Four simple hacks for a smooth start to the school year
After the luxury of a long, lazy summer, sleeping in and working to your own timetable, your alarm clock awakening you on the first day of school can be a daunting prospect. Whether you’re just beginning your GCSEs or you’re heading into year 13 to start your A-Levels, a new school year is a time of transition and a lot of new changes. New subjects, new teachers, new friends and maybe even a new school!
This exciting new time can present a few challenges, so here are some of our top tips to make the transition into a new school year as seamless as possible.
There’s no denying that the first day back at school can be a frenzy of new experiences. There’s so much more to think about than just the lessons. New students are trying to find their way around; you’re all trying to catch up on the gossip from the Summer, concentrating on the actual work can be a hard prospect but also a fantastic opportunity to start fresh.
How can you tackle the chaos and make sure you are the best version of yourself?
- If it’s your first day at a new school, try to arrange a tour around the school to familiarise yourself with all of the classrooms. It’s a perfect opportunity to get to know your new surroundings.
- You’ve all heard that annoying saying at some point: ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, but honestly, it’s true! And it couldn’t be more important than for your return to school. It’s scientifically proven that students are more alert and perform better when fueled with a good breakfast. So, fuel up and conquer the day ahead!
- We can’t preach this one enough, be more productive at school and you’ll have far less to do at home in the evenings! When you’re not in a lesson: get a head start on your homework in free time or do some revision for your upcoming exams. We promise you will be thankful later and have so much more time to commit to the hobbies and interests you pursue outside of school.
- You may have concerns about making new friends or fitting into a group; it can be helpful to join a sports team or to join an extracurricular club, whether it be swimming, cooking or supporting the team!
So, here are a few simple tricks to get the most out of the new year:
1. Use a calendar:
A great way of getting all of your thoughts organised in one place is a wall planner or a personal diary. It’s the perfect place to note any important deadlines you may have, such as exam dates, coursework deadlines other assigned projects and any other extracurricular commitments you may have.
2. Outline your plans and goals
A super effective way to measure your success in school is to set both short term and long term goals. It may sound predictable, but planning is the best way to keep yourself accountable for your goals, and it’s often underestimated. Weekly plans are a great way to structure your tasks around your specific short term goals, to then evaluate your success at the end of the week.
Here’s an idea, maybe you could try a two-week experiment? Refrain from planning during the first week. And the next week, plan your daily routine, prioritise and set deadlines, then test the difference. We suspect you’ll see a few noticeable differences in your productivity and your results. But remember, everyone is different, and there’s no set rule for your performance.
3. Be honest:
If you are starting to fall behind, make it common knowledge, tell your teacher and they will do their best to help you. Almost everyone will have that one (or two!) subject(s) they find harder. But, rather than struggling in silence, make your worries known to your teacher early on.
4. Take notes, religiously:
Taking notes (and reviewing them at home) gives you the chance to look over any areas that you aren’t confident in and ask the questions in your next class. It can also be useful to get feedback on your notes from friends after class. Becoming good at note-taking in secondary school also helps put you ahead of the game if you choose to go to university when detailed lecture notes are crucial for revision.
The new school year is the perfect opportunity to try new things and make a fresh start. This year, jump into the deep end and follow these four easy hacks, for a little help along the way!