Back To School Encouragement




It's that time of year again! "Back to school" holds such a bitter sweet set of emotions. It's exciting to be in the presence of all your friends once again, yet it's the end of a sweet season of iced coffee, beach trips, country music, sweet tea and glorious heat.

I'll never forget how I was shaking with nerves and excitement on the first day of high school and once again on the first day of college. Whether you're returning to the same school this year, or entering a new one, the emotions are in full swing.

This summer I worked quite a bit more hours than usual and I've also been taking summer courses all season long. Consequentially, I haven't had much of a break; but it's been so wonderful to relax a little during the slower summer days. I can't wait to see all my buddies again in just a couple of weeks through! (Major withdrawals!!)

The beginning of this new season in our lives calls for a lot of intentionality! I've compiled a list of a few things to do to recharge and ensure a purposeful school season! These are geared towards the college life, but can be suited to you high schoolers as well!


Be intentional about the Word 

College is an incredibly busy season of life. Most of you are taking five classes, involved in things on campus, have friendships to keep up with, a job or jobs to do, the list is endless. I can not stress the importance of making time to be in the Word. A way to be intentional about this, is to wake up twenty minutes earlier than you need to for your first class and just spend time with Jesus. When you start your day like this, you are guaranteed to get more Kingdom work done on campus.

Don't procrastinate 

The hypocrisy in my saying this is ridiculous. Nevertheless, I've learned the hard way on this one guys. In college you're dealing with multiple classes and multiple professors and assignments that are more than a breeze. Rather than being overcome by gusts of assignments, I've found that doing a little bit everyday is the best way to minimize the stress and maximize your grades.

Take care of yourself

Don't get so caught up in the complimentary stress that comes with school work, that you forget to take care of yourself. Periodically treat yourself to something that makes your heart happy :) For me, this would be things like visiting a local coffee shop (my school's city has so many I could never have time to visit them all, but I'm making it a point to try!) or doing a face mask, going to the gym, having a dinner/movie night with girlfriends, or sightseeing around campus. Do something that makes you happy to be alive, it's a great stress reliever!

Engage

As a chronic introvert, I struggle with this. I don't like to raise my hand in class, and forget even looking at the people who sit next to me...what if they talk to me?! But let me tell you, those times that I have actually felt comfortable in a certain class and I talk a lot, I get a heck of a lot more out of the class than I would otherwise. A tip for this is to sit in the front of the class. You're less likely to slack off on your laptop or get disengaged when you have the professor breathing down your throat! Make it a point to talk to at least one person in every class on the first day, introduce yourself and get their number or email. I can't tell you how much this has come in handy in my experience. If you ever need help with an assignment or need guidance of any kind, it's nice to have someone besides the professor whom you can confide in. Engage with your peers and professors, you'll thank yourself later.

Catch your Z's

It's no secret that rest is important. If God needed rest, how much more are we in need of rest. In college it's all the more important. My friends say that I turn into a pumpkin after 9pm. But hey, I cherish and need my beauty sleep. I learned the hard way. In high school I'd stay awake until 4am (really Heath?!) on Tumblr and go to class with 2.5 hours of sleep and let me tell you it wasn't pretty, nor was I. Also, I'm not a psychologist but according to psychology, your working memory is powered by the pre-frontal cortex of your brain and it functions better when you've slept sufficiently. Good sleep = good grades.

Rest doesn't have to be sleep though. Make sure that if you're studying an incredible amount, that you take breaks in between. Get a cup of coffee. It's good for your wellbeing (well that's debatable but according to my experience, it totally is).

Stay healthy

Everyone has heard of the "Freshman Fifteen" phenomenon. I never did experience this because I've commuted to school for the last four years, so I haven't be subject to the glorious college cafeteria buffets. But it's real and there are ways around it.

