Whether they love it or hate it, hearing “back to school” means the same thing for all students: new classrooms, new teachers, maybe some new clothes if they grew over the summer, and of course, the gathering of school supplies from all of the never-ending lists. Then they’re ready to go, right?! They are as prepared as they can be for that first day of the unknown with full backpack in tow and a new class schedule.
But really, this is only what being prepared looks like on the outside. If you look up “how to be prepared for school” you’ll find dozens of lists suggesting that students do things like, get a brand new alarm clock, and find a planner to get organized. None of the tips you’ll find are bad, but they are lacking in one very important way: they are forgetting to prepare the student’s mindset for a new year of school.
Usually, entering a new school year comes with a bit of nerves, a sense of the unknown, even anxiety about things that seem out of the control of the student. So how can they get a calmer, more prepared, mindset to start a new school year? Set some goals!
Let’s go back to the internet search. If you look up “how goals can…” the top results that pop up are “lead to success,” “reduce stress,” and “improve performance.” Goal setting gives a sense of purpose, a sense of control, a sense of knowing what you want and what you are going to do to get it.
If you know a student, (or are a student) that is feeling a bit uneasy/unprepared for the year ahead, have them sit down and think about what they want out of the next school year. Do they want to get homework done before they’re sitting on the bus stressing out? Do they want to focus on only one sport, instead of spreading themselves thin between several? Have them make a whole list, and pick a few goals to prioritize and plan around that will ease their minds the most. Knowing they have a personal goal set, with a plan on how to accomplish it will give them back a sense of control of how their year will go, starting from day one!
The final countdown to the 2018-2019 school year is here, students have got the gear, now help them get the mindset! Here’s to a great school year ahead!