re not sure of just what your learning style is, take this 20-question quiz to help you to determine how you learn best. Once you understand your learning style, you may need to make some changes to how you receive information and how you study. If you’re a tactile learner, you may need to start making graphs and charts to organize and understand information. If you’re a visual learner, making a mind map can make it easier to understand and remember information. You may need to try a few different techniques to find the way that you best learn and retain information.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
As you set yourself up for a great start to the school year, don’t forget to also prioritize your mental health. Many factors affect your mental health as a student. Balancing school, extracurricular activities, a job, and a social life can be stressful. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to function well, and if you don’t know some basic relaxation techniques, you could find yourself stressed, disappointed in yourself, and overwhelmed by the pressure you feel to succeed.
To prioritize your mental health, learn and use some common stress management techniques. Make time for daily exercise, even if it’s just a half-hour jog around your neighborhood. Practice visualizing yourself as being successful in stressful situations, like doing a presentation in front of the class. Even listening to music can help to calm you down, and playing soothing music while you study can help you to relax and focus.
You may need to make some changes in your life and habits in order to start the school year strong, but it’s a great investment in your education and the overall success of your school year. Many of these habits will also benefit you once you’re a working professional, so mastering them now can set you up for a successful future, too.