It’s that time of year again. The shop windows are full of school uniforms, there’s stationery on offer wherever you look, and the kids are looking a bit mopey. That’s right, it’s back to school time again. The roasting summer holidays are over, and everyone in education is looking towards heading into school with new clothes, new notebooks, and a new attitude.
The internet is awash with back to school blogs, too. It doesn’t even matter if the writer is going back to school, or even has any advice to share. I mean, I came across a Back To School blog that was about make up, for crying out loud. I thought, as someone who’s been out of education since 2004, surely the internet wants my advice too? Here’s some of my best tips for making school, college or university that little bit easier, and that little bit more enjoyable.
Go To Bed
Over the summer you’ve got used to staying up later and later, and sleeping in way past your morning alarm. Isn’t it great when you don’t have to be awake at 6am? Having to go back to that sounds like nothing less than torture.
Now’s the time to start getting used to that early alarm call. Go to bed a bit earlier every night, and get up a bit earlier every day. It’s going to suck, but do it. You’ll be so glad when you’re not falling asleep in class (not that I EVER did that, you understand…)
Don’t Skip Class
I know, I know. It’s so tempting these days not to go to class, especially if you’re at university and no one’s making you. When I was at university, I could access class notes and more on my university intranet. As technology has improved, there’s even more ways to stay in touch with your classes without, you know, going to class. Why not stay in bed if you’re not feeling it?
As much as you don’t want to, make sure you go to every class you can. The information you get, and the interaction you get in class, can never replace what you get online. Of course, take the day off if you’re ill or need that mental health day. If you can though, make every class you can.
Ask For Help
It doesn’t matter how old you are, sometimes you’re going to need help. This is the one piece of advice I wish I’d been given as a student. I was terrified of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing, and so I struggled on, without really understanding the material at hand. I got decent grades, but they’d have been so much better if I’d just asked for help.
Teachers and professors can’t do the work for you, but they can explain concepts to you, and help you structure your work. Channel your inner Hermione Granger and put your hand up.
Now’s the time to start learning how to get organised and stay organised. In many cases, students raid their local Paperchase and come out with beautiful looking planners, pens and sticky tabs… which lie in a desk drawer once the novelty wears off two weeks into the term.
I’m a stationery lover too, but you need to be honest with yourself about what will keep you focused. Will a paper planner be the best thing? Would an online calendar like Google Calendar work, or even simply a Word document that you can update every day? If you already bullet journal, you can start using it to keep track of your work. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll stick to.
Make Some Friends
Yeah yeah, that’s easier said than done. However, I missed out on a lot of opportunities to make friends at school and university because I didn’t want to get involved. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, but sometimes you will need to step outside your bubble and make that first step.
If there’s someone in your class who looks fun, sit next to them and say hi. Attend school and university events. Get involved with clubs. Whatever it takes, make it a goal to make at least one friend this year.
There you have it. Term’s starting and you can start off on the right foot. Be honest with yourself and be prepared to make some steps outside of your comfort zone, and you can make this school year awesome.