This post is a little late seeing as it’s already a couple of months into school. BUT, since it was requested, I still wanted to get it up for you gals. I hope it’s inspiring at this time and give those of you who are in school a little boost!
Also, if you’re not in school, you might skip this post and come back next week. Or, who knows! Maybe you’ll still find some encouragement. So, to my students out there…
You probably begin the year prepared with your new school supplies, promises of staying organized, and making this year the best yet, right? And then…a month later you realize your planner is collecting dust under your bed and you are already behind in schoolwork (is this starting to happen?). Does this sound familiar? If so, that’s okay!
I want to share with you some ways that you can stay organized throughout the school year, maintain your grades, and stay healthy.
Sound like an ideal year?
Make Time For Exercise.
Throughout the school year, schedule in the time to exercise. Whether you play a sport, join an intramural team, go to your school’s gym, or wun (yes, wun) outside, there are plenty of opportunities to stay active. The main reason I suggest exercising while you’re in school is this: it gives you a chance to take time out for just you, to take a break from studying, and to do something that gives you some structure. I always found that having structure motivated me in school.
Have More Real Food On Hand.
In addition, focus on eating more real foods, and less processed foods. This doesn’t mean celery and carrots, although those are both great and yummy! Rather, I mean just eat good quality food. Don’t succumb to everything fast/easy/processed just because it’s convenient or cheap. You deserve good food, girly!
I am a firm believer in intuitive eating, and I know it can be difficult to not have any plans at all, which is why I also believe in flexible meal planning. I know it must be especially hard when you’re surrounded by mostly processed foods, such as on a college campus.
Real food ideas: avocado toast, real cheese and crackers, tacos, veggie burritos, homemade chicken burgers, dinner bowls with rice, chicken, avocado, broccoli and tamari sauce.
When you first begin school, take a moment and be honest with yourself regarding your study habits. Are you a morning person, or a night person? Do you study best in complete silence, or with background noise? What method do you learn best-visual, auditory, hands on, etc.?
Knowing these key traits about yourself will allow you to make the most of your study time. For example, I love my mornings. When I was in school, I would wake up at 4am before a test and study until it was time to go to school. The thought of staying up studying until 2am sounded horrible to me! However, my brother is a total night owl, and thrived by studying until 2am and then sleeping until it was just time to go to school.
Take Breaks, OFTEN.
While you study, it’s SO SO SO important to take breaks. You will be much more productive if you take small power breaks, rather than trying to go non-stop through hours of material. An example someone shared with me is the 45/15 method. That is, study efficiently for 45 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes. Repeat until you are done studying for the day. During these 15 minutes, you can lay down, walk around, talk with friends, or anything you want to do! Once those 15 minutes are up, return to studying. These constant breaks give us something to look forward to, and recharges our brain. I’ve also heard of working for 90 minutes and then taking a 30 minute break. Find what works for you.
If you are not willing to take breaks, your body will find a way to force you to take a break.
What does this look like? Getting up 30 different times to walk to the cupboard, grab a handful of chips, candy, or a spoonful of ice cream, and remain exhausted/frustrated as you’re trying to finish that essay or math. Ever experienced this before? I know I have NUMEROUS times. And then I learned. I once ate 5 bowls of ice cream with Honey Bunches of Oats mixed in while tirelessly to finish statistics homework. Not a fun night for my tummy! And as you can imagine, taking a break would have taken less time. Haha!
It’s SO worth it to just give yourself breaks. Trust me. You’ll be MORE productive. You HAVE the time.
Although it can be tempting to skip out on studying when there isn’t a test within the next couple of days, try not to cram for every exam. You will have so much less stress if you do a little bit of studying each day, rather than leaving it all for the day before the exam. I admit I have crammed for several tests when I was in school, and it was pretty stressful. After class, or in between your classes, review over your notes that were covered that day. Look online to see if your teacher posted any additional information or homework; keep up with the readings. Keep your test schedule in your planner, and be aware of which tests are coming up.
I used to take myself to a coffee shop each day after class and spend about an hour re-writing my messy class notes. This felt fun for me as I was out of the house, sipping my favorite late, and had a time limit. It also helped me to stay ahead.
Ask For Help.
Finally, don’t feel intimidated by asking for help. If you do not understand a topic, see if your teacher offers additional tutoring, or posts office hours where students can drop by. This will not only show your teacher that you want to do well, but can form a great mentor relationship that can lead to great letters of recommendations. If you are still unsure, many college campuses and high schools offer free private tutoring sessions or SI group sessions through the student center. Look up your options on your school’s website. Your school wants you to succeed, and there are many resources for you to achieve the grades you want. I know it can be intimidating, especially if you go by yourself, but they are such a huge help.
What other tips do you guys have for maintaining a healthy and successful school year? Do you have any other questions about school that I can answer in another post? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope this was helpful for you girls!