Getting Prepared to Head Back to School

Getting Prepared to Head Back to School

(Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash)

It’s that time of the year when we wrap up our lazy days, our adventures, family vacations, and our summer jobs. As you start to prepare for the school year, you are probably thinking where has summer gone. Many of us dread this time of the year. We don’t want to go back to the daily pressures school puts on us due to academics, activities and sports. The school year means less lazy days, less adventures, less family time, and less time to make money. The school year tends to make you prioritize school over family and friends, homework over sleep, and sports over relaxing and healing.

Individually and as a society, we need to find ways to get through school pressures by making healthy choices. School doesn’t need to be a time to be stressed every moment of every day due to all of the assignments and practices you have to finish. We need to find ways to cope with this anxiety and allow our bodies to feel relaxed like the way we do during summertime. You are probably thinking “yeah right, that is not possible”, but with these helpful tips I can assure you the school year will begin to fly by with the correct coping skills for stress.

One major thing we can do is to look at stress in a more positive way. Don’t allow stress to bring you down and hold you back from all the accomplishments you have ahead of you. Instead use stress as a motivator to push you harder to you goal. A Harvard Study ( found that sress can fuel you to perform better if you change your mindset on it.

There will be days when you are just too stressed out and you cannot see it as a motivator. In times like this, take a step back, breathe, and allow yourself to take a “stress break” to allow your body to rejuvenate, refuel, and relax. I think it is essential to allow your body to rejuvenate every single day, so use your “stress break” as a time to do something you love!

Five Ways to Take A Mini “Stress Break” (

  • Do a yoga pose called Legs Up the Wall (
    • Lie on the floor with your legs straight up, at a right angle to the rest of your body, with your feet resting on a wall. Stay in the pose, breathing slowly and gently, for two or three minutes.
  • Take a mindful walk:
    • Walk around the block or around your house, observing all the details of your surroundings. Notice the colors, the smells, the sounds, and how the air and sun feel on your skin.
  • While you’re sitting at your desk, soak your feet in a basin of warm water if the weather is cool, or in cool water if it’s hot out.
  • Buy small bottles of your favorite scents and keep them nearby for refreshing aromatherapy breaks.
  • In the middle of doing a very focused task, put on a fast song and get up and dance!
    • This may sound silly, but by getting up and moving you are allowing the blood to flow through your body again.

(Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash)

As a college graduate, I can tell you, I had a very hard time adjusting from summer to school. One huge tip I have for you all is to get an agenda ( and actually use it! I always bought an agenda in high school and college, but it was not until my last two years when I actually used it on a daily basis and was lost without it. Also, I realized that my agenda had to be fun & colorful, otherwise I did not like to look at it. This helped alleviate my stress because I knew what was coming and prepared for each assignment in advance rather than waiting to do an assignment the night before (like I did so many times before). With that said, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. This is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Procrastinating will cause stress and you will not have time to take “stress breaks”.  I promise, if you get an agenda, plan ahead, and work on assignments throughout the week you will feel like you are in control of the situation rather than school being in control of you and your free time.

My best tip of advice for all of you going back to school is: Find what works for you- find a perfect agenda, take “stress breaks” daily, and have some fun in between your assignments.

Alexis Graff

Alexis Graff, COA Intern Content Creator & Photographer

Alexis was born in Wisconsin, but has lived in San Clemente her whole life (since she was a month old). Alexis always loved playing sports, even though she was never the star player. She simply loved being on a team and working with others. Alexis graduated from San Clemente High School and was apart of many organizations such as water polo, swimming, Be A Hero, Become A Donor, & yearbook. Alexis then decided it was time to get out of the OC bubble so she packed up her room and headed to Northern Arizona University. Alexis was the first in her family to attend a four year college and graduated in three and a half years with two Bachelor of Science degrees; one in Psychology and one in Criminology & Criminal Justice. Alexis is an alumna of Gamma Phi Beta and was philanthropy chair assistant her last year in college helping plan an event to raise money for Girls on the Run. Alexis loves helping others and always strives to be a positive light in anyone’s life. Alexis hopes to eventually go to graduate school to get her Masters in Counseling.