The Return to School

By Devin Riggs, Regular ContributorAugust 28, 2015

As summer starts to feel like autumn and school starts up again, August is the month of transitions. Most of us have at least started on the path back to school, whether it’s supply shopping, textbook buying, or classes already starting. Maybe you’re even moving into your new dorm or apartment before classes start.

The first day is exciting and intimidating and a little bit confusing, especially if you’re at a new school. As you gear up for the new year, remember these tips on how to not only survive, but also thrive.



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1. Practice Self Care.

The biggest struggle I have is finding my limits and staying within them. School is important but not as important as your health. That includes physical, mental, and emotional health. Allow yourself to get a full night’s sleep. Get a good breakfast in before you start your day. If you’re not feeling well, get some rest and heal yourself up. Learning is much harder if your body is working overtime from all the stress and sickness. Be in tune with what’s going on with you and make that your first priority. It will help you be more successful in whatever school can throw at you.

2. Use Your Resources.

School is hard enough. Don’t make it harder on yourself. If you don’t understand what’s happening in a class, ASK. Your peers, your teacher, the internet, the library. Get a tutor if you’re really struggling. It’s okay to ask for help. And contrary to popular belief, it will not land you on the “uncool list.” Don’t worry about what others might think, get your needs met so you can be successful.

3. Stay organized.

Everybody has a different system for organization. Pick something that works for you and stick with it throughout the year. If it’s not working, try something new. Make sure you have a reliable study space and time to really be productive. Remove distractions. Make sure you have everything you need to get your work done. Organizational systems are important regardless of form so that you can stay on top of your assignments.

4. Use your time wisely.

Have I mentioned lately that sleep is important? It’s super important. So is eating regular meals. So is giving yourself study time. And so is having some semblance of a social life. With all that stuff going on, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day and usually one of those things gets pushed aside. You have to budget your time. Make sure you are giving equal attention to all areas of your life. Sometimes that means putting in a little more time at the library for that huge test you have. Sometimes it means going to bed at ten instead of going out with friends. And sometimes it means taking a break and hanging out. Use the time you have to its full potential.

5. Have fun.

I truly believe learning should, at its core, be exciting and challenging and fun. To get the most out of your education you have to enjoy it, especially the little things. You might not have the opportunity later in life to discover so many incredible and wonderful things about the world you live in, at least not with such focus and abundance. So embrace your learning experience.

Good luck this year! I hope it’s fantastic.

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What helpful tips do you have for going back to school? Tell us below!

About Devin

DEVIN_RIGGS_writer_bio_(1).jpgDevin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.


Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.


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