Preparing for School


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Megan Sones asks: “I am taking classes with the TPS for my sixth year. I never know how to properly prepare for the school year and was looking for advice on the best ways to prepare for my classes and where to find the best supplies?”

One of the keys to a stress-free school is establishing a good flow to homework and projects. It’s hard going from the laziness of summer into the structure of school. Try getting up early for a week before school starts, at the time you’ll need to be up and ready for school. To encourage yourself to actually stay up, try making yourself a yummy breakfast the night before so you have something to look forward to in the morning. Also, find a good book that will keep you up or even a movie while you’re still training yourself to not drift back into dreamland.

As far as supplies and keeping organized during the year, I recommend a planner, whether it’s digital or paper. I use a planner on my computer consisting of a spreadsheet with columns for each day and boxes for each subject. I color code for each month and fill the subjects with each class, my Bible study, music/sports, and extra events going on during the week. It helps to always write out what homework is due so you know what each day’s goal is.

For supplies, get pens and pencils. I recommend a chunky eraser because your pencil’s eraser will probably run out before the pencil does. Highlighters also help when researching or making note of an important point in your reading. Invest in a sturdy binder that won’t break easily during the year from being opened and closed constantly. Target, Walmart, Staples, or Office Depot are all good places to buy school supplies; you can find notebooks, binders, highlighter, markers, pencils, pens, and other fun options.

If you need a place to sort labs, papers, or general homework, use a binder with tabs for each subject. Or of you have a lot of homework per class, use a different binder for each subject. Separate homework to turn in, graded homework, notes, and other papers into each colorful tab.

Unless your teacher already contacts you, email each instructor for your classes with a little info about yourself and questions you may have about the course. They love hearing from you!

When school does start, prepare yourself snacks before class so you have something yummy to munch on and give you energy. If you have a more lecture-based class, draw, doodle, or color to keep yourself interested in the new information so your hands will be busy and you won’t go stir crazy. If you have time between classes, get up and run around outside for a bit to get your legs moving again. Also, since no one can see you during class, feel free to get up, do a little dance, or stretch (as long as it does not prohibit your learning). One important point: wear cozy clothes, wrap yourself in a blanket, or even wear your PJs! We all learn differently and need to stay focused in unique ways, so find yours and go with it! So go to your classes with a fresh mind ready to fill with new information; with an open mind, you can do anything!



  1. This is great! An advice column was an awesome idea…

  2. Great job, Annette. As a, well, how shall I put this, slightly-less-than-organized person, I recently discovered that making lists surprisingly has some benefits and was gifted with a “To-Do” notebook, which I’m actually learning to use advantageously. Either I’m getting old and keeping lists in my head just doesn’t work like it used to, or your advice is super helpful. Let’s hope it’s the latter. 😉

    • Thank you! Haha and don’t worry, sometimes I’m not too prepared. Like right now I’m totally NOT cramming for all my homework *cough cough*

  3. *seconds Jess* advice columnists are the best

  4. I like all your advice! 😉 I always make way too many mistakes, and have to switch to a chunky eraser. What’s your opinion on mechanical pencils?

  5. Thanks for writing this! Pretty helpful!