Back in the Groove: Preparing for the New School Year

Sadly summer, like all good things, must come to an end. Though you should still suck all the marrow out of these sweet, sun-filled days, it’s probably best to acknowledge that a new school year is quickly approaching. Instead of lamenting the impending loss of freedom, we suggest preparing to meet your academic future heartily and head-on.

Here are a few tips to help you ease into the school year and hopefully make your first week less painful/jarring:

Start setting an alarm clock. We know – waking up early is probably one of the most dreaded aspects of starting the school year. It can be a pretty rough adjustment, esp. if you’ve spent the majority of the summer sleeping in to your heart’s content. Therefore, we recommend that you begin setting an alarm a week or two before the year starts in earnest. Don’t worry; we’re not necessarily advocating an abrupt switch. You don’t need to start waking up at 6:30am tomorrow. However, if you set an alarm a little earlier each day (and perhaps go to bed a little earlier each night), you’re likely to find yourself jumping out of bed when the first day of school rolls around. Or, at the very least, it won’t be a massive struggle to drag yourself out from under the covers.

Read! Read! Read! (We can’t say it enough.) Reading is a great way to prep for the upcoming school year. Regardless of whether you curl up with a book, magazine or newspaper, reading allows you to exercise and activate your brain. Without likely even being conscious of it, you’ll hone your critical thinking, storytelling, grammar and vocabulary skills. And the more you read in these final weeks of summer, the easier it will be to engage with those first few classroom assignments.

Talk about goals and expectations for the year. We recommend setting aside some time to reflect on your aspirations for the upcoming year. Will you finally go out for the volleyball team? Will you (attempt to) achieve straight As in Spanish class? Is this the year you make the honor roll? Whether they are grand or modest, it’s important to have goals. You want something to strive for and to work towards. Be sure to discuss your thoughts with family and friends. After all, they can offer support and guidance as you set out to conquer accomplishment after accomplishment!

Review your schedule. You should receive a copy of your schedule before the year begins. Don’t just toss it aside and assume everything is in order. You want to make sure that you are registered for the correct classes. And it’s probably a smart idea to check the order in which you’ll be attending them too.

Make a quick visit to the school. If you’ll be new to the school (we’re looking at you freshmen and transfer students), do yourself a favor and swing by your new academic home. Conduct a little tour to familiarize yourself with the layout. We guarantee that you’ll feel (vastly) more comfortable walking through those doors if you have a sense of where you’re going.

We know it can be difficult when it comes time to face a new school year. However, if you take steps to prepare yourself for the upcoming year, the first week of school shouldn't be too upsetting. Heck – you might even discover you enjoy yourself!

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