Go Back to School Like a Pro

Most schools are about to start this week! I know many of the moms I have spoken to are very excited to get back to a routine, and of course gain a little alone time for themselves. Whether you are a mom taking her little boy or girl back to school this year, a teenager stepping into high school, or a young adult in college-everyone needs to stay organized. It is essential to a stress free environment, and your success at school.

Did you ever notice how the school year comes at you full force? There is no adjustment period. The day you step foot in that school (no matter which grade it is), the alarm clocks are set, assignments start piling up, the papers take over, and you are back in the swing of things. It is a hard change to go from relaxing all summer by the beach to sitting in a desk at school, but because you do not have any time to adjust, you will switch over into school mode really fast. It forces you to be alert, and adapt quickly.

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You cannot change the fact you are going back to school, but by following these steps you can change HOW you go back to school.

1.) Invest in the right supplies

  • It is so important to invest in the right school supplies. They are your tools for the year, and will help you stay organized and achieve those A’s. Nowadays, there are so many stores that offer cute and affordable supplies. Target is a great place to start!

2.) Organize your locker every week

  • A clean and organized locker paves the way to your school success. I know there are organizers in the making out there that will take the time to make their locker oh so perfect, but for everyone else, I encourage you to empty it out once a week. Throw out the crumbled pieces of paper, food wrappers, clothes, and random things you don’t need inside. If you take 10 minutes to do this every Friday, you will be ready to go on Monday.

3.) Buy a planner

  • Buy a planner and write down everything you need to keep track of. School throws a lot of information at you, and you must have a place to keep everything organized. Write down every assignment, test, exam, club meeting, sports practice, social event, etc. Students have one of the busiest schedules out there. Every minute is filled with something to do. A planner will keep you stress free and organized!

4.) Have important school numbers accessible

  • If you are a parent, keep all the important numbers accessible. This may include a list of the following people:

    Principal
    Nurse
    Teachers
    Guidance counselor
    Secretary
    Coaches
    Class moms

5.) Write down important days for the year

  • Head of schools have the entire year mapped out before school even starts. This is great because it helps you as a parent or student have a birds eye view of the year ahead. Grammar schools, high schools and colleges all provide a list of important dates. Write every single one down the first day you receive this list. Some lists may include the following:

    Orientation
    Parent teacher conferences
    Parent weekend at college
    Half days
    Holiday vacations
    Final exam dates
    Deadlines for billing
    School plays
    Career Day
    Tryouts for sports
    Last day of school

6.) Find your designated study area

  • Being in class is only half the battle. The work that is done outside the classroom is a huge component to your success. Figure out what works best for you. Some people need extreme peace and quiet, so a library would be best. Some need quiet coupled with a little bit of noise. A Starbucks or local coffee shop would be great for this person. Maybe you are the type of person that loves putting on some headphones, working on their laptop and sitting in their dorm room. There is no perfect way to study and it is important to do what is right for you!

7.) Prepare the night before

  • You may be exhausted from the day, but always make the time to prepare for the next morning. It is so stressful to rush in the morning. No one enjoys that feeling. Although it may happen from time to time, try your very best to get organized the night before. This includes packing lunches, laying out your clothes, putting your backpack, purse, bags by the door where you leave, and knowing exactly what time you need to leave your house or dorm to get to class on time.

8.) School supply station at home or your dorm

  • You will have homework and studying to do when you get home or back to your dorm, so set up a school supply station that is easily accessible. Make sure you have pens, markers, white out, tape, scissors, paper clips, folders and pencils all in one station so you can focus on your homework assignment instead of searching for supplies.

9.) Take good notes

  • Proper note taking is a must to organizing your school life! Some are better at it than others, so do not be afraid to ask a classmate for help. Teachers talk fast, so you need to focus and intently listen to what they are saying. You will not be able to write down every single detail, but write down as much as possible. I strongly suggest rewriting your notes or typing them when you get home. This will not only help you study and learn the information, but you will now have neat notes instead of scribbles and chicken scratch. If it is hard for you to pay attention and write, do not be afraid to ask your teacher if you can record the lesson.

10.) Peppermint

  • This #10 tip is dedicated to one of my high school teachers. She would give us half a peppermint lifesaver before class started. Tests have shown those who smell or taste peppermint before class are known to have better focus, and concentration. Not to mention you will have nice breath! Always remember to keep a peppermint in your backpack before that big test.

11.) School papers

  • From PreK to college, you will receive lots of school papers. Set up a filing system at home so you can access these papers easily. Create a system that correlates to the necessity of the papers. For example, some papers will come home from school on Monday, but you can throw them out by the end of the week. Some you need to file away and save for the entire school year. Some are going to be part of a to do pile, and some you may be able to transfer the information to your planner and get rid of the paper. The important thing is to have a place for all the papers that will come into your home during the school year.

12.) Talk with your teachers

  • If you have any questions, need help, or are struggling, talk with a teacher. They are there to help and will be so glad you came to them. They might have an idea to help you that will instantly improve your performance at school! It is worth having an open dialogue and seeing what solutions can be thought of.

13.) Never lose your syllabus

  • Your syllabus is your lifeline. It will list the entire outline for your class. Tape this to the inside of your planner so you always have it by your side.

14.) Fit in the extra-curricular activities

  • Your schedule after school is just as busy as during school hours. Between sports, clubs, meetings, practices, and friends, the day never ends. Take some time to plan, and figure out how you can fit in all the extra-curricular activities you love. Once you are a part of a sports team or club, you will most likely meet on the same days, and have practices at the same times. Write all this information down in your planner the week before so you never forget.

15.) Rest your mind  

  • Seven hours of class time is a lot! Your brain needs rest after a long day. Figure out what system is best for you. Some need an hour break after school to de-stress, get a snack and relax on the couch before starting their homework while others need to keep the momentum going and get everything done right away so they have the rest of the night to relax. Do whatever works best for you, but fit in time to relax. Your body and brain need it!
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