Back to School Hacks
Begrudgingly, we must accept that it is once again time for school. Back to school is a horrible time, for so many people, but it is unfortunately necessary. For students, it's the end of freedom. For parents, it means returning to the routine of dragging reluctant kids out of bed. For teachers, it represents spending countless hours and dollars on buying school supplies for ungrateful children who will probably break everything within the first week. For everyone else, it means rush hour is returning to its full, annoying glory. While I definitely fall under the category of people who will be frustrated by extra traffic, this post is actually going to be for students!
I cannot emphasize enough how quickly time passes. That midterm is going to creep up on you, and the huge essay that is worth 50% of your grade is going to be due before you even begin your research! Procrastination was a very big problem for myself and my friends, so be smart! Set deadlines within your deadline! Most teachers pass out syllabuses, so keep a school planner that marks out due dates and tests. Make sure you mark out personal deadlines such as, "Brainstorm ideas", "Collect all research", "Finish reading Macbeth", "First draft done", "Review chapters 1-3", etc.etc. This will keep you on task, so you don't have to freak out and stress out right before a major project/essay is due, or the night before a test! I have been loving Target's planners, so I picked out a few suggestions for you!
The Happy Planner - $24.99 This happy planner comes with pages filled with inspirational quotes to keep you motivated to do your best! Plus, they have plenty of cute designs for you to choose from.
I am so in love with this beautiful, elegant water colour design, which is perfect for someone who loves colour, but doesn't want something too loud!
Blue Sky is really hitting it out of the ball park with their Ashley G collab this year. If you want something minimalist and classy, this planner is the one to go to. Plus, the faux leather makes this planner look extra lux, and it will last you through the year!
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY... THAT IS THE QUESTION
Buying books and supplies really come down to your personal preference and personal needs. Of course, there are those courses that require new supplies, such as lab workbooks, notebooks, etc. However, things that you already own should be used! I remember every back-to-school season, we would buy stacks upon stacks of notebook paper and graph paper, and now that I've graduated from university, we still have a lot of extra packs of paper.
For me, I preferred renting textbooks and borrowing my friends' old copies, because I don't retain information through highlighting information. I much prefer writing down notes and reading things out loud. That helped me save a lot of money. Renting books actually save you more money than if you were to buy the books and re-sell at a lower price! If you aren't the type of person to learn by making a million different marks within your textbook, I definitely suggest you consider renting. Check out if your school has a textbook rental service or corner, and if not, check out Chegg!
WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS WISELY
This is something I wish someone had told me. Living in a family culture where stick-skinny, seemingly prepubescent figures are praised, I felt so insecure about my body, especially since my younger sister was a Cross Country and Track athlete wearing size 00. For those of you heading off to college, doesn't Freshman 15 sound scary? For most of my friends, Freshman 15 was more of Freshman 50, and it was ongoing throughout college. We can blame being away from home and finally having the freedom to eat 100x more chips, and also trying to eat our tuition's worth at the dining hall, but that's not the full story. The truth is that at 18, most of us are growing into our bodies, so it's normal to gain weight during this time. As girls, we grow into our fuller, womanly bodies, and guys might still grow a few inches more, and should also fill out. It is normal for most of us to gain weight at this time, even if it's not in the way that we want to. We would gain this weight during this time regardless even if we lead a perfectly healthy lifestyle. That being said, we cannot obsess over numbers, and should instead focus on what we intake and how we feel. Dare to treat yourself every now and then, but don't use tuition prices as an excuse to get four times your usual portion size. Eat regularly and exercise regularly, and focus on making yourself feel healthy! Don't let a number dictate how you think you look, because you are growing into an adult, and these curves are not meant to be unflattering! Let your body grow naturally, rather than trying to suppress it for the sake of staying a specific weight.
FRIENDS FOREVER, NOT JUST "FOR NOW"
One of the things I miss most about school is friends. I'm not saying I'm a complete loner now that I have graduated, but it's really not the same. Part of it does boil down to the fact that I am not much of an initiator when it comes to people. If I actively reach out to you, it is because I really really like you (or have a huge crush on you) and cannot bear the thought of not spending at least one day a week with you. While I love all my friends dearly, I am an extreme introvert who loves curling up into a ball and be alone, so it really doesn't happen all that often. That being said, I do wish I pushed myself harder to reach out to my friends. So treasure your friends and the time you have in school! Make it a pact to make this school year the best you can make it, and not just regarding your grades. Make memories, and make it a mission to keep making memories after this year!