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Diana Rapp

Diana Rapp

High School Math Teacher & Woot Tutor

5 Tips To Calm Those Back-to-School Jitters

I still remember when warm summer days would feel long and endless. When my parents were okay with me staying up late because it WASN’T a school night. And then BOOM.

It is over and suddenly the first day of school would be just around the corner. I could almost hear the school bell ringing and those endless back-to-school commercials didn’t help.

If you are feeling more dread than excitement at the thought of school starting again, you are not alone. This is normal for many kids just like you. As someone who teaches high-school students, I have seen a few things that can help. Here are my top 6 tips for calming the back-to-school jitters.

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Get into Your Routine

A week or so before the beginning of school, start figuring out your school routine. If you are a student who thinks breakfast at noon during the summer is great (brunch, anyone?), now is time to get back on a school friendly sleep schedule. I recommend that 2-3 weeks before your first day back, shift your clock an hour each night until you are back to going to bed around the same time you would on a school night and then waking up as if you were going to school. I get it. It’s hard, but trust me, it will be much harder if you try to shift all at once on the first day back.

If you are feeling more dread than excitement at the thought of school starting again, you are not alone.

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Plan Your Lunch Ahead of Time

Sloppy Joe anyone? Are school lunches your least favorite meal? Is eating off campus making a hole in your wallet? Maybe it is time to start packing your own lunch. I suggest getting into a schedule of making healthy, filling, lunches ahead of time. Constantly, students are tired in class and the first thing I ask them is if they have eaten lunch. They respond, “I had a bag of hot cheetos and a donut from the grocery store.” I have some news, this is not a healthy lunch. As a growing teen, you need adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats.

I suggest, on Sunday night you make your lunch for Monday-Wednesday. Then on Wednesday night you can make your lunches for the rest of the week. Make sure you also pack snacks because as a growing human you are likely chronically hungry. There are tons of awesome meal prepping recipes on the internet. If you don’t have time to pre-pack lunch, ask your family if you can take last night’s leftovers to school… Big tip: Be extra nice to a teacher with a microwave.

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Reconnect with Friends

During the summer, it is easy to lose touch with your school friends. Remember that one friend from your chemistry class who you ate lunch with a few times a week? Or that kid who totally had your back when you forgot your calculator before your math final (we’ve all been there)? Shoot them a text and see how their summer went. Ask about their class schedule, maybe you can study together again. Reaching out to your classroom friends is one of the best ways to help ease the transition from summer to school.

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Be Prepared

Create a list of school supplies you will need. Check to see if your school sent out a list in advance, many do. Quick tip: shop at home first for your school supplies. This saves money, and also makes sure you reuse your own products, reduces your time in long lines, and helps you ‘Marie Kondo’ your desk drawers. If there is something you need, find friends who have taken the class before you. Even better, maybe they can also give you some of their tips for how to succeed!

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Practice Your Commute

If you walk or bike to school, start taking the commute when you have free time. It will get you in the habit of walking or biking more and you can also scope out the best routes. To make your commute more fun, download a new podcast or audio book to listen to on your daily commute.

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