Heading back to school after summer break is a big transition even in the best of years. Heading back to in-person classes after a year of on-again-off-again remote learning? It’s a lot to adjust to, so if you’re feeling the back-to-school jitters this month, you’re not alone. Here are our top five tips to being your best you as you return to school this fall.
Set specific, manageable goals. Setting clear, specific goals for yourself will make you more effective in your work and will prevent you from feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or disappointed if the first few tries don’t go as planned. Well-defined goals will help you figure out what strategies work for you, and which don’t. Learn about S.M.A.R.T. goals and get our free goal-setting guide here.
Get involved in something new. High school and college are prime-time for exploring new hobbies and interests. Leaving your comfort zone may require some bravery, but the benefits can be highly rewarding. Join a new club, try a new sport, or look for volunteer opportunities. It’s a great way to make new friends and make an impact.
Remember it’s okay to ask for help. This adjustment period won’t come without hiccups and it’s important to remember that support is available. If you’re struggling academically, visit your professors during office hours or set up some time with a tutor. Health services at both high schools and universities include mental health support. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re feeling overly stressed, anxious or depressed.
Choose compassion. Be generous and patient with yourself and others at this time. The stress and trauma of the coronavirus pandemic has taken a major toll on our ability to be patient and compassionate with others, but part of showing up as your best self is recognizing that stress for what it is and not taking it out on others. This can be especially difficult when someone is being rude or short-tempered with you. Take a few breaths, remove yourself from the situation if you can, and revisit difficult conversations when you’re in a calmer, non-reactive state.
Make time for self-care. Learn to take some time out, even if it's just five minutes a day. Enjoy a hot shower after a long day, journal to clear your mind, or just take a walk around the park. These little breaks can go a long way in restoring your balance. If you’ve struggled with self-care in the past, try enlisting a friend as an accountability partner.
We hope these tips help ease the transition back to school so you can have your best year yet. Want more tips for becoming your best you? Check out our post on one-minute habit changes that will change your life.