As the school year approaches, helpful tips are always useful to get you ready for yet another ten months of grueling mind labor. No worries, though! God—and this list—are ready to assist you through the last few precious weeks of summer.
1. Pray. Before you embark on this great adventure, take time to ask for help. Preparing for school can be stressful and extremely exhausting—and God is here when you need Him (which is all the time). “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
2. Plan ahead. One way to make things harder on yourself is to wait until the last minute. Procrastinating will only leave you with left over school supplies and backpacks that no one else wanted. Also, making “to do” lists will help you stay focused and organized.
3. Take inventory. Go through your leftover supplies from last year and see what you still need to buy. Clothes are also an important element. As in step 2, you want to make sure you plan ahead; in February you don’t want to be out shopping for a sweatshirt when bathing suits are just coming out.
4. Sell stuff you don’t need. The Internet and yard sales are great places to sell old school supplies that you don’t need, but are still in pretty good shape. Selling your used stuff is also beneficial because you earn money to buy new stuff. Even if you can’t find a buyer, consignment shops will give you money for lightly used items. Things can also be donated to thrift stores.
5. Organize. No one wants to come home from school with a workload and find their room impossible to study in! Cleaning and organizing your room BEFORE school starts is smart because you won’t have to add that task to hours of homework. Designate a place for doing schoolwork, and make an effort to keep that spot clean and orderly throughput the school year.
6. Go shopping. In my opinion, early August is the best time to shop for school supplies because there are worthwhile deals that many people have not taken advantage of yet. Even at yard sales you can find good supplies for cheap. This year at a yard sale I found a dusty, yet working binder, for free!
7. Get your brain ready. Instead of kicking off the school year feeling groggy and out of it, why not prepare your brain to take on the mental work? This doesn’t mean giving your brain a really strenuous workout. After doing a few math problems in the shower, reviewing grammar terms while washing dishes, and trying to remember the idioms from your language class, you’ll be ready to go!
8. Read your Bible. We should all read our Bibles as often as we can. For me it seems like summer has flown by, and I’ve had hardly enough time to read much. Especially as we prepare for school, God shouldn’t become second in our lives. Reading our Bibles will help us to stay closer to God not just at the beginning of the school year, but until June and beyond.
9. Get your heart ready. This step kind of coincides with steps 8 and 10. Preparing your heart involves not only getting closer to God, but also getting closer to the heart of God. “And behold a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’” Luke 10:25-28 (NKJ) Loving others is so important that it’s a command. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
10. Pray. Prayer is right up there with reading our Bibles. Both help us grow closer to God. Ask God to prepare your heart and help you to love others like He loves us (John 13:34). Ask Him to give you a pure heart and the right attitude about school. Ask Him to guide you to make right decisions and be respectful to your teachers and others. God answers prayer in great ways. “Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)Did you know that Heather LOVES horses?!
Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Alyssa Dannettel.