How I prepared for Back to School


It’s that time of year again, back to school. Although we are sad about the summer ending, part of us gets excited to shop and prepare for the new school year. As I am an online student, I try to do everything possible to make my space (AKA my bedroom & house) as motivating and organized as possible. Today, I’m going to share with you how I prepared for heading back to school.


Declutter & Organize:


The first step of preparing for back to school is decluttering your desk area. Take everything out of your desk and room and sort through it all. I found a plastic bin where I could store all my notebooks and binders from last year (although we all know we will never need them again). I then cleaned all my surfaces and sorted through all my supplies. I try to reuse as many school supplies as possible, so I look through and see what supplies I can use next year (AKA what’s not used up, dried out, or falling apart).

I also went through my computer and phone and deleted so many files, photos, etc. I want to feel as clean and refreshed as possible for the school year. I also like adding new wallpapers to my electronics to have a new feel/vibe for the year.


Shop:


My favorite part of back to school is shopping for new supplies and clothes. However, because my uniform is sweatpants and sweatshirts (and we all know I already have too many “uniforms”), I don’t typically go back to school clothes shopping. When I go back to school supplies shopping, I like to focus on efficiency and motivation. I look for things that might excite me to note take or read. I know this sounds silly, but pretty pens and markers are game changers in my motivation. I found this applies to both in-person and online school. When I have supplies that are “cute” and fun, my mentality going into school is so much better.


As I’ve said probably one too many times, my planners are my life. I use my planners constantly to keep me on track and prevent myself from being overwhelmed. I spent probably way too long this year in Staples searching for the best planner (for me). I ended up with a planner that checks all of the boxes for my classes and scheduling, and then some!



My favorite back to school supplies:


Mildliners (there are so many different options & quantities) - click here

Tombow Markers (available at Michaels too) - click here

Staedtler pens - click here

Papermate pencils 0.9 - click here

The planner I got for this year - click here

My blue light glasses - click here





Communicate:


I always email my teachers with a little introduction about myself at the beginning of the school year. Because my school is fully asynchronous, I think it’s nice for my teacher to get to know who I am on a more personal level rather than just my name and my work. However, I recommend this for everyone. Making that connection shows your teachers you care.




Sleep:


Sleep is key for back to school! Set yourself a fantastic sleep schedule to ensure you are getting the proper amount of sleep at night. Sleep is the most important aspect of your performance and energy levels. Especially because we are athletes and students, we need all the extra energy we can get. Get off your devices at least an hour before going to sleep and make sure your room temperature is cool and comfortable. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to establish a wind-down routine. A wind-down routine not only relaxes and distracts you from your daily tasks and lists, but if done every night it starts to signal to your body that it is time for rest. Great wind-down options are practicing a face care ritual, reading a book or short stories, starting a gratitude journal or utilizing a meditation or story-time app. Choose whatever option will set you up for a great night’s sleep and stick to. Now is the time to start the year off right!



Schedule:


As we all know, I’m a scheduler. I have a busy fall and winter schedule, so I like to plan out how far along I will need to be in my each of my classes during the busiest times of my year. For example, I know that during horse show finals week, I probably won’t have much time to focus on schoolwork. Therefore I should be at least a week ahead, so I don’t have to worry about it. Not everyone has the luxury to plan how far ahead you want to get in school, however, you can most certainly figure out the days you know you will be missing school. Some recommend even giving your teachers that rough schedule so you never blindside them with missing school, and they might even be willing to give you your work ahead of time.


A great way to calm the Sunday Scaries is to take a look at your week ahead on Sunday so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. That way, I know exactly what is going on for the week and how I may need to adjust my schoolwork for appointments, pickups, tutoring, riding, etc. Just five minutes to look at your schedule and plan the week can make a big difference in your productivity (and stress levels).

Another way to free up your schedule is meal prepping for the week! Especially if you go to an in-person school, on Sunday, prepare some overnight oats, cut up fruits and veggies, or lunches that are easy to grab and go! Like sleep, food is not something you should bypass because you didn’t have time to make something. Always have easy-to-grab snacks and meals for whenever you are running out the door! Check out Breeches and Sweats on Pinterest (click here) for some of my favorite options and inspirations.


Playlist:


Although I don’t always like to listen to music while working/studying, there are times when music can really help me stay focused. I think it’s important to have a playlist or video in mind to quickly turn on while you study. This way, you can’t procrastinate doing work by creating or searching for study music. There are so many options on Spotify or YouTube. When in doubt, simple classical music or lofi music is great to have on in the background.



Every student has a different perspective about going back to school in August or September. Some are ready for the routine, some are sad to see summer go, but I think most of us have some level of excitement about the prospect of new opportunities, friendships and traditions. Whatever your feelings about the start of the school year, I’m sure using some of my tips will get you started off on the right foot.