The new school year is approaching for many and it’s definitely a stressful time of year when you don’t really know what you’re expecting, your grabbing last minute bits and slowly trying to get back into routine after a long time off. You might be excited for the new year or completely dreading the early wake ups. But it’s something that has to happen, even though it may be a bit chaotic there are some ways you can help yourself to feel more calm and prepared for the year ahead. 

Here are 5 ways to prepare you for the new academic year:

1) Set some goals

Before it all begins, the best thing to do is start getting into the head space of being organised and thinking about specific goals that you should be focusing on. It doesn’t matter if classes haven’t started yet preparing beforehand will make you feel more confident in yourself and more relaxed which is what you need to be. Start by buying a journal and filling it out with what you want to achieve within the next year, it will make you feel more organised and proud when you start to tick them off.

The goals can vary from getting a better grade, completing work dead on time, being more organised, making more effort with studies and extra curricular activities, being more positive and never giving up. These are all goals that are so important to anyone and to achieve them is a success in itself.

2) Plan a budget and save some money

Whilst the summer break provides time for work, sometimes it can be challenging. If you’re preparing to live on a student budget, be sure to start thinking about it now before the first week comes around. It may be in your interest to start picking up as many work hours as you can before classes start again, it will give you a little extra money. However, if you only have a job whilst your at University then you will have to work a bit before getting a decent amount of money.

But most students receive some sort of loan but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a budget plan. A lot of stress comes from money and financial problems and that can often make education feel a lot harder and more of a burden. Creating a budget plan setting aside money each month for the important aspects such as: rent, bills, groceries, travel any books you need or anything similar is vital!

These are all essentials and ones that you should definitely be setting aside money for. Once you’ve worked out what these will cost for the month, you can work out what you have left to spend on other bits and bobs you might want to indulge in throughout the months. Once you’ve made a plan and you know that you’re still going to have money leftover so you don’t fall short you will feel more at ease and excited. It will then help you to figure out a job and what hours you need to work to earn a little extra if need be.

3) Prepare mentally

Nothing is ever easy and education can be extremely stressful sometimes and it’s important that you prepare yourself mentally for the year ahead. So, that your mental health doesn’t decline massively and you can feel more informed about what’s to come. Perhaps you can prepare by reviewing what you’ve learnt previously in the years, this doesn’t mean studying for long hours, it can just be as simple as reviewing subjects and skimming summaries of the books you read. Reread your notes that is after all why teachers beg you to bring a notebook and pen!

Try getting hold of information of what you’ll be learning as this will help you focus on success. You may be given a syllabus or a required book list in advance. Pick somewhere you’d like to study, where you’d feel comfortable. Whether that’s the library or a cafe or somewhere you can talk to friends and study together. Getting to grips with how the new year will work will save you stress and the feelings of anxiousness which will make you feel more positive and prepared mentally for what’s ahead.

4) Get into a routine!

This is something that your parents may lecture you about, but honestly it’s a blessing and you’ll realise that when you slowly work your way into one. Rather than having days where you’re completely all over the place because you have so much to do and not enough time- make it easier by setting yourself a realistic routine!

Start by making a sleep schedule as it’s a possibility that over the summer there have been a fair few late nights. You need to be well rested and alert when it comes to starting classes again and without enough sleep that can be hard. Sleeping patterns that are regular lead to a higher quality sleep. So, make sure to establish a routine for sleep and stick to a consistent schedule.

Morning prep before classes can be a huge rush to make it on time. Before anything starts make sure you know how much time you need before class starts, so allow time for getting ready, eating breakfast and travelling if that’s what you do. Pack your bag, choose your clothes, make your lunch the evening before to reduce stress. When it’s the end of classes and you need to study schedule a specific time and place and stick to it.

5) Get everything you need weeks before!

Getting everything you need is a must, but getting it the day before however is not the best idea. Get what you need weeks before, so that you can make sure you have everything and if you need anything else you still have time to get it. The best thing about getting it at the end of the summer holidays is that all the sales are on and the new stock is out so you can even save yourself some money. Not only that but most stores offer student discount so be sure to carry your ID around to prove you’re one.

Grab your pens, folders for extra papers or assignments, notebooks, academic diary to keep track, books for your course and anything that is a must. Don’t just grab one of everything always have a few in case of damages or you lose them.

If you need a train or bus pass before you start get that sorted. Any food or anything you might need straight way if you move into accommodation get that organised. Things like toilet roll, duvet covers, washing powder, drinks, toothbrush, toothpaste any medication you might need to get hold of before classes start.

Hopefully following some simple steps and getting to grips with the new year that will be approaching very soon it will help you to feel excited and a lot more relaxed about what’s ahead!

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Journalism student