It is that time of year again! The first few days back, you are full of excitement because you can see your friends again and use all those cute new notebooks and pens you shopped for. Be warned though! Soon school will become just another part of your day, and you’ll start to realize the fact that you can’t spend evenings just relaxing like you did in the summer. Brush up on some life hacks like these early in the school year so you can be prepared for the homework onslaught and live to tell the tale. Don’t get lost on the first day. Even if you aren’t a freshman exploring confusing Memorial for the first time, this life hack is helpful because you are working with a brand new schedule and may have classes in different wings than before. The night before the first day, take out your schedule and your planner and mark down where your classes are in the planner’s map using the numbers 1-7 based on which period you have the class. Then trace out a route from 1 to 2, 2 to 3 etc. Now you’ll have a concrete path to follow between each class on the first day, even if you don’t know the names of the classrooms or exactly which wing you are in. It works! Set timers for social media. Let’s be honest–we’ve all gone on facebook or instagram telling ourselves it’ll just be a quick check in just to realize thirty minutes later you are deep into buzzfeed articles and makeup tutorial posts. To avoid this, you’ll need a dash of self control and a timer, most likely the one on your phone. Before you tap the app, set a timer for five minutes or however long you’d like to limit yourself to. Then, before you can scroll feet deep in your news feed, the timer will stop you. Just make sure not to press ok and keep on going- -remind yourself of the homework you have to do! (The classic) balance fun and homework. It’s so very easy to come home from school, throw your backpack on the floor and start snacking and watching TV or going on snapchat. We’re all tired from the long day, and need some time to unwind. However, all too easily we spend too much time on this and have to cram for homework late into the night or even the class before the next day. To stay motivated, you should combine something fun with a homework task. For example, you can still grab a snack and munch, but instead of TV maybe start on that english book you have to read. Take an easy assignment that you enjoy doing and ease into homework with that. If you break down your load into bits and pieces and give yourself (short) breaks in between, you’ll be done sooner than later. Believe me, the best feeling is lying down in bed and knowing you’ve been productive all day and gotten your homework done. If it’s your friends that are taking away from crucial homework time, try scheduling hangouts around events like a festival or the corn maze instead of just heading over to their house for five or six hours. That way you can have even more fun together and still give yourself time to do homework. Armed with these life hacks, your school year will start of great and will stay great even as we get past the grace period of the first week and the homework load starts piling up. Happy studying!
– Kelly Wu