And day 2, day 3, day 4…
Ah, back to school. That wonderful time of year when school supplies are bought, gummy snacks appear in hordes, and thousands of “first-day” photos are taken everywhere.
Getting back into the groove of education can be fun, even if a little nerve-wracking. After all, there’s a lot more than just your GPA on the line. No matter what this school year looks like for you, it’s going to take some preparation. And that’s where planning comes in.
Planning is way more than just writing down due dates and assignments. It’s about recording, condensing, and recycling important reminders for all the days to come. Now that’s an AP strategy if we’ve ever heard one.
Ready to ace your upcoming school year? Here are five methods for using a planner in school to help you conquer day one (and beyond).
- Planning Paves The Way
- Keep Calm And Plan On
- Set The Precedent
- Get It Done (Without Crying)
- Plan Your Ideal School Year
1. Planning Paves The Way
A good planner is the foundation of every successful school day. You can try to wing it, but it won’t look as pretty as a set of neatly printed notes in a book.
Have a planner open next to you while sitting in class. What needs to be written down? Consider recording information that seems obvious to you now that may not seem so obvious a few weeks down the road. Due dates, exam times, review session schedules. Mark important info in your planner to leave room in your brain for retaining the important info being taught in class.
Wanna get even fancier? Highlight different classes or types of information with different colors. The preparations you do now will pave the way to a successful school year from start to finish. Pinky promise!
2. Keep Calm And Plan On
Planning is cool and all, but what if we told you that it can affect your stress levels too? Well, it can.
In 2015, Princeton University found that more than 50% of students are stressed beyond reasonable levels. Additionally, they found students spend over a third of their study time being stressed, worried, and anxious about their schooling.
Thankfully, there is a solution: planning! A different study, conducted in November 2019, discovered that students who practiced proactive control, planned for the future, and set positive goals were less likely to let stress overwhelm them while in school.
Of course, the soothing effect of planning doesn’t really work unless you’re committed to doing it right. You’ll need to be very intentional about how, when, and where you record your notes to help choke back academic stress and conquer the school year. We’ll cover how to do that next…
3. Set The Precedent
Starting off school on the right foot can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure exactly which foot is supposed to go first. This year might feel a little different, whether you’re headed to a new homeroom down the hall or a college a hundred miles from home. It’s easy to let yourself steep in the not-so-sweet confusion of something new, but if you really want to play your cards the right way this year, you’ll want to start planning.
The habit of planning is really what’s important. If you have all your plans written down, but never check them, you’ll be like an astronaut who forgot his flight plans (i.e. not in a good situation). So make an effort to not just write in your planner, but also to check it. In fact, why not try tracking your planning habits?
4. Get It Done (Without Crying)
How many times have you shed tears over an assignment due tomorrow morning? What about those pre-midterm butterflies after a night of soul-crushing cramming? We get that. You get that. So why not start avoiding it?
Write down all the things that need to get done way before their actual due date. Paper due in February? Write that thing down in January. Soccer practice after school on Wednesdays? Write down what you need to work on before that happens. It sounds pretty obvious, but talking about planning and actually planning are two very different things. In the words of the immortal Shia Labeouf, “Just DO it!”
5. Plan Your Ideal School Year
Some people love school, some people hate it, and some people barely remember it. Education is one of those things that is a very personal experience. Coincidentally, planning for your school year is an excellent way to set up the kind of experience you want to lead.
This isn’t to say that your school year is going to be bad or good depending on your planning! It could be a lot better with some scannable notes at your fingertips, but it definitely isn’t going to get you through the embarrassment of a fashion disaster in front of your crush.
Instead, planning for what you want to happen is a good way to ensure that it does happen. You put your planner where your heart is, after all! In that way planning is a lot like goal setting.
Don’t Panic, Just Plan It.
Whether you plan on time-blocking your day in fifteen-minute segments or mapping out your major school assignments, using a planner for school is the A+ way of beating stress at its own game. Pave the school day with some time for scheduling, rely on a schedule that keeps you calm, and knock your to-do list out of the park (without shedding too many tears). Above all, set the precedent for success with a no. 2 pencil and some elbow grease, building the back-to-school experience you want word by word.
Have more than just a few notes to take? Care about the impact all that paper will leave on the planet? Us too. Write, record, and erase guilt-free with Rocketbook, no matter where the school year takes you.
Ready to get out and fire up some synaptic responses? Happy scholastics!