Yellow backpack overflowing with school supplies in yellow, orange, mint green

How to Make Back to School Season So Much Easier

These back-to-school tips will help you transition into good student habits again and start the new school year off right.

With school starting up again, it can be very difficult to get back into good study, sleep, and other student habits. In order to stay on top of school, work, and clubs, it’s important to be organized with a routine. Here are a few tips to help you get back into the swing of things and keep up with the craziness of a new school year.

Sleep schedule

Get into a decent sleep schedule. Good sleep is crucial to academic success (and good health!). Start getting into a routine at least few days before the first day of school, and get to bed eight hours before you need to get up in the morning. Set an alarm and try your best not to hit the snooze button. This will ensure a full night’s rest and help you to get out of the inconsistent sleep schedule that summer can bring. If you need to go the extra mile to ensure a restful snooze, try these tips:

  • Use a sleep mask. This will ensure the sun doesn't wake you before you're ready.
  • Try a sound machine. White noise can lull anyone off to a peaceful sleep. No budget for a new gadget? Try downloading the free app Sound Sleeper on your phone!
  • Change your napping routine. Though naps can be healthy, if you take a nap too late in the day, it could affect your nighttime sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Related: Sleepy Students: What Being Tired Does to Teens

School schedule

Try to put your schedule into your planner. Write out what you have going on in the day, be it homework assignments, extracurriculars, or work. If you have your agenda on your phone, set reminders on your phone a day in advance to stay on top of things. This is vital, especially if you are involved in a bunch of different activities. Managing your time can feel overwhelming, but having everything written down and well planned will help you out tremendously.

Related: How to Get Adjusted to a New Schedule


Starting the year with good note taking can really help you get your feet off the ground. One thing that can help is redoing your notes when you get home. At school, take notes in your classes in order to get down all of the information. Then, when you get home, rewrite your notes to make them organized and to help you process all the information. You should also make your notes fit your learning style. If you are more visual, add drawings (or print out images!). For those who learn better through audio, record your notes on your phone.

No matter what, make them interesting! It'd be useless to put all of this effort in if you're going to fall asleep five minutes into your study session. Add color to your notes, or make an incentive to use them. For example, “If I review these notes for at least 15 minutes a day all week, I can watch a movie with my friends.” Little goals like this will make it much easier to get through your notes and homework assignments.

Related: How to Take Better Notes in High School and College


One of the hardest things about beginning a new school year is getting back into studying, especially if the information is not immediately useful. If your study habits are not the best, then there will be no benefiting from it. There’s a reason why cramming the night before a test doesn’t work! But there are some ways to make it more bearable. You can study with friends (as long as you have the clear intention of reviewing). If you all get together and goof around for an hour, then all you've done is waste time. But working with people makes it easier to go over the information, because there's someone to hold you accountable. In addition, you could find a way to link the material to a hobby. If you like music, make a melody out of an important phrase. Or if you like baking, you can build a recipe around a certain topic.

Lastly, do not procrastinate. This may seem very simple, but everybody faces a myriad of distractions every day. It is all too easy to get swept away in the busyness of today, but it is vital to not let your studies be pushed under the rug. Think about it this way: if Netflix is asking if you are still there, it's probably time to hit the books.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful in kicking off a new school year and starting off on the right foot! Looking for other student advice? Find study tips and more in our Majors and Academics section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Zia Sampson

Zia Sampson

I am currently a first-year student at Loyola University New Orleans, where I'm majoring in Mass Communications, both Strategic Communications and Journalism, and minoring in Sociology. I'm in the University Honors Program and the Social Justice Scholars Program. In my free time, I like to watch Netflix, sleep, and read. I am a big animal lover, with four cats and two dogs, and I have two older brothers and a twin sister. You can follow me on Twitter @ZiaSampson.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

Joseph Johnsly

Joseph Johnsly

High School Class of 2021

It's an honor for me to be writing to share a little about my experience with CollegeXpress. I've been using CollegeXpress for about a year now, and the reason why I chose it is because it provides astonishing scholarships for every student around the globe. Besides that, this organization dispenses all the information necessary to help students get to college. CollegeXpress has helped me have an easier experience with applying to colleges and choosing the best fit for myself.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Wendy Thompson

Wendy Thompson

Owner, Westport Educational Consulting

I just discovered your site and LOVE it—fun, interesting, full of incredible information you can’t find anywhere else, and a godsend for those of us in the college counseling business. I am a fan!

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

Samford University

Birmingham, AL