It’s “back to school” time, so let’s get excited! Also, time to start planning ahead so that you can appr oach the new school year reasonably stress-free. You have probably seen a couple of “back to school” articles trending on social media or at least heard a couple of ads on the radio. You might even have considered using some of the hacks, tips, or “techniques to guarantee a successful school semester” reported therein.
My contribution to the topic will not offer any new hacks, but I will list and review for you some of the popular ones I’ve seen going around this year. I have steadfastly avoided coming up with original ideas by using the excuse of there already being a barrage of ideas online. And I’m nominating myself as the right authority to sieve through the “school hack” pool.
- Gummy bear hack
I mean, to each their own. It might work for some people. Or it might also distract you from taking in the meaning of what you’re reading. I’ve tried it and found my focus always shifting towards the closest gummy bear in a sort of helpless exercise in futility.
4/10 points, would not recommend. I did enjoy the gummy bears though.
- Flashcards substitute
I’m not one to tell you that you need to have your arithmetic basics memorised and instilled in your brain the traditional way; that’s not my problem with this up here situation. If twisty cups are helpful, then make me a crown of twisty cups to wear so that I’m forever made to bear the subject of my repentance as a physical manifestation on my head.
On the other hand I can’t see this method helping a child comprehend or understand the basics of addition and subtraction.
1/10, fingers are more helpful
- Establish a weekly planner
Well, it’s always helpful to know what’s ahead of the day. At the very least, have some sort of a rough schedule so that you know which assignments you need to start stressing about. Keep track of what you need to be doing. And keep track of what you need not be panicking about… yet. Are you sure you can adhere to your plan though?
8/10, solid idea. Additional points for execution
- Prepare your uniform/ outfit or backpack ahead of the day
If you’re like me, you might set an alarm for a concrete hour, only to find that the joke’s on you, your phone’s ain’t the boss of you and it turns out that you had a mini power-nap for another 10 minutes. In this scenario it’s always helpful to be one step ahead of yourself and have your clothes/ uniform and bag ready just to save yourself another 10 minutes of running around, half-asleep on your feet.
9/10, always helpful if you indeed have the energy to prepare for the morning ahead
- Bag-packing station
Look… listen. A bag-packing station is on another level. It’s basically a separate shelf or mini-locker where you can unload all your textbooks at the end of the day. It will make it easier to pack your bag if you have all your school stuff in one place. But it is my opinion that you need a special kind of maintain this level of order. That is a lot of commitment to being prepared and organized. Some of us are not there yet, and that’s okay. Having said that, you or your kid might be exactly the right audience for this hack.
7/10, only for the brave
- Erase highlighter marks with lemon juice
I have recently just discovered this above school hack, and it is most helpful in several ways:
A of all, if you are a uni student, you can most definitely re-sell your textbooks for a higher price if your textbook is not riddled with highlighter marks.
B of all, if you are a parent of a high school or primary school child, the same will probably be true for your offspring’s textbooks.
8/10 for thriftiness
- Apps to stop you from procrastinating
There are apps that can block you from accessing the common social media websites that enable your or your child’s procrastinating habits. Some of these apps include: keepmeout.com; Zero Willpower on iOS; ClearLock on Android. Whether you have enough willpower to install and use them, however, is your call. I wouldn’t recommend using them to restrict your children unless it’s their choice.
6/10 you will always find an alternative procrastination method if your heart is truly in it
- Water to make you energised
If you have slept the regular amount of hours during the night (8h if you’re a child or teen/ at least 6h if you’re an adult), and yet you still feel tired when you wake up, chances are that you’re dehydrated. Try drinking a cup of water with your breakfast.
7/10, some people can’t stand the taste of unflavored water, but still worth the sacrifice
- Devise an imagination tent
As far as I can see, this hack is a purely consumerist market-driven attempt at inviting students to extend their creative faculties outside of the immediate and traditional desk outlets. And by this I mean that your kids or you can be creative anywhere and don’t need a special tent for it.
2/10, everyone knows that you’re your most creative self in the shower
- The shared Google Doc.
This one requires a bit of group effort. It’s also my favourite one and I swear by it. At the start of the semester, have a class meeting and set up a Google document to share with the rest of the class. Let everyone in your class have access to edit the document and together, throughout the semester, compile all your notes in this document.