5 things YOU can do to prep for a better school year!
#Parents and #teens listen up! The commercials have been out since July and the sales are ongoing, which means … it’s #back-to-school time! You can just hear the moans and groans. Here is a quick list of things you can do not only for yourself but for others to ensure a fantastic school year.
1. Do unto others: You hear this all of the time, but how many of you actually follow it? It’s not as hard as you may think. In your #school, just like in every other school out there, there are kids that are treated differently. They are treated differently based on many factors: how they look, act, dress, who they hang out with, what their parents do, where they live, how popular they are, etc. And sometimes they are treated different just because. Usually the just-because reason is due to someone believing they have to be #mean and put others down in order to feel good about themselves. You may have been treated poorly at one time or another or perhaps you have always had an easy time making #friends and having fun at school. Either way, you affect people. The looks you give, the words you say—it all affects people. You are old enough to take #responsibility for your actions. Our advice is to only exhibit #positive actions and then you don’t have to be concerned with much of anything else.
Side note: If you are more concerned with your appearance and reputation than you are with treating people nicely, you will always be striving to be something you are not. Don’t act a certain way to please those around you; if you have to do that to be accepted, chances are you never will be.
2.Create your own #goals: Sure, your parents may have goals for you for this year, such as getting certain #grades or trying out for certain #teams. But what are your goals? You are more likely to achieve your goals if they are small and attainable (within reach). You also are more likely to feel accomplished and #happy if your goals are achieved. If your own goals clash with those that your parents have set for you, it may be time to have a conversation with them. Most parents would love to see some #ambition and #motivation from their #children and they will want to help you achieve your own goals. Some examples of good goals to set: Create a work schedule that is easy to follow and use; sign up for 3 after school activities; meet at least 5 new people; maintain a B average through the entire first quarter/semester; or get up and dressed in the morning without mom/dad having to wake you, to name a few.
3. Don’t let the pressure build up: We work with so many kids that put unnecessary #pressure on themselves to be the best at everything, not including the pressure they already feel from #friends, parents, #educators, etc. This is unrealistic and can lead to many serious issues. It is so great to have goals, as we discussed earlier, but as a rule of thumb start with 5 reachable goals and walk away. If you continue piling up things you need to do and how well you must do them you will start to spin in circles. The number one cause of #anxiety that we see within our practice from September to May is #fear of #failure with relation to school. And do you know what happens to those teens that seek to #overachieve? Grades fall, #attention goes out the window and their stress level goes through the roof. Not exactly a pretty picture is it? If you start to feel pressure early on in the school year have a friend, parent, sibling, teacher, professional (anyone!) help you figure out what you are most worried about and how to work on it. Don’t try to do this on your own, ask for help. If you attempt to figure it out on your own all you are doing is giving yourself one more thing to do that frankly you may not be able to handle. Never be ashamed to ask for help OR to say “I need to slow down.” Pressure gets to everyone at some point or another, you are not alone!
4. Be Yourself: You know what the best part of the 80’s were? It wasn’t the neon clothing, synthesizing music or the Rubik’s cube. It was that you could wear anything, say anything, be anything and have it be cool. You didn’t care about what everyone else was doing, you had style. This is one of the best ways to keep yourself happy. Create your own #image of who you want to be. Dressing a little crazier than those around you? No big deal. Sticking up for yourself and others, speaking your mind? If you feel it go with it. Rockin’ purple hair? Own it! (And parents, some words of advice: Choose your battles carefully. Purple hair dye that washes out or fades eventually really isn’t that bad especially when compared to what else is out there!) #Confidence is one of the most beautiful things a person can exhibit. The more you love and accept yourself the more others will BUT more importantly why do we care what others think? Be you, be happy.
5. Make good choices: Believe it when we say you have plenty of time to make adult-like decisions once you are an adult. Enjoy being a #teen. Have fun with your friends, be safe, take advantage of your #education. If you have to hesitate, even for a moment about whether a decision will be good or bad chances are you are hesitating for a very important reason. Trust your gut and listen to that smart voice inside your head. It is true that sometimes that voice may sound like #mom and #dad (it does that for a reason) but the decisions are all yours to make. Once a decision is made it is usually impossible to take it back. No amount of crying, lying, begging or blaming will save you. And parents, your teens will make plenty of bad decisions. Don’t bail them out or make excuses for them, help them learn from it and better themselves.
Here is to a great 2014-2015 school year! May the odds be ever in your favor…