Going back to school after a break often brings with it a range of emotions, including feelings of excitement, stress, curiosity, and the like. Whether you’re going back to school after having been learning online for some time, or after a school break, we’re going to share some back-to-school tips that can set you up for a successful term. Keep reading for some useful tips for going back to school.
Back to School Tips from the Start
First things first, you’re coming off a break and have to get back in the mindset of learning. So, consider these back to school tips:
- Reflect: Pause and review your performance from the last term. Make a note of what you did well, and where you may have room for improvement. Your experience the last term can be of use to set yourself up to do even better in this upcoming term.
- Study Space: Consider your study space. If you were enrolled in an online school, then your study space and class space may have been the same. If you’re on campus, you likely have many study space options available to you. See what you can do to enhance your study space, be it decluttering your desk, getting noise-canceling headphones, or adding a second monitor to your space for online sessions.
- Reconnect with Peers: Chances are high that you’re going to be in contact with many of your same peers as you were last term. If you have the time, send some messages out sharing your excitement to see them again. If you’re learning online, reach out to your peers to see if virtual study groups are of any desire to them.
- Thank Your Teachers: If you didn’t send any notes of appreciation to your instructors of the last term, you can still do so. You can frame the message as a note of gratitude for all you learned last term, as well as what you’re looking most forward to this time around.
- Review Syllabi: At the start of every school term, it’s useful to review the syllabi closely to take note of what you can expect. Input any deadlines or test dates in your calendar. You can even start to set up your study schedule in advance by tracking backward from the test date.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of going back to school, let’s dive a little more deeply into best practices.
A major aspect of going back to school is getting back in the groove of studying. Here are some ways to help you optimize your study skills.
- Create a routine: Choose what time you are most productive and try to make a habit of studying then. This way, you’ll build a routine for optimal performance.
- Choose your study space wisely: Depending on the type of learner you are, you may prefer to work in a noisy environment or a calm and quiet one. Pick your preference. Keep in mind that you can also change up your study spot to spice it up.
- Reduce distractions: When you are set up to get work done, try to remove anything that can interrupt you. This could include social media, text alerts, television, children, pets, etc.
- Review notes regularly: Rather than getting overwhelmed at the last minute and trying to cram all information in before a test, try to learn a bit each day. You can get started by reviewing your notes from class regularly.
- Form study groups: Make studying fun by creating a study group. You can meet in person or use technology to connect online. This also helps because if you don’t understand something, someone else in your group may be able to help and vice versa.
- Take breaks: Whatever your study routine is, be sure to incorporate breaks to reset your brain. Some ideas for breaks that can revive you include walking, meditating, or stretching.
Mental and Physical Health Tips
A lot of what’s involved with being a good student is being a healthy person overall, including both physical and mental health. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use to-do lists: To-do lists are a wonderful and low-effort way to remain organized on a daily basis. You can set up your to-do list in order of priority. When you feel overwhelmed or may feel like procrastinating instead, consider putting some easier items at the top of your to-do list to boost your momentum, then move on to the more complex items on your list.
- Exercise and eat well: Staying healthy comes down to what you put in your body for fuel and how you expend that energy. Try to exercise regularly and eat whole foods, rather than sugar-filled snacks.
- Manage stress: Stress seems like an inevitable part of being a student. But, there are many ways to manage stress effectively, including exercise, journaling, meditating, doing yoga, scheduling your time, and getting enough sleep.
Along with mental and physical health, your social health is equally as important. Let’s jump into some school tips for expanding or maintaining your social circle.
Whether you are attending school online or in-person, check out these ideas for how to make friends.
- Be yourself: As with every aspect of life, always be yourself! People will love you for you, and if they don’t, then they aren’t meant to be in your life anyway.
- Join clubs or sports teams: One of the easiest ways to make friends with like-minded people is to join clubs based on your interest or participate in intramural sports teams.
- Connect on social media: Hanging with friends in-person or virtually is easily supplemented by connecting via social media.
- Introduce yourself: Sometimes, all it takes to make a friend at school is to simply start by saying hi and introducing yourself. You never know who you might meet this way.
Hopefully, you’ll find some of these back-to-school tips helpful as you return to your classroom online or in person. Every student is different, so remember that what works for you can very likely be different than what works for someone else.
You know yourself best, so take the time to set routines and habits that work in your favor when it comes to your academic life. Good luck this term and each thereafter!