  • Meal prep
  • Pack healthy snacks to bring to class
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Have friends hold you accountable
  • Stock your room with healthy snacks (if you don't buy the junk, you're less prone to eat it) 

Don't forget to eat breakfast. Here I talked about the importance of eating breakfast. I know far too many college students who skip breakfast just so they can wake up five minutes before class starts. You will always be thankful you ate breakfast.

Most colleges have gyms and if not, they'll have a track, grass area, or your room. Whatever it is, there's no excuse not to keep active. In the last few months, I've tried adding "something active" to my calendar everyday. Whether that means 50 crunches in my bedroom before bed, or a serious gym sesh, it does the trick. Working out is personally my own blessed stress reliever; it triggers the release of endorphins which naturally makes you happy. It's an interdependent system - if you're feeling good about yourself, the rest of the areas of your college life are going to benefit!

Be open with your roommates

In an effort to avoid arguments, annoyance, or any undesirable situation - learn to communicate well with the people around you. Those who have roommates and those who do not, this applies to everyone. They say in marriage you should not wait until you're about ready to get divorced to decide to seek counseling or help. You should constantly be intentional about the relationship you have.

If there's something that bothers you. Speak up. If there's something your roommate does that you like, thank them and show them you appreciate it. Don't wait to get into a full blown argument when there's something you're not happy about.

Seek to learn more

You were made to live outside of your comfort zone. There's far more to college than just classes. Everyone you talk to will tell you to "get involved on campus." I, being the stubborn introvert that I am, avoided this at all costs for three and a half years. The majority of my college career was spent in loneliness and it was very bland. No, I didn't have to worry about the temptations of partying and things of that sort, but I really was missing out.

It wasn't until my senior year of college that I decided to join a club, and someone basically signed me up and joined for me. Go figure. Joining this club became a transformational decision in my life and I've met amazing people through it who have become some of my closest friends. Most clubs aren't high commitment and they meet all but once a week, but the benefit you can take away from them is priceless. Not to mention, future employers like to see that you are involved and well rounded.

With community colleges, you don't get the opportunity to join various clubs, but you most certainly can take a class you have a passion for that's not in your major. I'm a business major and I took astronomy and photography once and it was simply the best! Not only did it give me something fun and easy to do to lessen the load of tough coursework...but it broadened my horizons (ew that sounds like something your parents would say) but it really did, and it was so great, I'd recommend.

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I hope that this was helpful for you as you enter into this new season! Please feel free to reach out to me if there's anything specific you want to talk about! I'm no pro, but I have had four years of experience in college and seventeen years of schooling (wow), so hopefully there's some way that I can help you!

With love and all the fall feels,




16 comments

  1. such a great post!! heading back to school can be a stressful time, so it's important to take care of yourself! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I was the queen of procrastination in college. Glad you are on the ball and aware of that pitfall so you won't be as stressed as I was sometimes lol

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    1. Haha I'm tying my best to be proactive!

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  3. Yes! College has taught me to take time to read the word and to have devotional time before class and school. Procrastination has been such a problem for me for as long as I can remember. I have to force myself to do things early, and that's pretty sad. Great advice to get me through my final semester of Undergrad!

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    1. Amber, ah we're in this together!! You're gonna do great!!

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  4. These are such great things to have on your radar as you go back to school! I hope you have a great year! <3

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    1. Thanks Susannah! That's very kind of you!!

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  5. This is great advice! Wish I would have known all this while I was in college.

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  6. This is such a great list for those going back to school. But as a mother...it still pertains! I'm going to try to get my kids on board with the letting me sleep portion of this list. Seriously though, in motherhood we have to be just as intentional and focused.

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    1. I bet! It's so important to encourage the kiddos to make the most out of their time in school! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  7. Awesome post! I can't wait to share your tips with my daughter who's entering college this year .

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    1. Oh my goodness that's exciting Nicole! Let me know if she needs any help or advice with this new season in her life, I'm always here to talk!

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  8. Great advice! Staying healthy and getting enough sleep are key to not losing your mind!

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  9. These are wonderful tips! Not procrastinating is a big one.

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