- Set your alarm a little bit earlier each day.
Jet lag doesn’t only occur when you travel internationally—jumping right back into the school year when you are used to sleeping in everyday over the summer can take a big toll on your first few (important) weeks of school. Whether you live on campus at a boarding school or you commute from down the street, try adjusting your sleep patterns a little more each day to more closely mirror your new back-to-school schedule. Getting adequate sleep can make a huge difference in first semester grades!
- Organize your back-to-school wardrobe.
Back-to-school weather means a chill in the air for most schools on the Northeast, so it’s best not to overload your suitcases with too many pairs of shorts. During the weeks before school begins, take inventory of what you want to take with you to school, and make sure everything is clean, pressed, and ready to wear—you won’t have much time to dedicate to laundry during the flurry of afternoon activities, clubs, and new classes. Organizing your closet with ‘grab ‘n go’ items ready to wear will take some of the edge off of your busy new schedule.
- Finish your summer reading.
This is a big one. In many private schools, summer reading is assigned to all classes, so you can jump right into the semester with shared dialogue and exchange your opinions and views from the get-go. If your reading is incomplete, your teachers will definitely notice—and setting a bad tone for the semester is not an ideal back-to-school scenario! In your last weeks of summer vacation, enjoy those required reads by the pool, at the beach, or on the airplane, Wherever you are, be sure to get the reading done, and take notes! Arriving prepared to discuss literature will almost certainly set you on the right track from the beginning.
- Organize your Back-to-School schedule and contact your teachers with any questions.
What classes are you taking this semester? Who are your teachers? What days will be most busy? Now is the time to map out your itinerary for the fall and take stock of what your schedule may look like as classes, clubs, and fall sports take over. Mentally preparing for your busiest days—and taking note of what supplies you will need to confront them head-on—will most certainly help with the transition back to school mode. Your teachers are checking their mail daily at this point, so feel free to reach out to them regarding your syllabus, seek clarifications on reading and projects, and ask them how you can prepare best for the first weeks of school.
- Pick up the physical activity.
Playing a fall sport? If you haven’t done too much this summer, now is the time to ease into preseason mode. Power walks or running, strength training or bike riding can all be excellent ways to transition your body back to shape—or at least take some of the sting out of grueling fall sport training sessions. Stretching daily, eating a balanced meal and staying hydrated will also put you on the right path and prepare you for the fall athletic season. Your body—and likely your team—will thank you for it!
- Set goals for yourself!
If you set a goal for yourself, you are much more likely to push yourself to achieve it! Write down a few things you would like to achieve over the course the first semester— a certain GPA, an athletic benchmark, or even a set amount of study hours per week. Set guidelines for yourself in order to measure your progress along the way. Kicking the school year off with a few goals in mind will help keep you on the right track—and will feel all the more rewarding when you look back and see your growth.