It's that time of year when you're going back to school after the Christmas break... or maybe you didn't even have a break and we're busy writing essays or preparing for tests, but you atleast had some freedom as most schools aren't open during Christmas and new years. But now it's time to sit behind a desk again and get back to studying.
It's funny how just 2 weeks away from school can either 1) decrease your motivation completely and you just want to spend all your time watching Netflix or 2) it can motivate you completely and you are ready for routines.
Either you feel like you have lost all your study habits and routines and like your memory and concentration are at 0, or you already have your notepads with lists of things to do and are organized and ready for the term with a sharp and focused mind!
Either way, here are some useful tips/reminders for this school term.
It will be stressful!!! There will be times where you are very stressed but make sure to have ways to relax and destress. Maybe going for a walk, doing yoga, painting, going to the gym, deconnecting (?) from the Internet for an evening,taking a long bath, reading a book etc
Remember that your mental health comes before grades. Don't rush head first into the "wall", by trying to get perfect grades but all the while your mental health decreasing rapidly. It's not worth it.
Allow yourself to take mental health days if necessary. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a day off from school and just sleep.... do some studying at home (or do absaloutly no studying because you are so mentally tired). Sometimes you need those types of days and that's ok... as long as it isn't an everyday thing.
Organize and plan!!! What is more important? What takes the longest time? What needs to be in first? Priotize your assignments, organize when abd where you will study.
Plan and use your time efficiently. If you have a 20 minute break, sit down and look over notes or maybe you can manage to read half a chapter or write some notes. Even 5 minutes here and there and looking over something can help. Don't leave assignments to the last minute either, get them done at once. This will save you stress and means that you won't have 5 assignments due at the same time.
Have a good study area. Know where you study best. If ypu can't study at home then go to a library or sit at your school, or maybe you study best when you are with friends, then make study dates with them.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Ask a teacher, ask a friend,get a tutor... its ok to need help!! Whether you are falling behind, can't get started, have no ideas, struggling to solve maths problems or can't seem to formulate yourself properly in essays, it's ok to ask for help. Infact getting someone else's feedback or help on assignments can often be very helpful!
Make time to relax and have you time. Don't forget about your hobbies even if you are stressed. Make time to meet friends, spend time with family and/or your girl/boyfriend.
Don't feel guilty for taking breaks or not studying. Do a little everyday, don't go to the extreme and spend 6+ hours a day studying unless that is absaloutly necessary. It's better to do a few hours each day rather than 12 hours once a week or doing way too many hours each day as you never feel you've done eniugh. Your body and mind need breaks!
Take study breaks when necessary but don't take too many breaks. It's east to spend 5 minutes studying and then take a 55 minute break (yup, it's happened!), when it should be the other way around.
Pack snacks with you to school. Your body and mind need energy, so bring nourishing and healthy snacks with you!! If you know you will be away the whole day, have enough food packed with you. It's very hard to study or focus if you are hungry.
Drink enough water. Have a water bottle with you always! !
Coffee can help with energy but too much coffee and that's never good!
Make time for exercise (if allowed). Exercise is good for the body and mind and can help you relax so doing some form of exercise a few times a week is very beneficial! And also sometimes when you are stuck with an assignment and your brain doesn't seem to want to work, then take a 5-10 minute break, do some jumping jacks, stretch and get the blood and oxygen flowing in your body and you might find it easier to concentrate. Infact going for walks or runs can help with your ideas and creativity!!
Get enough sleep! Don't skip sleep, sometimes rhe best thing you can do is to sleep your 8 hours before an exam instead of staying up late studying and then forgetting everything and being super sleepy during the exam. Sleep is important!!
Don't isolate yourself. School work is important, but it's not your whole life either. You need breaks and to live life as well. I've said no to alot of things due to spending so many hours studying. And at times it was necessary, but other times I could have gone out or done the activity and still had time to study.
It's ok to fail, it's ok to not get the best grades. Life goes on and even if you fail a test or an essay or assignment, it's ok. It can be redone or fixed in some way. Your teacher is only human they should understand. And if you are having problems and that causes you to not be able to do your work, talk to your teacher they should understand or help you in some way.
Remember that balancing school and recovery can be very tough, but your health comes first. So if you can't balance the two, then take time away from school and focus on recovery. It might feel tough but it is often the best option.
Don't stress too much. It's not worth it in the end!!!
These are just some tips and reminders, which I'm sure you have all heard before but they might be good reminders. Don't panic or worry about school, do your best and try to enjoy yourself!!