Can't believe it's August (when it feels like March 144th)?! Stressed about going back to school or more Zoom classes? Well, you're not alone! I'm a rising senior about to start the college application season, and I'm no stranger to back to school stress.
Here are some things I've been doing to mentally prepare for the upcoming semester:
Review. If you're nervous about classes and/or grades, now might be a good time to do a little bit of review. Nothing serious. I'm not saying go dig out your textbooks and give yourself a quiz. What I mean by review can be as simple as flipping through your notes from the past year and getting an idea of what you have learned. This can help you pick up the material faster once school starts, so at least the first couple of weeks would be easier.
Make a playlist. Music calms me down and I listen to it when I study/work. I find it useful to start the school year with some fresh tunes so I'm not just listening to the same three songs on repeat until I get irritated. Do keep in mind that your brain can get distracted if the music you're listening to while working has a lot of lyrics or is too fast/loud, so maybe some Lo-Fi or even instrumental songs are better than hard rock.
Get a planner. If you can, I definitely recommend getting a planner to help you plan out your work and assessments. That way, you can build in times in your schedule to study for tests and work on projects and/or essays to avoid last-minute cramming, which can be effective but also quite stressful sometimes. Being organized helps me stay on top of my work and reduces stress, so definitely give it a try to see if it works for you! You can also use planner apps like myHomework to keep track of your assignments.
Start early, by which I mean, if you're a rising high school senior, it might be a good idea to start the college process a little earlier. Now that applications are open, and you have relatively more free time on break, it doesn't hurt to start filling out some questionnaires and brainstorm your college essays now. Once school starts, you would have less time to work on college applications, so if you don't want the extra stress from having to write 5 supplemental essays in a week, start now! It's also helpful to make spreadsheets to keep track of what each college on your list requires for the application, as well as the pros and cons of applying.
Any other thoughts? Feel free to add to the list and lift up each other! Remember, we're doing this together and we will be ok!