Summer is winding down, and that means it is time to gear up for Autumn, and a new school year. Here at Thrive, we know how important it is to be prepared for new challenges, and to allow time for transitions. Although Summer is not over yet, there are some simple and wise things students and parents can do to make the most out of a new school year. In the spirit of success and preparedness, the Thrive team presents 10 tips for success in the new school year.
1. Set Goals: goals are a very useful way to give you direction and momentum when starting out a new school year. Choose 3 to 5 realistic, incremental, powerful goals that you can achieve this school year. Don’t over do it with goals. You don’t want so many that you intimidate yourself. Maybe you want to get better science grades, or make new friends. Maybe you want to make it onto a sports team. Choose your goals. Make sure they are possible. Dream big, start small, act now.
2. Take School Seriously: Education is more important than you may think it is now. Education is not merely something that qualifies you for a job or helps you fit into society. Education develops your mind for the rest of your life. The Thrive Therapists note, by taking your education seriously, you enhance your perspective on all life experiences, making yourself more capable of determining your own future. Take school seriously.
3. Keep A Journal: it’s easy for your thoughts to get away from you, especially during a transition from Summer to a new school year. If your getting nervous, bummed out, overwhelmed, or excited about a new year – or if you are dreading the end of summer – take a little time to sit and write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some drawings in your journal, too! There is no need to show your journal to anyone if you do not want to. There is not even any need to read over your journal if you do not want to, explains Thrive. But the act of converting your thoughts to words can go a long way toward helping you cultivate your ideas and better prepare you for the upcoming transition.
4. Smile: Sounds silly, but it will change your day. Smiling is an ancient form of positive communication. Remember to smile at people. When those around you see a smile on your face, it makes it more likely they will give one back. It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Make it easy on your face and brighten up your day with a smile.
5. Become a member of a school organization, club, or sport: School is a great environment for trying new things. Thrive notes that you may be surprised by how many interesting organizations there are at your school, filled with like minded students. There is probably a club at your school to match anything you’re interested in. Some examples include track and field, football, baseball, chess club, science club, cooking club, Spanish club, environmental club. What if you like to do something they don’t have a club for? Then, start one! The Thrive Therapists encourage you to start the first fashion club, or the first model airplane club, or the first Tolkien club!
6. Create a Permanent Workspace: A new school year means there will be work to do. Be ready for this basic reality, Thrive reminds, rather than being surprised by it or grumpy about it. You will need a place to do homework, with enough room for your books, papers, and self. Choose a space in your home that is free from distractions and quite enough for study. Get this space ready before the year starts, and keep this space ready for work all year long. Schedule ample time for homework, maybe a couple hours after school, or a couple hours after dinner. If your room is too small for your Permanent Workspace, choose a different part of your home for your workspace. When preparing your workspace, remember Tip #2.
7. Mind Your Health: Eat right, stay active, and sleep enough! At Thrive, nutrition and physical fitness are essential components of academic performance. Scientific studies have demonstrated that students who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches get higher grades and are more aware throughout the course of their entire school day. Home cooked food, fruits, and vegetables – YES! Junk food and fast food – NO!
8. Clean Your Room: And keep it that way. The order of your living space reflects the order of your mind. If your Permanent Workspace is in your room, keeping your room clean will be a critical factor in getting any school work done. If your room is too messy for your Permanent Workspace, clean it!
9. Adjust bedtimes one week before schools starts! Tune your body and your mind in to your upcoming new schedule. The Thrive Therapists encourage going to bed early for the 7 nights before school starts, so it will not be such an agony to wake up on time for the first days of the new year.
10. Remember, you aren’t alone: Summer is filled with lots of open time, late nights, and sunny recreation. Thrive knows that the end of summer dread can be a very real thing, and your friends and prospective classmates are feeling it, too. Your school year is also fun, but it will be a different kind, more structured and intellectually stimulating than the lazy days of summer. Reach out to your peers, and make the most of it!