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15 Ways to Make This School Year Better Than the Last

Updated on August 4, 2018

Last school year sucked and I dread going back. How can I make this year bearable?

I'd like to think that I'm a positive person, and I like being optimistic about things, but facts are facts, and the fact of the matter is that school sucks sometimes. Waking up before the sun comes up, spending eight hours sitting in boring classrooms with classmates and teachers you don't like, unable to sleep or eat or use your phone or go to the bathroom when you want. Learning can be fun, but you know what's not fun? Writing twenty slides of notes with a full bladder and an empty stomach. All that being said, there are a few ways to make your school year suck a lot less. Let's get into that, shall we?

15. Accept that you're going back.

This is the most important part. You're going back to school whether you want to or not. Don't pretend you're not. Don't spend the last week of your summer vacation pretending you don't know school is starting again soon. Buy your clothes and supplies, go to your orientation, get your sleep schedule back on track. Don't wait until school is officially back in to start trying to do that stuff or you'll start the year off terribly which could set the tone for the rest of the year.

14. Go to bed on time.

Unless you're naturally an early bird, you probably spent your whole summer going to sleep at 4 am and waking up at 4 pm. That's fine for the summer, but it's not gonna work when you're back in school. Going back to school means waking up early and waking up early means going to sleep early. Pulling an all-nighter or staying up extremely late on a school night has never been a good idea and it never will be.

Try to go to sleep at least seven hours before you need to get up. Maybe you can't get the full eight to ten hours, but seven is better than nothing, isn't it? Try laying down a full two hours before you actually want to be asleep. If you wanna go to sleep at ten, lay down at eight. If you're anything like me, you like to have your alone time, especially after a long day of dealing with people at school. Lay down a few hours early so you can get your alone time, scroll through your social media, read, listen to music, etc. Laying down at the exact time you wanna go to sleep usually doesn't work out.

I know you're not supposed to use your phone or watch TV before bed, but some of us happen to be accustomed to it. If you have an iPhone, turn on night shift a few hours before you go to sleep!

A good night's sleep is essential if you want to have a good day at school. Sometimes it's hard to notice just how much lack of sleep can affect you, but it definitely does affect you. The last thing you need is to have a distracting headache during class, and you definitely don't need to fall asleep.

13. Get everything together the night before.

You've already heard it a thousand times and by now you're sick of hearing it, but this is super important. Pack your backpack the night before and set it somewhere you know you'll see it before it's time to get to school. Make your lunch the night before and put a reminder on your phone to get it out of the fridge before you go. Make sure everything is in your purse or your athletic bag the night before. Make sure everything is in your binder the night before. Pick out your clothes the night before. This will all save on time the next morning and prevent you from running late because you can't remember where you last had your homework or your gym shoes.

Nobody is one hundred percent at six o'clock in the morning. I don't care how good you are at remembering things, you're going to forget everything you know when it's 6 am and you're in a rush. Even if you're good at gathering all your stuff in the morning, just make things easier for yourself and get it ready the night before.

(If you'd like to read about a few things you should definitely get done on Sunday, click this link! )

12. Wake up earlier than you need to.

For those of you who didn't immediately skip over this one, let me tell you why I think this is a great way for you to make your school year better.

Most people try to do everything in their power to make sure that they get every last second of sleep that they can in the morning. Me? I like to be up thirty minutes to an hour before I really need to be up. Why? Because I'm slow and sluggish in the morning. No matter what I do, I just can't force myself to move quickly any time before noon. Getting out of bed takes me thirty minutes, and no, I'm not kidding. My house is as cold as Colorado in the winter most of the time, especially in the morning. My bed is not. Dragging myself out of the warmth and comfort of my bed is a daunting task that takes longer than I usually like to admit.

I need a few minutes to just lay there and wake up, and then after that, I need a few minutes to scroll through my social media, (don't judge me, it's like my morning paper) laugh at a few memes and mentally prepare myself for the day. There's no time for any of that if you wake up just fifteen minutes before you have to be at school.

If you know you move slowly or you're easily distracted in the morning, wake up earlier than you need to so you don't have to actually get up as soon as you wake up. The first few days doing this can be pretty tough, but after around a week it'll become a routine, one that you might find yourself looking forward to.

This way, you won't be late to school every day and you won't spend the day wondering what's going on on your phone because you'll be mostly up to date.

11. Eat breakfast.

This one is super basic, but also super necessary. Eating breakfast is a difficult task for me. I wake up earlier than I need to, but it's still hard to squeeze in time to fix myself some breakfast, and it's not easy for me to eat super early. My body just won't allow it. I've never been able to eat too early and I don't know why. This is where waking up earlier comes in.

I usually end up eating an hour after I wake up because that's after I've gotten dressed and scrolled through my phone for a bit. This way, I won't be eating as soon as I wake up.

