It seems that every year, we soak up summer after Minnesota’s long winters, and before you know it, it’s back to school. Here are some tips to start the school year strong:

1. Stick to a routine

Habits are behaviors wired so deeply in our brains that we perform them automatically. MIT neuroscientists have found that a small region in our brain’s prefrontal cortex called basal ganglia plays a key role in our habit-making. Choose a routine, and stick with it; it is said you have to do something for 21 days to form that behavior into a habit.

2. Get a good night’s sleep

Routine building is not possible without a good night’s sleep. Not only is it important to be rested while learning, but you should know that it’s equally important to get a good night’s sleep the night after a long day of learning (or habit-making). Studies show that when we sleep, our brains re-process and consolidate what happened the previous day. Sleep plays an indispensable role in learning.

3. Do not multi-task

In our increasingly connected world, distractions are everywhere. Prepare for study time by minimizing distractions; some things to try:

  • Put your phone on silent and place it at the other end of the room
  • Request privacy from family and friends; maybe even try studying at the same time every day so it becomes known as your study time
  • If you are tempted to engage in a distraction such as turning on Netflix, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until the urge passes.

4. Try out a new study spot

A clean, quiet space to buckle down in and study is important, but it’s also important to change up your study spot! It is proven that varying your environment while learning helps you retain knowledge and keeps you inspired.

5. Set realistic goals

Identify things you want to achieve this school year. Ask yourself questions like: Is this goal realistic? What do I need to do to achieve my goal?

Most importantly…

6. Maintain a healthy balance

Get in the practice of evaluating your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Talk to teachers, counselors, and other mentors and maximize the resources your school makes available to you for wellness. Try attending a #Stigma180 event or check out our resources that can H.E.L.P.


Click here for a few back-to-school reminders (supply lists, how to sync your school’s calendar with your personal calendar, etc.).