As your summer break comes to an end, you may be excited about a new school year (especially if you get to meet your classmates in person again!) or dreading the early mornings. Whichever describes you, it’s always a good idea to start preparing early, so you can set yourself up for a great school year. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the year ahead!
Have a plan and set goals
Before the first day of school, you should list some long-term and short-term goals. For example, “preview chem textbook before class every day” or “work on college essays for 30 minutes every morning.” Try to set goals that you can realistically achieve. Be specific on what you want to accomplish. Then, mark your calendar with deadlines and methods on how you can reach those goals.
Are you using your time wisely? Learn more: Setting up Routines for High School
Complete back-to-school tasks before your first day
The first day of school can be chaotic, especially if you have not been to the campus for 18 months! If you have never been to your school, try to arrange a visit before your first day. Get your student ID early and check out your textbooks. Figure out the route to your classrooms. Gather all the necessary school supplies and pick your outfit the night before. You want to be as ready as possible, so you can fully enjoy your first time back at school!
A note for seniors, you may be familiar with the campus and registration process already, so spend some time completing your college applications before school starts. Schedule a quiet afternoon (or two) before your first day back to school, have your transcript in hand, and fill out all the necessary data for your college applications. It’s one less thing off your plate for your senior year!
Read more: Top 10 Summer Tasks for College Admissions
Manage your time and schedule wisely
Staying organized and planning out your day can help you use your time wisely. Time-draining activities, such as mindlessly browsing social media, can result in last-minute panic or sleep loss. If procrastination has always been your arch-nemesis, a new year is the perfect time to tackle it. At Insight, some of our counselors prefer the time-block method: they schedule or block off time to work on college essays or application reviews. You can do the same! Simply schedule when you will be in class or studying or participating in club activities AND stay true to your calendar. Don’t forget to schedule short breaks in between, too!
Create your space
Imagine this: your parent’s talking on the phone; the TV is on; your sibling is jumping on the couch; the dog is barking; and your phone vibrates every 3 seconds, showing a text or a notification. How productive do you think you’d be? Probably not too much. Find a space in your house that you can claim as yours. Set up your study space and minimize distractions. Yes, that means turning off your phone and close all unnecessary windows on your computers, too. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish when you only focus on one task.
Talk to your teachers and counselors
Get into the habit of talking to your teachers, even something as small as “how are you” or “thank you.” Schedule a time to meet with your guidance counselor. Don’t wait until you need something from them (like a letter of recommendation) to start building that relationship. Besides the subjects they teach, your teachers can be a great source of information. They may have recommendations for books or activities that you may be interested in. Besides, it’s a great practice to talk to people who are different from you and build rapport, which is useful in interviews.
Preparation is only the beginning. You will have to devote time and effort to keep building a successful year. If you need help or guidance, all of us at Team Insight are always happy to help! Reach out to us!
Best of luck,