If you don't eat breakfast, you'll be hungry until lunch, and honestly, sometimes it's difficult to even eat that so you really do need to put something on your stomach in the morning. Try to buy lots of granola bars, fruit cups, and yogurt. It'll only take a few seconds to fix these and a few minutes to eat them, and you can even eat them in the car if you need to! If you don't want to eat any of that, you could easily spend your Sunday fixing breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches which you can freeze and reheat the next morning. Those will only take a few minutes as well!

10. Get there early.

Waking up early doesn't always mean getting there early, but it can! If you can get to school fifteen or twenty minutes early, do it! The time before school officially starts is the perfect time to do the homework you decided not to do last night, talk to your teachers about whatever you need to talk to them about, and if there's nothing more productive to do, talk to your friends!

Above all else, getting to school early means getting to class on time. You'll save yourself from getting a lot of tardy's, therefore saving yourself from unnecessary detentions.

9. Avoid the bad crowd and ignore your reputation.

Your friends can get you into a lot of trouble. Friends are amazing, but don't let them drag you down. If your friends are doing something stupid, let them have it, but don't involve yourself. It's just not worth it.

If you're one of those kids who was known for getting into trouble last year, hooray for you, congratulations, this year is a new year. You've already had your fun, focus on doing the right thing this school year. A lot of teachers will ignore what they've heard about you in the past and wait for you to show them who you are and how you behave when you get to their class. Impress them with your good behavior. A lot of teachers will already be judging you based on what your other teachers have said about you. If they think you're nothing but trouble, prove them wrong.

8. Respect your teachers.

Teachers can be difficult to get along with sometimes. They seemingly live to make things difficult for you. Assigning excessive amounts of homework, giving tests every other day, assigning projects you don't have time for, being blatantly disrespectful at times because 'they're grown and they can do that'. You don't have to let them run over you--Yeah, you're the student and they're the teacher but that doesn't give them the right to disrespect you because you're a human person with feelings and regardless of age you deserve respect--but you don't have to run over them either.

Talk when you're allowed to talk and be quiet when you're supposed to be quiet. Use your phone when you're allowed to use your phone and put your phone down when you're told to put your phone down. Don't spend your time in class disobeying your teachers to get a few laughs from your classmates and being disrespectful. Teachers are people too and you may not agree with them a lot of the time, but you don't have to make their jobs harder just for the fun of it.

Have some integrity and behave as if your parents are there watching you. I don't know why so many people are disrespectful to their teachers just for the fun of it, because life is so much easier when you and your teachers get along. Less work and more privileges are just two examples of what life is like when you simply do as you're told.

If you don't agree with something your teacher says or does, talk about it with them in a respectful way and get your parents or principals involved if the issue can't be resolved by just the two of you. Just don't be rude for the fun of it because it's not cute and it's not going to get you anywhere.

7. Do your work.

Just do your work. I know life gets busy outside of school and nobody wants to sit in class for an hour working on some boring worksheet or reading some boring book or doing whatever boring assignment you're supposed to be doing, but you're gonna have to do it if you wanna pass the class. A lot of the time, things look incredibly difficult and turn out to be incredibly easy! A lot of the time, things look easy and turn out to be difficult. Whatever, you're gonna have to do it. Just push through and get it done. This goes for homework too. Homework is an easy grade! Sometimes it's graded for accuracy, sometimes it's not. Just do it!

I'm not gonna lie, I used to never do my homework because I feel like, after eight hours of school, I don't wanna even think about doing anything productive when I'm at home. That's why I started doing my homework at school. Whether I do it in class when it's assigned or the next day sometime before it's time to turn it in, I get it done. Work as hard as you can in school and most of the time you won't have to do anything when you're at home.

6. Give yourself a day off.

Nobody is perfect. People get worn out and tired and sometimes the mere thought of school is overwhelmingly exasperating. Making it through the entire year without being out of school a few times is nearly impossible for the majority of us. If you like to have perfect attendance or your parents or school are strict about when you can and can't be out, this one isn't gonna work for you.

Stay out of school once every month if you can and if you need to.

Almost every single year I start out going to school every single day for around three to four months, and then the routine gets old and I become worn out and the thought of school literally gives me anxiety and I become so down and so...Tired. Just tired. Then I end up faking sick (If I'm not actually sick by then) to get out of three days to a week of school and even after that I still don't feel rested because I usually spend the whole time worrying about what I'm missing in school and how much work I'm gonna have to make up.

Sometimes you just need a break. Instead of working until you just can't even fathom the thought of school anymore and then going through that whole routine, take a day out of every month to just stay out and rest. Most people only go to school for nine months which means you'll only be out nine times if those are the only times you're out, which isn't that bad at all. This might be easier than you think too! Think about how often you have doctors appointments and dentist appointments and whatever else. Take that whole day and use it to relax after your appointment. Think about all those holidays too! Usually, you're out on the holidays anyway, but if not, just take the day for yourself. It's the perfect time after all.

I know this one might seem like a weird tip, but as I mentioned before, nobody is perfect. School is tiring and it takes a huge toll on your mental health and if you don't take a break sometimes, you're gonna end up having a breakdown or ten throughout the year. You need time to rest and reboot.

