To Prove To Dad That I'm Not A Fool
I've Got My Lunch Packed Up, My Boots Tied Tight, I Hope I Don't Get In A Fight
Ohhhh...Back To School, Back To School, Back To School...(Adam Sandler - Billy Madison)
Now, stress is a great motivator – helps you focus on your work, do your best in that tryout, perform on your exam, concentrate on your projects. But if you let stress control YOU rather than the other way around, you can feel out of control and paralyzed and overwhelmed. SO to help with that here are my TOP 10 TIPS to get your back to school stress under control (and hopefully to keep it that way).
Drum roll please……
10: Get into a sleep routine. OK, so you’ve been getting up at 11 am and going to bed at 1 am. Not going to work at school. If you wait until day 1 to get into your new sleep routine, you are going to feel like you have jet lag. Try getting up an hour earlier every day and going to bed an hour earlier every day until you get into your usual school schedule. Then PLAN PLAN PLAN to get your 8 – 9 hours of sleep a night and make sure your schedule allows for that.
9: Make a dedicated study place. No, your bed is NOT a good study place (zzzzzz). SO you get home from school and have to dig out your desk before you can even see a surface to work on. Not the best way to jump into things. Clean up and organize your desk or a table or somewhere you can concentrate now, so that you waste no time preparing a place to work, and then you have more time after getting your work done to do the stuff you like! You will work faster better and more efficiently if you associate a place with work, and you know where that place is and it is all ready to go.
8: Tame the electronics. Seriously. Put them in another room. Turn them off. Multitasking does not work for studying. It is one thing to talk on the phone or watch movies when you are cleaning your room. But studying and school requires full brain focus. So find a way to nix the texting, Gramming, Snapping, gaming, movie watching, net surfing, etc while you are working. I am sure your parents would GLADLY hold onto your phones for you….
7: Fuel yourself. You need healthy food to stay alert and to concentrate on all that school stuff. Eat a good breakfast – fiber and protein. Like granola and fruit and yogurt. Or PB and J on whole wheat with some milk. Or nuts and fruit and cheese. Or eggs. No time you say? Pack it up the night before and grab it on the way out. Keep in mind the same fiber / protein formula for lunch too because you have to make it through the end of the day and through all those after school activities. Fun food is fine, but it is not fuel. So think about 80 / 20. 80% of food is health and fuel and 20% is frivolous and fun.
6: EXERCISE!: Yes, this is a great way to manage stress, prevent stress and stay healthy. You do after school sports? Check – then you’re done. But not an athlete? – that is fine! Take 30 minutes to go for a walk, dance to your fave tunes, do some yoga, play with your dog. Anything to be kind to your body. Also a good tip when you feel your stress level rising and starting to spiral out of control! Helps reset your mind and takes the edge off so you can proceed.
5: Talk about it. Yep, talk to your friends, your parents, your sister or brother. Everyone has dealt with stress, and they can help you vent and give you tips to get through it. If you need more than what your family and friends can give - then think about therapy! It really helps. It helps you unload, but even better, a therapist can give you tools that you can use to help manage your stress. Above all, remember that you are not alone.
4: Plan. Planning actually prevents a ton of stress. Sounds Lame and Boring and Totally Not Spontaneous. But you know what? Spontaneity is not a good trait for tackling school projects. So, Big project? Map it out on a calendar how you will chip away at sections of it. Huge exam next week? Plan which days you have extra time to slot in some extra studying. Big game the night before a project due – well….. plan it out on your calendar so you are done the day before. Plan you outfit for the morning. Plan your breakfast. Even plan when and how you will take your breaks! Yes, you need those too!
3: Get help early on. OK, tough new classes. You can feel yourself tensing up. Everyone around you seems to get it but you. WHAT DO YOU DO? Go. Get. Help. Teachers have open periods. Friends like to help out. You may have other adults in your life that can help. Get help sooner than later. Education is like building a house. If you don’t get help in building that foundation when you need it – everything you stack on top will be shaky and weak and come crashing down. Teachers want to help. But you need to take the initiative. It is YOUR life, YOUR future, YOUR goal. You will feel a ton better after you do, and then all your stress will go down.
2: Take time to do what you enjoy. Seriously. School is a lot of work and stress. But can have a lot of fun too. Hang with your friends. Go see a movie. Go do some pick up ball. Take time just for yourself and read that book just for fun. Write in a journal. Post on your blog. All your planning will make sure you have time for fun. And having fun will refresh you and keep you going.
AND THE NUMBER 1 TIP FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT ON GOING BACK TO SCHOOL: Be Yourself. In every way. Do your best in your classes, but don’t focus on a narrow measure of success – really, is there only ONE college where you will be happy? Be yourself around your friends – if they are true friends they like who you are. Don’t fake it or make others feel bad to make yourself feel better. That is all negative energy and draining.
Appreciate yourself. Respect yourself. You are special. No one is like you. Don’t let others disrespect you – not your BFF, your BF, your GF.
No, go on out there and enjoy that year!