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A handy guide for going back to school (even if you’re not ready for it)

A handy guide for going back to school (even if you’re not ready for it)

Say goodbye to summer, and say hello to school! But what if you’re not ready for it? Going back to school can be fun as you start interesting classes and meet friends, but it can also feel overwhelming and scary.  

That’s why we’ve put together a few tips on how you can rock this new school year, and not just survive, but thrive.  

Going back to school can be a challenge, but we know you can ace this! 

Make a routine, but make it your routine

As you juggle classes, homework, and other responsibilities, it can feel like you’re living your days in a loop.

It's easy to think you only need to make a schedule for work and chores, but that can lead to burn out— it's just as important to schedule in time to relax. So make time for the things that make you happy. It might be walking your dog, going somewhere in nature, or even playing your favorite game. Whatever it is, finding a way to recharge can give you the energy to tackle even your toughest classes. 

Make your environment work for you

Sometimes, you just won’t want to study for that exam and it’ll be hard to convince yourself to sit down and start. If you want to make that process a little easier, choosing a nicer environment can help. 

Seem silly? Despite being so simple, temptation bundling has some solid science behind it. Pairing something you enjoy with something you dread leads to less procrastination. It makes you more likely to do hard things that pay off in the long run. 

So make your study environment and habits as pleasant as possible. 

  • Choose a nice cafe or your favorite corner of the library to study
  • Make yourself a study playlist you like (whether it’s trap, metal, or LoFi) 
  • Choose a power snack
  • If you’ll need a notebook and pen, buy the ones that you like best, even if they seem a little “fancy.” 

If you feel like a boss each time you have to sit down you’re more likely to do it. It’s also easier to sit down to study if you’ve turned on your favorite LoFi playlist and are munching on a tasty snack as you work. 

Study with friends

It’s even easier to sit down and study if you can work with friends. You’re more likely to succeed if you have a group of study buddies. Reach out to some classmates and set aside time to study together. Even if you work together in silence for most of the study session, you’ll be more motivated to work. You’ll also be more likely to get higher grades

Simply put, friends can make mundane tasks and assignments fun, so even your hardest classes will feel a little easier. 

Finding it hard to meet up? You’ll find a massive community on Sololearn!  You can use the app to learn and compete with your friends, even if your schedules don’t match up.

Use the Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro Method is a productivity technique that can help you stay on track and tackle tasks. It divides your time into 25 minute intervals of focus, so you can get the most out of your day. 

How does it work?

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a task during that time. Don’t check social media, look at your email, or look at distractions. 
  • At the end of the 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break before continuing with whatever work you need to do. 
  • Repeat this process until you’ve completed all of the tasks on your list!

Don’t cram 

The tried and tested strategy of learning everything at the last minute…doesn’t always work. In fact, if you’re trying to actually learn the material, it’s a bad strategy. So how can you space it out? 

You can use flashcards to review study material on your phone. . .or if you’re studying a tech skill, like coding, use an app like Sololearn and switch on notifications. 

We’ll remind you to learn and you can study one bite-sized lesson at a time. Even if it feels like you don’t have enough hours in the day, you’ll sneak in more learning than you know!  By the time it’s time to review the material, you’ll be prepared for your exams. 

Get enough rest

Sleep is crucial to student success. It's not enough to just get a good night's rest — you need quality sleep as well.

If you're not getting enough shut-eye, your brain won't function as smoothly and you might struggle throughout the day. On top of that, your body might have trouble keeping up with the demands of school and life in general.

Want to improve your sleep quality? In that case, you can:

  • Make sure it’s dark when you go to bed at night so that your body knows it’s time for rest. If your windows let in too much light, get blackout curtains or a sleeping mask
  • If there’s too much noise, get earplugs so it doesn’t disturb your slumber
  • Reduce blue light exposure for at least an hour before bed. Blue light wakes you up, so while it’s perfect in the mornings, you want to avoid it in the evenings. 

Be mindful of what you eat.

This one is pretty straightforward. Your brain needs proper fuel to function at its best! So prepare some healthy meals in advance if you can. They’ll often be cheaper, tastier, and healthier than what you can get in other places. Or if you have a school cafeteria, choose the more nutritious options and avoid the temptation for chips or sweets. While tasty, these foods make you more likely to feel exhausted in the afternoon. 

Take care of your mental health. 

Burnout can be a huge roadblock for students. If you’re struggling, reach out to your school counselor and try to reduce your workload if possible. School is important, but your mental and physical health take priority. Besides, if you feel good, it’s much easier to handle even difficult tasks.

Use tools and support systems – and enjoy the new start!

Student life can be stressful, but if you take care of yourself and use all the tools and resources at your disposal, it doesn’t have to be quite as hard. 

At Sololearn, we’re on a mission to make learning fun and possible for anyone, anywhere. We use learning science to help you master everything from the basics of Python, to coding for marketers, to machine learning. 

So if you need help in your student journey, we’re here for you!