Top Back-to-School Tips for High School Seniors

Going back to school after summer can be a Herculean task. These tips can help high school seniors get back to the grind and prepare for a productive year ahead.

Bloodshot eyes, burning the midnight oil, slumped shoulders, tottering piles of books, notes and assignments, staircases that seem to go on forever, deadlines, and tests…the shriek of the alarm jolts you back into reality when it wakes you up at 7:00 am. You have to make your way to school.

The last golden weeks of peace will now be nothing but a remnant of a fond memory that may occasionally draw a smile upon your face. If you’re a high school senior, it will probably be the last time you whine, complain, and dawdle your way through the day.

Regardless of our age, going back to school after the summer is a Herculean task. Yet, I have come to realize that it isn’t school itself we dread, but the efforts we need to take to reprogram our minds so that we get back to our hard-working and committed selves, with scheduled routines. It is important for us high school seniors to make this transition period as painless and smooth as possible if we want to maximize our efforts and productivity levels for the rest of the year.

Consequently, the following compilation consists of tips and tricks I have picked up along the way in all my years of schooling that have helped me get back to the grind!

Give yourself time to adjust

After the summer, it’s usually difficult for us to immediately acclimate to our busy schedules, as we are often bogged down by the threat of procrastination, or just may not have the energy and the right motivation. This is completely natural and is by in no means a sign of laziness! The best way to adjust to your routine is to give yourself the time you need.

To give yourself that time to adjust and bridge the gap in this trying transition period, I recommend phasing out your work in stages so that you can complete it in good time without overwhelming yourself too much. In order to complete rather long assignments, I often split the task into three or four parts every day so that I can complete them in a more systematic and targeted way.

Moreover, even though you should always take breaks no matter how busy you are to rejuvenate your mind, I hope you remember this piece of advice now, as it can really help you get used to the transition period between summer break and school. Stick to your comfort zones before you get drowned in all of your school work and extracurricular activities.

Related: How to Make Back to School So Much Easier

Plan ahead

This tip is probably one of the most essential aspects of back to school planning to remember. It is rather broad, as it encompasses many aspects tailored to individual needs. Planning is one of the best ways in which you can plan your schedules coherently so that you finish all of your studying and monotonous homework tasks in good time and adhere to all of your deadlines. Be sure to plan effective schedules that will help you finish all of your work with minimal levels of stress.

Additionally, you should also have a particular order of prioritization so that you are able to plan your way through the tasks ahead and do what is most important first. It can really help you become more mentally prepared to confront the next semester of school with a dedicated spirit and renewed vigor, especially as it is so important for us high school seniors.

Try to avoid procrastinating

Even though I have told this to so many people I know time and time again, it is easier said than done. Even I don’t always practice what I preach! Given the circumstances and the situation, many of us still want to bask in the glow of the sun and continue to live out our dream summers, Given the sheer amount of work high school seniors are often given, it is rather disconcerting to muster up the strength and will to complete all the tasks at hand.

My only piece of advice to you in this situation would be to finish all your work as quickly as possible, provided you do not compromise on quality. Ensure that you optimize and make your work environment comfortable so that you finish all of those bothersome essays. Try and complete as much of your work as possible when you are in a good mood and feel encouraged to put your best foot forward!

Related: Top 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination

Stock up on all of your essentials

This is the ideal time to shop for back to school supplies and be prepared for all that you would potentially need for the rest of the first semester. I know many people who love shopping for stationary and new school supplies so that they have all that they need to make their notes, color-code their revision mind maps, and segregate all of their school resources and materials. Organizing, planning, and decorating your work can really encourage you to begin your school semester with a new, positive, and orderly outlook.

Always stay slightly ahead

I feel that even though we have always been told to stay ahead of our classes by reading and studying extra, we often disregard its true potential; but experience has definitely taught me otherwise. When I began the IB Diploma last year, I never knew the true extent of the subject matter and expectations of the course and should have really taken the time to understand the examination patterns and related content.

Regardless of our age, reaping the full benefits of this tip can have some profoundly positive impacts on us. If you are beginning a different curricula or new course, starting your first term at university, or trying your hand at a new program, it is necessary to know the full scope of what you will begin to learn and study during its course.

Therefore, I would really advise you to read up the beginning of your course or school materials, so that you can analyze the difficulty level of your new syllabus and discern what is expected of you. At the same time, you should also allocate some of your time towards familiarizing yourself with the structure of your syllabus as well so that you are prepared with relevant questions for your teacher.

This is be your last back-to-school transition as a high schooler, so embrace it, cherish it, and move ahead so that you can complete your high school journey with no regrets. By following these tips, you can actually enjoy the rest of your high school experience as you have planned and organized your time and work efficiently. Let’s (hopefully) pave the way for a semester without extensions, curses, complaints, grumbling, and late nights!

It’s college go-time for high school seniors! Search for schools and scholarships on CollegeXpress, and find application tips and tricks in our College Admission section.

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About Shivani Ekkanath

Shivani Ekkanath

As a person applying to college this year, I want to chronicle this crazy and unpredictable yet rewarding and fascinating journey so the experience feels less daunting for other students. I'm currently preparing to study Political Science for my undergraduate degree while trying my best to win a battle with the pressures of the IB diploma. I'm a lover of music, debating, reading about current affairs, dancing, baking (not too well), and writing. I'm also an an aspiring journalist and hope to attend Columbia University one day and work for the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.


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