September is here, and once again it’s happened way too quickly! How do you get into the frame of mind to go back to school, after the long and beautiful days we often enjoy during the summer months?
Here are three suggestions to start you off in the right direction. While this isn’t a comprehensive list of what you can do to get fully prepared for the classroom, it can launch you into the mood for actually doing the secondary things.
Prepare a mental health plan
First things first, your mental health is extremely important. Without it, you couldn’t do most of the things you do on a daily basis. Secondly, returning to school can be extremely stressful and taxing, and that goes for anybody.
But if you know in advance that you might feel a bit stressed in the coming weeks as you find your new classrooms, meet new friends and peers, and start getting into difficult course material, you’ll be in a better position to deal with increasing stress levels.
>Mental health is a rising and prevalent issue for post-secondary and high school students. We need to prepare ourselves for stressful situations by planning ahead.
Putting together a good mental health plan is a great start. As the saying goes… “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Here are some tips on how to put it together:
In your mental health plan, write down the top three to five people you can talk to when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or low. These are people whom you know and trust and can talk to when and if you need to get personal. They can be your peers, teachers, parents, and other family members, and a combination of individuals from these different groups. It’s up to you to write down who you feel you can talk to best.
Then, write their phone numbers and email addresses down next to their names so you can easily access these individuals when and if you should need them but are feeling too stressed to find their contact information.
Then you want to write down reminders of activities you enjoy, places you can go to when you’re stressed and need a feeling of safety, and finally, an affirmation.
Write down activities you enjoy and that relax you. Perhaps you could write something like: “Playing the piano,” “watching a soccer game,” “joining the book club,” or “Hitting the gym”.
Write down where you feel safe. Write down the things you feel would keep you calmer and more focused during stressful times. It could be: “my bed,” “the gym,” “my mom’s hug.”
The last part of the mental health plan is to write a strong affirmative statement that will help you feel positive. Here are some examples of what you could write: “I am enough,” “I am loved no matter how many highs and lows I go through,” or anything that would help you to feel positive, strong, and loved.
Writing this plan doesn’t mean you won’t feel stressed out but it will support you if and when you do during back-to-school season.
Clear your desk to get your mind in the game.
Do yourself a favour and don’t start off the school year with a messy desk!
Get into the right frame of mind for back to school and ensure your work space (and even your physical space, like your bedroom or living area) is clear and tidy. A clear mind equals a clear space and vice versa.
If you feel like your desk is not in the right shape for you to work productively, it probably needs a good clean-up.
Get rid of the homework you did last year, movie ticket stubs, receipts, notebooks that are already filled, and anything that you don’t need this coming school year or that would distract you from being your best self this September.
Give your cover letter and resume a makeover
Write a new cover letter and revised resume to increase your chances of getting an on-campus job, or to be ready to apply to internships, and new grad roles that start hiring in September! Working during the school year is a great way to meet new people across campus, level up your soft skills, and challenge yourself. Those who are involved in extra-curricular activities and jobs that are unrelated to schoolwork often enjoy higher GPAs! It’s a proven way to raise your GPA and reap other great benefits. You can meet lifelong friends while working on campus, as well as find mentors on the job, make connections with people who can provide you with references after you’ve graduated, and increase your productivity and diversify your skill set.
With these tips in mind, we hope you’re ready to take on this new school year, whether you’re just starting a brand new degree or you’re heading into your final year.