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Back to school: 10 ways to make it less painful

In this day and age, a lot of people wonder why we still even go to school or university when everything has become readily available to us at the click of a button. Need to know when man first landed on the moon? Google it. Want music? Go on YouTube. Need to know what’s 67 percent of 110? We have calculators on our phones for that.

Yet, although we have all this information at our fingertips, school or university is about so much more than mastering equations or memorizing dates: Not only is the learning you do in a classroom or lecture hall still fundamentally different than a few rushed minutes in front of a small screen, a huge – and I’d argue the best – part of school and university life are the personal connections you make with professors and peers.

But going back to school after a long summer break can be tough. To make it easier on everyone, we’ve identified ten ways to make this landing a little smoother and the start of school that much easier.

1. Start your routine early

You can’t expect to go to bed around 2am and survive hearing your alarm blaring at 6:45am. So, about a week before school starts, start going to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up early. This is way better than having to start your day with 10 cups of coffee.

2. Make a to-do list

Create a list of everything you need to buy and what you need to do. You’ll feel more accomplished and can battle an enemy worse than bullies: procrastination.

3. Get ready the night before

If you’re anything like me, then you probably waste a good hour in the morning trying to find an outfit to wear. Instead, pick your outfit and pack your bags the night before. This will save you a lot more time in the morning, so that you can sleep more or even have a second breakfast. #winning

4. Eat your breakfast. Seriously.

Eat it! Everyday. It’s what will give you the energy and focus you need to make it through the day. Remember, your brain needs fuel just like your car.

5. Plan your commute

Are you driving? Biking? Or hopping on a train? Make sure that it’s all planned out, so you have at least a fighting chance of arriving on time. And make sure you have your gadgets with you and fully charged – there’s nothing worse than running out of battery on your smartphone on your way to school or uni, or forgetting your headphones at home and having to listen to your seat neighbor’s loud phone conversation at 8 in the morning.

6. Map out your schedule

Check your schedule and then try to picture how long it would take to go from class to class. If you have time, even do a trial run. Especially if you go to a big school, this will prevent you from getting lost or accidentally walking into the wrong class and making up some awkward excuse.

7. Stay on your professor’s good side

I’m not saying sit in the front and always bring them an apple. Just make a good impression, don’t skip class, try your very hardest to hand in your papers on time and don’t show up late. This way, they will respect you, and will be more likely to help you understand the material better and give you a much-needed extension on that essay you just couldn’t finish on time.

8. Make friends

Keep your old friends but make an effort to make new ones as well: go to school social events and university fresher’s fairs. Join at least one new club that matches your interests and will bring you in contact with like-minded people. You should also try to find a study buddy and make older friends so they can give you the low-down on teachers, classes and everything in between – their insider/been-there-done-that knowledge will prove invaluable! Friends, as we said before, are what make the school and uni experience so special, so make sure you don’t miss out!

9. Don’t bust your budget

You’re still a student after all! So until you start working, make sure to not go crazy with snacks at the cafeteria or spending everything during weekend outings with friends. Make a budget and stick to it.

10. Reinvent yourself

This is the time for personal growth and learning about yourself – really becoming the awesome person you were always meant to be. Challenge yourself in as many ways you can and don’t give into peer pressure. People will respect you more if you stay true to yourself.

Just remember that your time at school or university really is the best time of your life; everyone can attest that no matter how much you say you hate it during your time there, you’ll always miss it when it’s over.

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