Dear Homeworks Students…

It’s almost back-to-school time! How are you feeling?

Nervous? Excited? Stressed?

All of the above?

I totally understand. Last year was not a normal school year, and you are a rockstar student for getting through it. You might be feeling some extra anxiety about returning to classes this fall, or you might be excited about getting back into the structure of school days. Regardless, the best part about a new school year is that it’s a clean slate and a chance for you to have an awesome experience.

I consider myself an expert student, as I actually completed 22 years of school to get my doctorate degree! Thankfully, you definitely don’t need that many years under your belt to be a great student. But from one student to another, I have a few pieces of advice that I hope will make this school year your best yet.

1. Organize for success

Take time before school starts to do some planning for your classes:

Will your notes be digital or physical? What materials do you need to avoid having any assignments get lost? Did the planner or calendar you used last year work well to keep track of everything, or do you want to try something different this year?

If you’re feeling lost, try having at least a planner (it can be a physical notebook or a digital calendar) to keep track of all your classes and assignments in one place.

2. Connect with your teachers

Whether you are acing their class or having a tough time, your teachers will be your biggest advocates. Take time at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself and talk to them about your goals in their class! Even a short conversation can go a long way, and I promise they will love to see your initiative.

3. Take care of yourself

Sometimes with all the demands and pressures of school, it’s easy to forget about the most important thing: ourselves! But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to perform at your best. So, here are three ways to prioritize your health this year:

  • Try a mindfulness or meditation practice: Spending even 5 minutes a day practicing some deep breathing either before school or before jumping into your homework at night may help you stay more alert and focused on the task at hand.
  • Move your body in a way that feels good: Whether you like to score goals on the soccer field or bust out the latest TikTok dance in the kitchen, getting your heart pumping is great way to shake off a stressful day and remember how strong you really are.
  • Prioritize your rest: Okay, you’ve probably heard it all before. Stop using your phone before bed, sleep at least 8 hours, keep a consistent routine. This is all good advice, but the bottom line is that you need to own your sleep schedule so that you can rock it during the day! Everyone is different, so try keeping a sleep journal that at least includes your bedtime, wake-time, and how you feel during the day.

4. Identify your support

Newsflash, none of us are robots! It’s impossible to do everything on our own, and we all need to ask for help sometimes. Think about which teachers, guidance counselors, and family members you can go to for help when you need it. Having a plan in place when things are going great makes it much easier to reach out on a tough day.

So, are you ready for this fresh start? If you’ve gotten this far, I know you can do it.

Before you go, can I offer you one more piece of advice? Sometimes when things get stressful it’s easy to forget about that great article you read at the beginning of the year, so schedule a check-in with yourself one month into the school year. Are you still using that planner? Are there any teachers you should chat with? Are you feeling well-rested, or do you need a change in your sleep schedule? Most importantly, if you feel off-track, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone in your support system for help – that’s what they’re there for!

You are already an awesome student. Use this school year to show off your talents, take on new challenges, and remember to enjoy it along the way. You got this!

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