Battling The Back To School Blues by Wendy Zajac
September 8, 2011Get In The Game Saint Louis Magazine
After countless summer days of sleeping in and endless summer nights of staying up late, all good things must eventually come to an end and for all of us, it means going back to school.
Whether you were looking forward to the start of a new school year or wishing it away, we all can agree there is a lot of adjusting to do. Getting back in the swing of things after an eventful yet restful three-month retreat takes some getting used to, so what can we do to make sure the beginning of another exciting year of learning does not swallow us into a hole of disaster?
Here are some tips to keep your head above water when you feel like your sinking from commitment overload:
1. Know your goals. Knowing where you're going makes it easier to pave a path to get you there. Decide where you want your collegiate destination to be, whether Harvard or Washington University. If you know where you are going, you can begin early heading yourself in the right direction—its never too early to start planning.
2. Prioritize. It is easy to accept more and more responsibility, and sometimes it seems impossible to say no. Your number one priority MUST be your grades. Keep in mind though, even if you have tons of other commitments, your GPA comes first. After that, put them in order and when you run out of steam, the last one on the list must occasionally get the axe.
3. Stay organized. Buy a good planner or Smart Phone to keep yourself on top of all your commitments. We all know how easy it is to get bogged down with details in the wake of academics, extra-curriculars, and family responsibilities. Immediately fill it up with important dates, and be sure to keep up with assignments so you never miss a date.
4. Stay involved. Extra-curriculars are the key to that dream college acceptance letter. Clubs, sports, church groups, volunteer work and even jobs look great on a resume and college application—just remember to keep them in moderation so you do not put too much on your proverbial plate.
5. Access your "go-to" people. There are always resources available at your fingertips, just waiting to give you the golden advice you are looking for. Parents, teachers and your guidance counselors are all there to help you attain your goals. Your school guidance counselors are an invaluable source of information on academics, scholarships, and universities. Visit them early in your high school career to ensure you are heading in the right direction to meet your academic and career goals.
6. Make time for yourself. With classes, clubs, and jobs on your "to do" list, it is often easy to let your downtime slip through the cracks. Make sure that you find time to relax and do something you enjoy now and then, rather than always something you signed on for. Taking time off to hang out with your friends or just climb under the covers to read a good book can leave you refreshed and ready to tackle a new day.
7. Get plenty of rest. Sometimes this can be trickier than it sounds. You see your list of things to do and can easily overlook the fact that you are exhausted, both mentally and physically. You will be no good to yourself or anyone else if you cannot stay awake long enough to take notes in Trig. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour to make sure you have the energy to take on all those priorities you have taken on.
The keys to staying on top of things are to stay organized, set your goals and get yourself in mental shape to get there.