For students, the first day back to school is very similar to New Years for adults: it’s seen as a time to make significant personal changes. While for adults, the year is based around the calendar, for us students, it’s based far more on school.
Therefore, for us, it makes far more sense to apply things like self-improvement tips to the academic year rather than the calendar year, even if you study online these tips will be beneficial for you.
If you’re like me, then every year you decide the same thing: this year will be different. But, every year, things end up about the same.
So how do you make a lasting change? It’s not easy, and it will take a lot of willpower, but it’s possible.
For starters, have your ideas gathered about what you want to change. Is it something more internal, like maybe your study habits or your motivation, or is it something more external, like the way you dress or the way you act around other people?
External: Changing how others see you
If you aren’t too fond of the way you’ve come across to other people in your past few years at school, you might want to change the way you act to improve your image. Coming back from summer is a great time to do that because your fellow students have had 2 1/2 months away from you, which is enough time to allow a change in a person.
For starters, your appearance can make a difference in how someone perceives a change in you. You know how you came back from summer and noticed that one grungy kid suddenly cleaned up, and he looks great now? Everybody remembers you as you were the last time they saw you, so if you appear the same way, naturally they will assume you haven’t changed.
But if you change your appearance in a noticeable way, that already implies some differences. Think if there are any ways to change your appearance for the better: perhaps a new hairstyle, a nice new wardrobe, better hygiene, etc. You should only change what you want to change of course, but the more noticeable it is, this more this can help you, I’ve noticed.
Improving your appearance is all good and well, but it will only get you so far if you don’t improve what kind of person you are to other people. Of course, if you are content with who you are to other people, ignore this. But if you aren’t entirely pleased, maybe it’s time to think of what you would like to change and how to change it.
For example, if you’re a quiet person and you’re tired of it, you know that you’ll have to get used to talking to more people. If you feel like you’re a jerk to people, you see that you need to think before you speak.
Remember, this takes effort. Improving your appearance is relatively easy, but this will be hard. You have to make a constant and conscious effort to do what you know you need to do. Just saying you will is not enough. You need to force whatever change you want to make consistently.
If you combine the two, you’ll be surprised at how much difference people can notice in you. And, when you realize things are working, it gives you a confidence boost that makes it easier to keep on going. Just getting that first help is the hard part. Put in the effort if you want to get anywhere.
Internal: Improving yourself
Developing yourself takes a lot of work too. Much like with visible improvements, you need to gather your thoughts and decide what you want to change and how you would like to change. Maybe you would like to devote more time to school. Perhaps you want to try and get more sleep this year.
To make an internal improvement, you need to have a plan, and you need to implement it immediately. If you decide you want to focus more on schoolwork, don’t plan on doing it later: do it the first day back. Prioritize yourself and don’t allow yourself to become distracted. Put away any temptations that might keep you from your goal.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of your goal, don’t ever drop it. Not even for a day. For example, if you’re trying to be more organized, don’t decide that it will be okay to put something away sloppily. That sets up a precedent for you, making it a lot easier to do the same thing next time.
Change is hard
Real change doesn’t come easy. If you want to try to improve yourself this upcoming school year drastically, it’s going to take a lot of effort.
The best advice I can give is to try to have an idea what has worked for you, what hasn’t, and what you would like. I applied this to the organization already, but truth be told it works for everything: decide how you want to improve and commit to it.
It can be your best school year yet if you let it be!