Back to school! – how to kick the school year off on the right foot
Are you the sort of person who can’t wait to get back to school after a long summer break? Or, maybe you’re the type who dreads the first day of class and just wants to squeeze as much fun out of the break as possible?
No matter which camp you fall into, we can all agree that the beginning of the school year presents a great opportunity to set yourself up for a successful year ahead. Hopefully, you’re well rested after your break, and you’ve had a chance to think about what you’d like to achieve for the year. Now’s the time to start building some great habits and to make sure that your motivation lasts all year long!
Here are some of our pointers for starting the school year off right. Read on!
Think about your goals for the year before school begins.
A great year at school looks different for different people. You might want to smash your exams out of the park, or make the football or debating team, or perhaps you’re wanting to join a musical group. Whatever success looks like for you, there will always be two key ingredients: setting goals and doing the work it takes to get there.
You’ve got all year to do the work to achieve your goals, but it’s always a good idea to spend some time thinking about what exactly these goals are before you get into the thick of it. Set goals that will motivate you to push yourself, but at the same time are still achievable within the course of a year. You might enjoy our article dedicated to goal setting for more tips and tricks.
And remember, if you’re at high school, it’s never too early to start thinking about some goals for which university you’d like to study at! Long-term goals will help to guide what you do during your time at high school, no matter how old you are.
Plan your extracurricular timetable as far in advance as possible.
If you’re the sort of person who’s involved with a range of extracurriculars, you’ll need to put some time into planning your extracurricular timetable. There will be some activities which you’re not able to plan for until you know when group sessions such as tutorials and practices are scheduled, but you can consider when the best time for more flexible appointments such as tutoring sessions, musical lessons, and individual activities will be to suit your schedule.
If the year ahead will bring a heavy academic workload with it, you might want to consider blocking out one or two afternoons a week for homework and revision. Doing so now will avoid the temptation to fill out your entire week with extracurricular activities when the opportunities start to arise!
Take some time to get to know your teachers.
No matter what subjects you take, your teachers will be amongst your most valuable resources. Because of this, it’s well worth taking the time at the beginning of the year to get to know them. Your teachers want nothing more than for you to succeed, so you can help them to help you by introducing yourself!
This might look like a quick chat after class to meet them, or you could even arrange to see them for a few minutes before or after school. If you’ve got any questions about the year ahead, you can bet that they’ll be more than happy to answer these and put you at ease. Don’t be shy!
Make sure your workspace is clean and organised.
While you’ve got a bit of ‘calm before the storm’ time before the year starts, it’s a good idea to make sure that your workspace is ready for the inevitable barrage of notes and textbooks that’ll hit it once you get into your class content. If you’ve got side projects or a heap of books you’ve been spending time on over summer, make sure you’ve cleared enough room for your schoolwork before you bring your homework back for the first time. A clear desk means a clear mind!
If you’re feeling extra motivated, you might even want to commit to a system of organising your workspace every now and then during the school year. For example, you might agree with yourself that once a week on a Sunday you’ll spend ten minutes cleaning everything for the week ahead. Committing to this now will increase your odds of following through during the year!
Go over the syllabus for each class (if you can find it).
If you get a chance, it’s a great idea to try and find the syllabus for each of your classes. A syllabus contains a summary of all the content you’re scheduled to learn for the year and helps you to gauge where you’ll be spending your time and focus. If you’re taking an externally assessed subject, its syllabus will usually be available online; if not, your teacher will likely have a document they can share with you.
Going through the syllabus might help you identify some areas of the subject you’re already pretty well familiar with, but it also might help you identify areas you know you’ll struggle with well in advance. That’s okay! There’s always support available to help you with this, and it’s always better to get on top of it sooner rather than later.
Our team at EduExperts offers both group and individual tutoring to help you plug these gaps and get ahead of the syllabus. Don’t wait until exams come and your stress levels start pumping up! If you’d like to know more, you can get in touch with your local centre here.