Hi everyone! We are fast approaching the best time of the year (in my opinion), Autumn. With cooler weather and more reasons to be near a blanket constantly Autumn means for a lot of people, myself included, that they are going back to school or university. I love getting ready to back and love feeling organised (even if that feeling lasts all of a week once school and lectures begin again). During my degree I learnt that getting as prepared as I could before university started meant the first couple of weeks were relatively stress free. There a couple of tips I’d like to share with you all if you are heading back to school/university soon!
If you know anything about your upcoming year- whether that be set texts for high school/university modules or topic areas in different subjects/modules do a little bit of work. The first few weeks back are usually hectic and getting a head start is the best way to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed. If you know your reading list, start it! For second and third year of university, and for my upcoming PGCE, I tried to read the first couple weeks of material before going back. Even if you don’t read a book fully or completely understand a new topic doing a little bit of work before heading back to school can take a lot of pressure of yourself. If you’re like me and need a schedule for work during the holidays, due to the vast amounts of distractions, make a plan over the next couple of weeks to set aside an hour or so each day to either read or look up something you know is coming up.
I don’t know what it is about stationary that gets me so ready to go back to school but a new set of highlighters or fine liners just makes me feel extra productive. I would always suggest ensuring that you have the ‘pencil case basics,’ – blue and black ball point/handwriting/fountain pen, pencil, rubber, sharpener, ruler. I did an English degree but still made sure my Casio calculator worked before each new year because it always comes in handy. I also recommend, if your work books are not provided for you, to get a notebook/refill pad for each module/subject you take. Having separate notes, in my experience, makes revision easier and filing much easier. This year I’ve got a couple of new favourites on the stationary front: the Bic pastel highlighter grip Marking pens and the Bic intensity fine liners have already made my notes look so much more appealing, remember colour is always a nice addition to any notes you make! I would also get yourself any kind of diary to keep up with important dates for your year. One last tip about this- do not underestimate the power of a desk planner. This year I have two. One basic Monday-Sunday planner from Tesco that has tear off sheets. I also have the Study Planner from Pumpkin Productivity! (https://www.pumpkinproductivity.shop/)
Tidy Your Space:
Whether your room is your family home or at university accommodation before you start the next year get yourself into a solid cleaning routine. During my last year I was awful at remembering to vacuum clean my room so when I got around to it, it always made me feel better about my space. This year I’m setting myself my own ‘Tidy Chart.’ I’ll be living and working from home so instead of letting my room become messy with piles of clothes and books I will have a cleaning routine on a daily and weekly basis to help keep my space clean. Top tip for keeping your space ready for work: declutter your desk. Anything that doesn’t need to be kept on your desk, take it off. I currently have my PC monitor, keyboard and mouse and pencil pot on my desk so there is a lot of room for stretching out when I am taking notes. One more tip: if you have the time sort through clothes and books that you no longer need. Make space for yourself by donating any clothes/books you no longer need or use. This summer I have donated over 60 books to local charity shops to help free up space in my room.
Organise Your Wardrobe:
If you wear a uniform I envy you. One of the most mundane sources of anxiety for me during university was what to wear on a daily basis. Working from home helped a lot because you can definitely dress more comfortably. However, if you are heading back to in-person teaching plan outfits in advance. If you have a dress code ensure that you have 5-7 definite outfits that adhere to the code and you feel comfortable wearing. Clothes are the easiest way you can express yourself in a school setting. Ensure that clothing isn’t taking up a major part of your morning routine however because at the end of the day you are there to learn and not to walk in a fashion show (something I very often have to tell myself). Pick clothes that you feel your best in because then you’ll have one less thing to worry about!
Enjoy the End of Summer:
Before you go back have some fun. I currently have two weeks until I go back to university. In those two weeks I am planning to meet up with friends, trips to the cinema and zoo as well as going on planned walks with my family. Once school starts again take time to relax as much as possible. One thing I am definitely hoping to do in the next two weeks is finish some of the longer books on my TBR shelf as I know once I start working I will not have the time I do now to dedicate to fun reading. Do something that makes you feel happy and relaxed!
So there are just five big tips on how you can make the most of the rest of the summer break. I am looking forward to the start of my next year but I’m also exceptionally nervous. However you are feeling is completely nervous, remember there are millions of people going through the same thing. All you can do is your best and try and make the transition between the fun of summer and the hard work of September as smooth as you can!