By Sara Karbowski and Ananya Gondesi
Summer is coming to an end, and many students are heading back to school. Things can feel a bit overwhelming, so here is a checklist of supplies to get and habits to implement to have a successful year in high school!
- Binder and dividers – Staying organized and being able to find materials from each class and storing them safely is key to being successful in classes. A three-inch binder should give you enough room. But in high school, most students carry around their backpacks all day, so some students eventually transition into using folders instead to make their backpacks lighter.
- Notebooks – You should buy a notebook for each subject to take notes and look back at when studying for quizzes or tests. Some subjects may require additional notebooks. For example, in some science classes, you may need a composition notebook for your labs. Composition notebooks are recommended for taking records and journaling because they generally hold up pages better than spiral notebooks throughout the year. But for everyday note-taking, spiral notebooks may be easier to use because they sit on desks more flatly and are easier to write in.
- Pens and pencils – Some teachers require black or blue ballpoint pens for tests to prepare and practice for exams. When writing notes, many students prefer pens because it lets you write with more flow than with a pencil. But, you should also carry a pencil around too so you can easily erase things regularly for classes like math.
- Planners – Personally, planners helped me the most so far in high school! I tend to forget things easily so writing in planners keeps me organized and reduces worries about forgetting to do homework or studying for an upcoming test/quiz. The extra rush of dopamine from checking off my tasks is always an extra bonus!
- Highlighters – Highlighters make your notes look more fancy and organized. Also, if you use them to highlight the key points of a lesson, it will help you comprehend and remember them more.
- Start building strong work routines – Starting homework earlier can help with understanding the material more because you can take more time with it. A head start on projects means that you’ll do a much better and thorough job which is especially important as they tend to matter more in your grades. Breaking your assignments down into smaller pieces can help you handle them better!
- Find an organization system that works for you – Having a place that has all of your assignments is extremely helpful to keep being organized. Before that, it is best to identify what you work best with. You could invest in a physical planner, which you can easily buy from Amazon, Target, or Walmart. You could also do digital planning, on a platform like Notion using templates from YouTube. You could even just use Google Calendar to keep track of upcoming events. No matter what your style is, mix and match to find what works best for you. Once you break down your bigger assignments, make your system useful!
- Create a cleaning cycle – When workplace cleanliness is maintained, we tend to be more productive. According to the Harvard Business Review, “when participants cleared clutter…they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased.” Use a free day every week to do some good cleaning to maintain order.
- Try out new things and find some new hobbies – Many new opportunities become available in high school. This can be joining clubs to even starting your own! There are also more internships that you can choose from. So having an open mindset and trying out things that you’ve never done before can be exciting and may even help you find your passion.
- Finally, destress! Finding a way to let your stress out is crucial to maintain a healthy mind. It can be anything from binge-watching a Netflix series to spacing out with your pet. Physical activity can also be great, as it not only keeps you physically healthy but also helps you get some energy out!
Reading this list already means that you are preparing for high school and being responsible for yourself. You’re already heading towards the start line of high school at a perfect pace. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed with something, René Descartes says, “Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.”