School will be here in just a few short weeks, and it's time to make some resolutions. Say goodbye to handing in assignments late, spreading unfounded rumors about your friends, and using those abbreviations you made up that nobody understands. It's time to take charge and GTD—er, "get things done," we mean.
1. Get organized—and stay that way. Buy a folder for each class, and label it. Purchase an assignment book. As soon as you find out due dates and exam schedules, write them down so you can plan accordingly. This way, deadlines and tests are less likely to sneak up on you. Double the organization by putting reminders in your phone. Organize your room, too. Make it easy for yourself to get dressed and find your shoes. Put your backpack in the same spot every day, so you’ll never run late.
2. Plant seeds with a potential SO. Don’t put off looking for a crush until just before Valentine's Day, when you decide you’d like someone to buy you massive amounts of candy in exchange for some sloppy kisses. Instead, start early! Actively try to surround yourself with new people in different groups. It’s always good to start off as friends, and if worse comes to worst and you don't find an SO, at least your social circle will expand.
3. Just say no…to sweatpants. Some people take pride in going days without a shower. We recommend you start each day by washing—if not your hair, at least your armpits. You don’t need to wear designer dresses to school (in fact, we completely discourage such stupidity), but making yourself look like a happy, healthy, clean person will help you feel good about yourself—and perhaps attract someone kind of normal. In the fall, wearing jeans and cute T’s or sweaters makes you look more than presentable. And it’s fun to put together different outfits each day—it’s like art for people who suck at painting. Plus, when you're not wearing PJs to school, you’re less likely to doze off in class.
4. Start off on the right foot with your teachers. Remember last year when the math teacher abhorred your existence and you were pretty sure he and the English teacher were in on some sort of death plot? Did you ever think maybe the reason your teachers disliked you was that you made their lives pretty miserable? That you would do anything to get a laugh from the class at a teacher’s expense? That during an English class, you’d give some sarcastic if not totally off-base analysis of “The Metamorphosis” to be cool? That you slept during their movies? Drew hamburgers instead of taking notes? This year, be conscious of your behavior and actively give your teachers your attention and respect. It wouldn’t kill you to be friendly, either. Once you make a good first impression, you are on your way to being a class favorite—and trust us nerds, it’s always a great place to be. That way, when you genuinely forget your homework, your teacher friend just might believe you and not mark you down. It’s a powerful friendship, so don’t screw it up. Remember, these guys help you get into college. Speaking of college...
5. Boost your apps. Make sure you do activities that make you seem well-rounded. Run for student president, join the environmental club, or meet fellow brainiacs at Mathletes. You need activities to fill up your resume and provide essay fodder, and it’s never to early to get the ball rolling on this (we’re looking at you, freshmen).
6. Actually take notes. Sorry, but those hamburger doodles are never going to be displayed in an art museum, so you might as well stop drawing and start paying attention. Take notes. Concentrate. Resist the urge to daydream about lunch.
7. Start your homework before the 10 o'clock news. You eat dinner, watch “Modern Family,” and creep on your crush on Facebook. Before you know it, Conan’s cracking jokes, and you still have to read a novel, write a term paper, and discover gravity. Make an effort to get your work out of the way right after school. Eat a snack, then head to the library and get serious—no phone, no internet. Giving your assignments your full concentration helps you complete them in a quick and efficient way.
8. Wake up earlier. While you may think rolling out of bed at the last possible moment is the way to go, if you are early to bed and early to rise, you can use the early morning to exercise, drink coffee, go over your notes before the test, shower, dress, and eat a healthy breakfast.
9. Always make today better than yesterday. This one is as cheesy as the Bosco sticks in the caf, but try to learn from your mistakes and reverse a downward trend before it becomes a bad habit. Actively think about what you can do to make your school year and your life the best it can be.
Any tips for your fellow schoolmates? Let us know how you like to kick off your school year on a positive note!