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With the start of a new school year comes a lot of emotions. Some are excited and cannot wait to start the school year, while others may feel stress or anxiety about beginning something new or the change in their routine. The important thing to remember is that no matter how you are feeling, undoubtedly someone else feels a similar way and you are not alone. Even teachers can share these emotions.   

Here are some tips that I think can help students start the school year in a positive way! 

  • Create an office space: Having a designated place to complete your school work can be very helpful. Maybe there is a space in your home that you can use as your school area, or perhaps a spot at a table if you do not have a desk. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you will definitely want to be in good lighting and near a power outlet to keep your laptop or computer charged. 
  • Start a routine and create a scheduleIt can sometimes be hard to get back into the swing of things after a nice, long summer. Even teachers can struggle with this. If you spent much of your summer sleeping in, I recommend starting to wake up as early as you would for a typical school day about a week or two before school starts to get your body back into the routine.  Also, once your classes are loaded and you have access, be sure to create a schedule with all of your class times. I recommend including help sessions that your teachers offer, as well, so that you can easily take a glance and see when your teacher has time scheduled in case you are stuck on an assignment. Don’t forget to include a lunch break and other times for brain breaks! Maybe you can get up and stretch, go for a short walk, grab a snack and enjoy a bit of downtime before you get back to your studies.  
  • Set goals: Having goals for the school year will keep you motivated and help to hold you accountable. Think about your previous school year. What did you do well? What could you have improved upon? Jot down a few things. Maybe your goal is to obtain a certain grade in a certain class. Maybe it is to increase your overall GPA. Or maybe your goal is to make new friends and break out of your comfort zone a bit. Whatever the goal is, big or small, write it down and keep it some place that you can reference for motivation.  
  • Get involved: Getting involved at your school is a great way to make friends, contribute to the school, and explore interests and hobbies. You can do this by joining clubs or attending social outings and face-to-face events that your school organizes and sponsors. If you are shy, remember that you are not alone. Many other students will be nervous about meeting new faces too, but you are sure to have a good time. Many schools offer outings like ice cream socials, ice skating events, fall festivals, trips to the zoo, bowling, laser tag, and more. These face-to-face outings are a great way to get out and meet others. If you are unable to make it to your school’s face-to-face events, be on the lookout for opportunities to join school clubs. From photography to student council to cooking or music, most schools have a multitude of choices when it comes to clubs.  
  • Reach out to teachers: This is a big one!  Teachers love it when students reach out for help. That is what we are here for – we want you to succeed! So if you are stuck on something, big or small, please do not hesitate to reach out! 

Good luck to everyone this school year!

About The Author

Lauren Weber

Lauren Weber is a high school world history teacher and the social studies department chair at Insight School of Kansas (ISKS). She has been with ISKS since 2009. Lauren graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2006. In 2008 she received her graduate teacher certification in secondary education-social studies, and she is currently working on her master's in administration-building leadership. Lauren enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports with her kids, and baking.

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