Welcome back to Happy Mail! And happy September!! This is one of my favourite times of year; school’s just getting started and hasn’t been too intense (hopefully), the leaves will start to fall soon, and it’s perfect hoodie season! In whatever way, I hope this fall is one of healing and peace for you 🙂
Today I want to talk about school. For many of us, it started recently, or will start soon – my first day was today. I know that school can be very daunting, especially at the very beginning of the year, but as someone who’s entering her last year of high school, I promise it’s not all bad! And I have some wonderful tips to help you stay focused and calm during the school days <3
With so much homework and tests, school can be very stressful. I know it can be really hard to manage your work, co-curricular activities, and personal time. Let me tell you a secret about school, though, that might help you out: it’s okay if you can’t finish all your work. Teachers understand that their students are very busy with sports, theatre, volunteering, etc. And to be perfectly honest, your mental and physical health will always be more important. Try not to take all-nighters or work yourself to the bone to get something done. All that will do is make you miserable and stressed. You and your health are always top priorities, so if you find yourself in a position where it’s far too late and you’re falling asleep at your keyboard, this high school senior will ask you to go to sleep. Whatever you’re working on is important, yes, but can wait. It can wait until the morning, or another date – I promise. It’s not the end of the world! <3
If you’re really worried about missing something, never be afraid to message or meet with your teachers. In my experience, teachers are more than willing to give extensions or extra-help sessions if you’re confused, so long as you communicate with them – specifically not right before said assignment is due! It doesn’t have to be much; a simple email will do. But make sure you’re talking with your teachers and being open about anything that might cause you to need an extension. That way, you can work together to create a work schedule that works for both of you!
And just as a side note: middle school and the early years of high school exist just so you can experiment with classes, learning/studying habits, and clubs. They do not matter in the grand scheme of things! While you should always try your best, don’t focus too much on the actual grade you get, as they will not mean anything in a year or two!!! Instead, look at how you studied, and think about how you might have been able to plan your time better or studied more effectively. These years are an opportunity for you to learn and grow, and you won’t do that without making mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up! <3
Another main worry that can arise with the beginning of a new school year is drama and gossip. Gossip doesn’t help anyone involved – whether you’re the person on the receiving end or the person hearing/discussing rumours, it’s simply not a good situation. Being caught in the middle of drama is stressful, especially if said drama involves your friends. I know you might feel like you have to agree with everything they say, but you absolutely don’t! If being caught up in this is making you feel worse and is just creating rifts in a group, you can always – always – take a step back and think about the situation as a whole. These are some good questions to think about if you find yourself accidentally perpetuating drama among friends
- is this true? Who is the source of this information?
- why does this rumour exist – does it exist just to create drama or hurt feelings?
- do I gain anything by listening to or spreading this?
If you can’t give a conclusive answer to these questions, it’s best to take a step back. It’ll make you feel quite a bit less stressed if you’re not bogged down with drama or gossip, and it will certainly help whomever is the person on the receiving end <3
If you are on the receiving end of gossip, rumours, or are in toxic friendships – first of all, I’m so sorry. I know it’s really difficult to go through things like that, but I promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or a silver lining somewhere. There are people in your school or environments who want to be your friend – genuinely. You’re all wonderfully creative, kind, funny, and talented people – who wouldn’t want to be your friend?
Never ever feel bad for ditching a toxic friendship. If you feel like you are doing an unfair amount of work in keeping this friendship afloat, or only seem to talk to said friend if they either want to complain or need something from you, it is not a healthy friendship. They might not know they’re even doing this, which is why it’s always good to communicate with them about it! If they’re a good friend who made a mistake, they’ll realize that they need to work on making your friendship better. If they don’t change, it’s okay to back out. There are so, so many wonderful people you’re going to meet in your school years, so please don’t get hung up on staying with people who don’t respect you. You deserve to be happy during the school day <3
Now I have some general tips that I’ve acquired in my years at school!
- bring in your bag: a folder of some sort for notes, something to write with, snacks + a water bottle, a computer if you’re allowed them, extra paper, chargers, pads/tampons, and any books or supplies specific to the course[s] you have coming up (things like a calculator, textbooks, a dictionary, etc)
- never be afraid to ask questions and talk with your teachers! I find it super intimidating to talk with teachers, so I totally get if you’re feeling hesitant, but I promise it’s so, so helpful to be able to get any questions answered either in-class or via email. Find a method that’s the least scary for you <3 don’t overthink it! Most teachers love answering questions and helping their students succeed; that’s their job, after all!
- if you absolutely can’t, try to see if there’s anyone in your class who you can ask questions to. My grade has group chats in which we ask questions regarding tests, homework, and other school stuff. It’s saved my life on numerous occasions!
- making a study group can be helpful as long as the people you’re studying with are actually intending to work. It’s okay to study without your friends if you feel that you’ll be distracted around them <3
- everyone learns and studies differently. Some people love visual learning and some people really need lectures or auditory learning. Try to figure out which styles are best for you, so you can study in ways that complement your learning style! For example, if you are a really visual learner, consider drawing a timeline or mind map of basic concepts
- join clubs, sports, or anything! If you think something might be fun to be a part of, absolutely try it out! Clubs are great stress relievers and help you to meet people who share very similar interests <3
- don’t be scared to make friends with people in your classes! It can be really scary, I know, but there’s so many wonderful people that you can meet in school, and they’d love to be your friend! Don’t be nervous to talk to someone, or get their phone number or hang out afterschool! 🙂
I hope that helped to alleviate some anxieties regarding school. You’ll all get through this year and make many great memories, I’m sure! Good luck 😀
5 Helpful Quotes of the Week!
I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think (suggested by Pineblossom)
Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day (suggested by Pineblossom)
Alice Morse Earle
If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good. (suggested by Sandpaw)
My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me. (Suggested by Starpaw)
Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice”
Just remember, if you’re having the worst day ever, the next day can only be better (Suggested by Icepaw)