A new school year offers students a chance for a fresh start. A bad habit from a previous year does not have to carry over into the new school year if steps are taken to replace them with good habits. Here are four bad habits that you may be prone to and four good habits to replace them with to get your school year off to a great start.
Bad Habit #1: Staying up late every night
Replace with Good Habit #1: Get adequate sleep every night. Summer vacation may have been filled with unscheduled days or a summer job with unusual hours. You may have spent the summer nights hanging out late with friends, watching movies, or texting your BFF until you staggered off to bed, with the prospect of being able to sleep in until noon the next day. A few weeks before school starts, ease back into a school schedule, starting with going to bed at a decent time and waking up at the time you need to get up for school. Starting the school routine ahead of time will ensure that you are not snoozing during your afternoon class on your first day of school because you are exhausted, although no claims are made that adequate sleep will prevent nodding off if the teacher lectures non-stop in a monotone voice!
Bad Habit #2: Skipping breakfast
Replace with Good Habit #2: Eat a real breakfast. Toaster pastries grabbed as you are running out the door do not count as a real breakfast; they may delay the stomach rumblings for a class or two, but the energy they provide is fleeting. Eat some protein like eggs, cheese, or lean meat. Add some healthy carbs such as whole grain toast or a multi-grain cereal. Drink a glass of milk or juice. You are now ready to face the day with a steady supply of energy.
Bad Habit #3: Procrastinating
Replace with Good Habit #3: Do it now! Have a student planner to write down all assignments and their due dates. Do homework every night, both what is due the next day and a little bit of larger assignments that are due later. Talk with family members ahead of time if you need to schedule use of the family computer for research or typing a report; this will prevent conflicts and help you maintain Good Habit #1 if you are not typing until two in the morning! Put all completed assignments in your backpack immediately so that you do not find yourself in class the next day explaining the whereabouts of your completed homework, which, unfortunately, happens to be your desk at home!
Bad Habit #4: Always being a follower
Replace with Good Habit #4: Be true to yourself! Join the clubs and sports that YOU want to join. Start a new club if you see a need for one. Try out for the school musical if you think it sounds like fun. It’s okay for you and your friends to have different interests. If your friends are opposed to the idea of you doing something different from them or joining an activity they don’t see as the “in” thing to do, stay calm and DON’T give in to the crowd! You need to be your own best friend so that when the school year is over you can look through your yearbook with happy memories instead of regrets!
One last bit of advice
Even if you start off the new school year with the best intentions, some bad habits may be hard for you to shake or you may find yourself slipping after a bad day. It’s okay. Take a deep breath, think positive thoughts, start over, and have a great year!