9 Ways to Have a Better School Year ...

If you’ve been fretting over the impending start of classes, there are stress-free ways to have a better school year. Still lamenting the abrupt end to summer vacay? It’s about time you start to focus on making this academic year the best one yet! Here are 9 ways to have the time of your life –and ace those exams while you’re at it!

1. Let Go of the past

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One of the first –and most important– ways to have a better school year is to let go of your past experiences. When I was graduating eighth grade, I asked one of the so-called popular boys to sign my yearbook. When he pretended to refuse in an attempt to embarrass me, I grabbed the book and walked away –and the joke was on him. And he wouldn’t dare try it on any of my friends afterward. Whether your classmates called you “brace face” or “four eyes,” it’s time to rise above their snide (and totally immature) remarks.

2. Refresh Your Wardrobe

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One of my favorite ways to have a better school year is to hit the mall before classes start. Not only is it a very special treat before the hours of studying arrive, but it’s also a major confidence boost. Even if you don’t have much cash to spare, a few key statement pieces can breathe life into last year’s duds. Don’t forget to smile as you strut through those hallways!

3. Challenge Yourself

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I’ll admit it: I can be shy, especially in a classroom with 40 other students. Nevertheless, I’ve always managed to raise my hand to answer at least one question each period. How did I do it? I challenged myself by making an effort each and every school day. Conversely, if you’re bright and bubbly, don’t forget to give your quiet peer a chance to shine –it’ll feel amazing, I promise!

4. Get Organized

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Life can get messy, but your school obligations don’t have to. Invest in a trusty planner, Post-It notes, and fresh new highlighters before starting classes. And don’t forget to clear off your workspace at home to encourage non-muddled thinking. It doesn't take much effort to get organized, but you'll be amazed at how much it improves your work, plus you'll save lots of time in the long run!

5. Talk to a Classmate You Don’t Already Know

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Another way to have a better school year may seem a bit difficult, but it will be so worth it. Sometimes, making friends can be tough, especially when a student is new in school or happens to be the unfortunate target of bullying classmates. With that said, if you have a multitude of friends, one more couldn’t hurt. Invite the classmate who sits alone at lunchtime to join your group. Who knows? She might just be the bestie you’ve been waiting for!

6. Join a New Club

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New year, new you…right? Not so fast! If you’re still heading straight home from school each afternoon, it’s time to add some oomph to your social life. And joining a new club is a great way to start making new pals and filling your calendar. Plus, it’ll look amazing on those college applications (and your resume).

7. Stop the Gossip

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A surefire way to have a better school year is to avoid drama. Sure, it can seem exciting to be the center of attention at first, but wouldn’t you rather be remembered for your amazing talents rather than be linked to hurtful gossip? Plus, remember that someone is the target of all that gossip, even if it's not you. You don't want to make anyone else feel bad, do you?

8. Stay Positive

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Sometimes, having a better school year simply requires the right attitude. The quickest way to turn off your peers is to whine about every little thing that goes wrong. On the flip side, positive energy will draw in the right potential friends. When I’m having an “off” day, I like to focus on ways in which I can improve my life. That way, I’m so busy making positive changes that I have no time to focus on the negative. Try it sometime –you won’t regret it!

9. Get Some Shut Eye

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One of my final ways to have a better school year is to get enough rest. Feeling constantly tired in class has many drawbacks, including difficulty paying attention and unattractive under-eye circles. So, catch up on that beauty sleep and you’ll look and feel like your best you.

These are 9 of the most effective ways to have a better school year. With them, you're guaranteed to have the best year of your whole school career, whether you're still in middle school, a sophomore, or a senior. If there's any tips you're dying to try, be sure and let me know! Do you have any of your own to add to the list?

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