5. Stay organized.

There are few things in this world that I enjoy more than cleaning out my binder and throwing away old papers that I don't need anymore. It's like getting high but instead of marijuana, it's a clean and clear binder. Amazing.

Even if you don't happen to love organizing things, it'll still help. Instead of digging around for a half an hour for the homework you're not sure you actually did until you find it crumpled up in the bottom of your bag, you can pull it right out of the front of your notebook and watch as your teacher enters your one hundred in the grade book asap, and that's significantly less stressful than having the entire class waiting and watching as you dig around in your bag for half the class period.

Organizing your stuff will relieve the pressure in your chest and give you one less thing to worry about. If you're not good at organizing things, that's okay! Just take a deep breath, take ten minutes to go through all your stuff and throw away everything you don't need, and just carefully place your papers into your folder. See? Everything is okay now.

Do this as often as you can bear to do it. Every week might be ideal, but even I, an organization freak, can't find the energy to do that. Once every month will do.

4. Participate in school activities.

I bet you thought you were gonna get through this post without having to see the ole 'participate and everything will be perfect' tip. You thought wrong.

School clubs can be fun! Pep rallies can be fun! Yelling out answers in class can be lame but hey it can also be fun and screw anyone who thinks otherwise! Sitting in class moping all day is not going to make school go by any faster and it's just gonna put you in a worse mood. Enjoy yourself.

3. Don't participate in school activities.

Is it really even my article if I don't completely backtrack on what I previously said? I don't think so.

For some people (myself very much included) participating in things like school clubs and pep rallies is just plain and flat out stressful. I hate pep rallies. They're loud, crowded, and everybody's all musty and crammed together and it's just not my idea of fun. Attending pep rallies makes me so nervous and coming out of one without having a massive anxiety attack is a miracle for me. If it's not for you then it's just not for you. Don't feel like you have to participate in stuff like that if it's just gonna make you miserable. You not attending a pep rally does not make you a bad person and it doesn't mean you love your school any less.

Also, don't feel like you need to play three sports and join five clubs every single year. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything. It's not gonna work out in the end and you're just gonna spread yourself way too thin.

2. Have fun with your friends and make new ones.

School is supposed to be about learning and it can be super stressful. Teachers want you to be quiet in class and they want you to pay attention, and other than lunch and gym, there's not much time for socializing with your friends. You should work hard and focus on your work when in school, but don't forget, you don't have to take it so seriously either. It's okay to joke around with your friends sometimes. You're not a zombie or a robot. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Have fun with your friends as much as you can without getting into too much trouble, and yeah, the goal is to try to stay out of trouble but don't beat yourself up if you get scolded or get sent to detention a time or two. It's life. It happens.

1. Laugh at yourself.

I was miserable in school until I learned how to laugh at myself. Some people are just mean. They thrive off of causing people pain. I don't think there's a person alive who can honestly say that they've never encountered a bully at school. Maybe you haven't been full on bullied, but I bet someone's said something to you that's made you feel bad for a while. It happens.

The best tip I can give anyone is to just laugh at yourself sometimes. When people tease you about your interests, own it. Don't let it get to you. Laugh along with them so they can't say they're laughing at you.

I'm a big fan of wrestling, I used to be a big fan of one direction and now I'm a big fan of Harry Styles. Those are just three of my 'Weird' interests, which got me teased a lot and still to this day get me teased, not just from people looking to hurt me, but from my friends too.

I used to get so offended when people called wrestling stupid or fake and I tried to prove to them that it wasn't and that they were wrong. I stressed myself out by doing that. Now when people call wrestling fake I laugh and nod because I know it's just scripted and either way, I still enjoy it. When they call it stupid, I agree. Wrestling is pretty stupid a lot of the time, but it's entertaining and nobody can argue with me about that!

Most of my friends don't like One Direction or Harry Styles' music. They think it's weird that I listen to them instead of the artists that they listen to. I used to be offended by people calling me weird for my taste in music but now I think it's funny. I know that my favorite artists are amazing human beings with great music that I happen to enjoy very much, and my faves don't need my friends' approval to be awesome.

When people call me weird because of my interests I genuinely think of that as a compliment. Being weird or unique is incredible. I don't want to be into the same exact things as everyone else. I don't want to be a carbon copy of my friends. That's not fun and not interesting at all.

Remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone. If people aren't into what you're into, that's fine. It's called personal preference. Not everyone likes the same thing. When people call you weird, laugh and agree. You probably are weird, and that's a good thing. I can't tell you how many breakdowns I've saved myself from having just by letting small things like people's comments about what I'm interested in slide off my back. People can be mean, and they like to hurt other people for their own pleasure. Don't give them the satisfaction. Once people realize how little you truly care about them and their opinions, they move on.

I'd also like to add that your weird interests are great conversation starters which could lead to you making some great friends. Remember that even if it seems like literally no one is interested in the same things that you're interested in, someone definitely is.


Maybe all of these tips won't work for you but I'm hoping that at least one of them does. I know school is hard and it's not fun most of the time, but you can get through it. Keep going. Thank you for reading!


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