Going back to school is never easy; those who insist otherwise are likely lying to both you and themselves. Especially in this ever so changing social and cultural climate, it can be hard to find a reason to get up in the morning. Even harder when you realize it's going to take more than a cup of coffee to get you through the exhausting flow of drama that may circulate your campus. However, don't lose all hope yet, getting back to the grind of seven hour class schedules and forced socialization with your peers can be less painful than you think.
An important thing to remember when returning to school is to try and find that niche where you feel like you belong. Aim to find your home away from home within the limits of your school; your classroom may not smell like mom’s homemade cookies but it will be a bit more tolerable. Once you find an area where you feel at ease, you start avoiding those awkward moments of forced conversation that you may know too well. This may take some trial and error but hopefully you will stumble upon that one group of friends who you’ll learn to love like family. And if you don’t, you don’t! We at Teen Eye know plenty of post-teens we love and worship; some of the most creative and smart ones had exciting social lives because of their environment, and others felt abandoned and uncomfortable because of their environment. Sometimes, you can’t find the place where you belong. And that’s OKAY! Separate your academic and social life. If you can’t find the niche place where you belong, look outside the classroom (literally)...
Often, you feel more like yourself with people who you share a common ground with so don't be afraid to join or create extracurriculars/clubs that truly pique your interest. Yes, this means trying new things as well the end result is worth it. Bake some cookies, DIY a cute poster, and you’ll start to familiarize yourself in an otherwise alienating place.As you start these communities, we’d like to also remind you to steer away from social groups whose morals don't quite match yours. Trust us. Unwanted slightly offensive commentary on our current political and social state and early coffee-less mornings do not mix well.
Your journey to make your school life more enjoyable may also include the occasional tweaking of your social life. This school year, try dropping the toxic influences in your personal circles. Why spend yet another year stressing over unnecessary negativity to the point that it takes a toll on your own mental health?. A friend who doesn’t support you (or you know, your basic human rights) is no friend at all. Try surrounding yourself with positive influences on campus that do more good than harm. You could probably do without the bad vibes.
If you know anything about the high school or college experience, then you should be very familiar with the stress of keeping up with your studies. And while you may be dreading this aspect of returning to campus, you can also find peace in starting the year with mindset of staying on top of your school work. Try instating the goal of focusing on not lagging behind on your studies; whether it's through attempting new study habits or maybe planning out your recreational time in a way that allots for study breaks (one of the aforementioned post-teen’s best advice for lowering scheduling mayhem? Get a calendar on your wall. Once you put a deadline there, it’s non-negotiable). Reducing the stress that goes hand in hand with most courses can make going back to school a lot more manageable. You’d be surprised at the amount of weight lifted off your shoulders once you take sleepless all-nighters out of the equation.
Of course, this does not mean to restrict yourself from any fun, as this is likely the quickest way to drive yourself mad. We’ve all probably experienced first-hand the premature gray hairs that sprout after days of non-stop studying. With responsible study habits is also the knowledge of knowing when to take a break from school work and unwind. Don't be afraid to walk away from the books when the stress becomes overbearing and take up new de-stressing habits like meditation or aromatherapy.
With the inevitable return to school also comes the unavoidable back-to-school fashion fads. You know summer is official dead once the back-to-school Macy’s commercials begin their tortuous rotations. While buying an entire new fall wardrobe is not always necessary, it does pay off to feel comfortable in what you wear to school. Whether this happens to be a brand new outfit or your trusty sweats, wear what make you happy. The tiniest detail of your favorite pair of shoes can make you that much more confident or comfortable on campus and make returning to classrooms just a little more bearable. So if you want to treat the campus as your fashion show on Monday then fall into a steady stream of sweatshirts by Friday, then no one’s stopping you.
Remember to focus on you this year, not on what others may think of you. Whether it's the clothes you wear or the activities you participate in, if it makes waking up early in the morning easier, then go for it. Quite honestly, we could all use an extra reason to get out of bed.
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