Does anyone else feel like they went to bed at the end of exam week and woke up on move-in day? That’s where I’m at! I move back to campus this weekend, leaving me less than two days to settle in before classes start on Monday. I can already feel the stress of the coming semester creeping in, but I have the tools to manage. Whether you’re just starting high school, finishing up college, or are somewhere in between, I’ve got some back-to-school tips for you to take as you head back to campus! Full disclosure: it has always been a bit of a challenge for me to establish a self-care practice into my school routine, so a few of these tips may be as much of a reminder for you all as they are for me! 😉
Talk to your teachers/professors. Most professors are super chill and want to get to know their students. The start of the school year is the perfect time to simply pop into their office during the daytime to introduce yourself. If you find yourself struggling in their course, drop in before or after class to ask for help (you could even send an email if the thought of human interaction makes you nervous). Remember, your professor’s job is to help you learn, so they should be more than happy to assist you. If you’re falling behind with the course load, ask for an extension. The worst that can happen is they say no. However, most professors are reasonable people who understand that a mental breakdown may prevent you from submitting your paper by midnight (been there, done that!). I highly recommend that you befriend your professors, especially in challenging classes; they can be amazing resources on the road to success.
Find a study system that works for you. Personally, I have a hard time studying in my room. I look around and see laundry that needs done, a bed that needs made, and a desk that needs organized. As tedious as those things sound on a typical day, they often sound much better than the alternative of actually studying. My go-to study spots are coffee shops. In my opinion, they’re busy enough that the all of the stimulation registers as white noise, but quiet enough that I can focus on my work. Sometimes, I’ll start at one coffee shop, decide that I need to give my brain a break, and use said break time to migrate to another coffee shop. I prefer studying alone, as I feel I can get more work done on my own, but study dates with friends can be productive as well, which takes me onto my next point!
Get involved. Studying with friends, while it does offer more distractions, is beneficial. Studying solo too often can be isolating. While working in a group may not optimize academic output, it is socially productive, which is also important. Take care of yourself as you would your GPA! Also remember, it’s okay to close your textbook sometimes, to take a break from studying and do something fun. My goal for this semester is to join a club and to partake in most of its activities (sometimes I neglect the second part…oops!). Clubs often host fun events and are a great way to meet people who share a common interest. Get out of your room and attend a sporting event, a theater production, or something of that nature. It could be fun! 🙂
Get some sleep. Showing up to class serves little purpose if you’re too tired to retain any information. Those notes won’t type themselves while you’re asleep with your head on the Z letter key (Get it? Because you’re catching Z’s? Ha!). When you stay up extra late to study for a test, there comes a point in the night where being awake is no longer productive. At that point, you know what you know and you’re going to be too tired to learn anything more. So, you might as well get some sleep so you don’t miss your alarm in the morning!
If you don’t take anything else from this post, just remember this: you are more important than your GPA. My homework assignment for you is to practice self-care! Put the book down and take care of yourself. Meet new people, make new memories, and have some fun this semester. This school year is going to fly by and I’m ready to enjoy the ride! Who knows? Maybe I’ll go to bed after my first day of class and wake up to the summer sun in May!
Love & Hugs,