Back to School. How do you feel when you hear the phrase? Excited? Anxious? Or perhaps confused? Regardless of what comes to mind, one thing is certain: a change is coming, as they do every year. The question is, how can you prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically for those necessary shifts? The following tips will help make this year’s return to academics less hectic, more organized, and maybe even enjoyable.
Expect Changes – Changes are inevitable. And changes do bring anxiety: “I am nervous about what teacher I’m getting;” “I don’t know anyone;” “This year’s school work will be hard;” “I am worried about my grades;” “My peers are so competitive that I feel stupid;” and the infamous “Homework!” If you feel overwhelmed already, take a deep breath and relax. Although changes are unavoidable, they are always short-lived, and all that’s needed to survive is a little perseverance. I have yet to find a student who has passed out under the crushing weight of back-to-school stress.
Welcome Changes – Once you expect changes, you can start thinking about how to conquer them. Subsequently, when the changes do occur, your reactions will be less emotional and more intentional. In fact, you may be surprised to find yourself welcoming these changes, since you want to prove to yourself that the tactics and in-depth planning are actually working. Just imagine how much more capable, satisfied, and self-confident you’ll feel!
Initiate Changes – Changes are not necessarily bad, especially when they come from you. In his book Eat That Frog!, inspirational speaker and seminar leader Brian Tracy borrows the expression “eat the frog” from Mark Twain as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of the day first – the one that you always try to find an excuse for putting off, even though it may yield the most positive impact in your life. What is your frog during this back-to-school period? Introducing yourself and befriending new peers? Raising your hand and asking questions in class? Turning in homework consistently and on time? Reading one classic book every month? Whatever your frog is, commit to eating it, keep yourself accountable (probably with a partner), and initiate changes that will significantly improve your life.
The staff at The Tutoring Center wishes you a smooth back-to-school transition. If we are privileged to play a role in your life, be assured that you have our full support to help you set the tone and stay on top of all the changes this new academic year brings about.
Joseph Tran, Center Director, The Tutoring Center of Upland