Getting Ready for the School Year

As the last few weeks of summer are upon us, it’s time to readjust for the school year- whether that means you have to get out of the summer lull or you need to de-stress from a busy summer. Here are some simple tips to enjoy the last few weeks of your summer while making an easy transition for going back to school!

1. Get some sleep and normalize your sleeping schedule.

This is arguably the most important tip that can get you ready for school. Although it’s summer and we want to make the most out of our day, it’s equally important to use this time off to get proper rest. Plus, we’re usually not adding hours to our day by sleeping late, we’re actually just pushing our day back; if you’re sleeping from 2:00 AM to 11:00 AM, why not sleep from 11:00 PM to 8:00 AM instead? Also, measure your sleep on a daily rather than a weekly basis. If you don’t sleep one night and compensate by sleeping for a long time another night, it doesn’t have nearly the same effect as getting a sufficient number of hours in both nights – in fact, there are numerous studies pointing to health complications for both getting a lack of rest and oversleeping. Getting 7-10 hours of sleep every night will help you with those late nights and early mornings during the school year.

2. Go out and see the city with your friends while there isn’t something like an exam at the back of your mind.

Let’s face it – during the school year, you’ll probably have to be more judicious with how you spend your time outside of school. Take advantage of the summer and spend the time with your friends, who you may not be able to see that often during the school year! Although a day spent inside watching Netflix isn’t a terrible way to pass the time, we all know how radically Calgary’s weather changes in the fall. Spend some days outside and enjoy the last of the warm weather, whether that is taking a hike in Kananaskis or Banff, or seeing what the Calgary arts and culture scene is offering this month! Check out GlobalFest until August 26, Shakespeare by the Bow until August 27, or one of the other events going on this month!

3. Get into a routine of leisure reading and writing.

Because of those mandatory texts given in English class, there will likely be less time for you to read the books that you enjoy. Spend some time getting back into reading and writing for fun, because these experiences help to get your mind thinking critically without it being a chore. If you’re a true keener or you know you’re a person who retains knowledge only up until the end of the school year, it might be a good idea to skim over your previous years’ notes. I know these last few weeks of summer shouldn’t just be used to prepare for your classes, but especially if you’re doing a course that had a prerequisite and you haven’t taken that prerequisite in over a year, it might save you the stress when your teacher says, “This is review material that you should have already covered in ___”.

4. Get your back-to-school supplies!

I don’t know about everyone, but I absolutely love collecting stationary, and getting new back-to-school supplies always makes me feel more prepared and excited for the new school year. This is the one time where supplies are discounted and it’s totally fine to splurge on notebooks, pens, binders, erasers, and more! It will also save you the stress of not having the supplies during the school year, so it might be a good idea to make a list of what you will need and buy from there.

5. Find ways to get involved during the school year.

Plan your school year so it doesn’t completely revolve around your academics. Get involved around your school and in the greater community, because often these are ways to relieve you from the constant pressure of academics and grades. Some possibilities include planning to tryout for your school’s sports teams, auditioning for your school’s theatre production, applying for the Junior Achievement Company Program (if you are interested in entrepreneurship and meeting other high school students across Calgary), and joining Youth Central to volunteer and participate on its committees! I would strongly recommend applying for both of these programs and perhaps use some of your time during the summer to apply instead of feeling the pressure of the deadline while also dealing with school. Build a schedule that is right for YOU and will ensure your success; sometimes doing less is more!

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