Don’t Let Back-to-School Stress Ruin an Exciting Semester
The back-to-school season can bring a lot of excitement with a new semester, new classes, and maybe even a new school for some students. But with that excitement can sometimes come anxiety as students adjust to a new routine and continue their college prep – or even start on college applications.
Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to manage back-to-school stress that are easy, fun, and will also keep you on track academically and with your college prep this fall. It’s important to remember that school, while challenging, should be fun! Students should embrace the opportunities they have to learn, grow, and explore their interests. Keeping a positive attitude, as well as taking the steps below, can help students with managing back-to-school stress and set them up for an awesome school year!
Organization is key to managing any back-to-school stress or anxiety. Take some time to organize your schedule, including your classes, extracurricular commitments, exams, ACT or SAT test dates, games, practices, and more. Having a clearer picture of your day-to-day calendar, as well as what your schedule looks like a few weeks or months into the semester, can help you break down your commitments into easily digestible tasks. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it can also help students plan ahead for any major exams, trips, competitions, and more.
Create a Plan
Planning is key to managing any back-to-school anxiety or stress, since having a plan of action going into or at the start of the school year can help students better manage their expectations. After you get your schedule organized, work on creating a plan of action for SAT or ACT prep, college prep, studying for exams, preparing or upcoming projects, and college applications if you’re a senior. Build time into your schedule for studying, test prep, writing application essays, outside reading, and more. Creating a plan with actionable items and goals can help you feel more at ease when it comes to juggling multiple commitments and responsibilities.
A big part of creating a plan includes setting goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your SAT or ACT test prep? If you’re doing outside reading, do you plan to read one book a week? Two blogs per day? If you’re focusing on your academic tutoring in order to bring up your grades, are you trying to improve by one full letter grade in one subject? Or are you trying to maintain high grades across all subjects? Set personal, academic, and test prep goals when creating a plan of action for the fall semester. Often, having a goal to work towards, can help alleviate some of the stress of going back to school, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself falling short of those goals.
Keep up with your extracurricular commitments! Not only will this help you better develop your interests, it will also give you something fun and exciting to do outside of school that can help alleviate stress and give you time to spend with peers with the same interests. Also, stay active in the literal sense. If exercise is a stress-reliever for you, take 30 minutes to an hour a couple of times per week to do a physical activity you love like walking, running, swimming, playing soccer, or any other sport that you enjoy. Exercising can help boost your mood, relieve any stress, and give you some time to yourself!
Do Things That Make You Happy
The back-to-school season can be busy and overwhelming, but don’t forget that you should take some time for yourself to do the things that make you happy. Just like staying active and exercising can be a stress-reliever for some, staying in and watching movies, reading, or just listening to music can also alleviate anxieties for other students. Make time to do the things that make you happy, whether that’s playing video games, hanging out with friends, going to a sporting event or show, or just spending time with your family. Taking some time to relax, rewind, and recharge is healthy and encouraged. Just remember not to let any of your downtime activities interfere with your schoolwork or extracurricular commitments. If you find your video game time is taking away from your homework hour, then take a step back and reevaluate your schedule, goals, and plan of action.
Don’t let the stress of back-to-school time take away from an exciting new school year! By getting organized, creating a plan, setting goals, and taking some time to do the things you enjoy, you can stay on track this semester while alleviating any anxiety about the new semester.