How to Start the School Year Strong

How to Start the School Year Strong

We’re now back to school Spartans! After a long, relaxing summer, adjusting back to the rigor of school may be challenging. To help you start the school year strong, here are some tips to follow:

1. Use the student planner

Although it may not be aesthetically appealing to everyone with its hard plastic cover and dark green ink, I highly encourage students to take advantage of it. It includes both national/international dates as well as school dates, including breaks, sporting events, and testing dates. It’s easy to use, and it’ll help you with organization and time management. The key is to consistently use your planner throughout the entire year, not just in the beginning of September!

2. Take advantage of Flex time

Flex is the 15-minute period after lunch, and it’s the time for students to get help from their teachers. While 15 minutes doesn’t seem much, it already adds up to one hour of assistance if you go four days a week. Flex isn’t mandatory by any means, but if you feel lost in the content for any classes, don’t hesitate to stop by one of your classes. Many students also use Flex as a time to get homework done–many teachers allow students to stay in their classrooms to work in a quiet space. 

3. Use the syllabus

Many teachers will hand out a syllabus at the beginning of the school year that itemizes all of the units/topics that the class will cover (especially if the class lasts for two semesters). While many may toss out this sheet of paper, it’s something that you should keep. It acts like a checklist that can keep you motivated throughout each quarter because it’s easier to visualize the units/chapters that are left in the quarter before you get a fresh start on grades.

4. Go to class on time

There are several studies that show a positive correlation between going to class and getting good grades. It’s not surprising; even if you don’t take any notes during class, you’ll still be able to take in some instruction just by listening. You’ll also save a lot of time by going to class–making up lecture notes or labs and losing work time are examples of some activities that you would have to make up after school, making time management even more tricky especially if you’re involved in clubs or have a job. Plus, who knows–class may get more interesting as it goes on. 

5. Get sleep

Self care is very important, especially sleep! If summer vacation has thrown your circadian rhythm off the rails, establish a healthy sleeping schedule (teens should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night) at the beginning of the year and try to stick to it. As the school year gets harder, it’s important that you’re all caught up on sleep so you can perform efficiently and be your best. School will be more bearable if you don’t feel so fatigued all the time!