Back to School Thoughts + How to Make a Survival Kit

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The time has come… Some people dread it and deny it, while some people flock to office supply stores. I am talking, of course, about school. I know a lot of people in the United States have started school already. While on my road trip, I saw a lot of kids walking home from school in the middle of August. Where I live, we always start school at the beginning of September, and this year, classes begin on the 6th. Although I'm happy to have some time to prepare, I think I would prefer to start a little earlier in exchange for a little bit more vacation time during the school year, anyone else?

So as for those two groups of people, “terrified” and “excited”, I would place myself in the “excited” camp. June 2017 me would be shocked. But it’s exactly the same, predictable cycle that I have gone through since kindergarten. I leave school relieved, exhausted, and wishing I never ever have to go back to that place, and then in 3 short months I am excitedly comparing schedules and setting up notebooks and folders. The only difference is that with each passing year the exhaustion increases and the excitement decreases incrementally.

I’m trying to wallow in this enthusiasm though. Going into my junior year, I want to have as much positive energy as I possibly can. After all, if you moan and groan about how it’s going to be the hardest year (which all of the upperclassmen have unanimously told us), that's exactly the kind of year you're setting yourself up for!

This year I’m mainly excited about my classes and clubs, because I feel like they are starting to align more and more with what my interests truly are. I wanted to share with you some details of my schedule this year...

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Science: I’m taking AP Biology, which is a prerequisite for taking Anatomy and Physiology my senior year! I am also taking Principles of Biomedical Science and Intro to Sports Medicine because of my passion for health! These courses aren’t exactly the kind of holistic medicine I’m interested in but hopefully they will be a good starting point for understanding the body and then doing my own learning in the topics I’m interested in :)

Math: This year I’ve got AP Calc BC which I’m not super pumped about, but after this my options are to either take a university class or take AP Statistics and I’m definitely going with the latter because I’ve heard it’s actually useful for real life.

English: AP Language & Composition - hopefully I’ll get better at writing!

History: Regular Modern US History and AP Microeconomics - Last year I took AP World. The teacher was great and the AP test went well, but I hated the studying... I'm just not a fan of history! :( I'm proud of myself for acknowledging this and taking an easier class this year rather than APUSH, because it will make me happier and give me more time to focus on things I love!

Spanish: I’m taking AP Spanish which I’m very excited about because I really want to become fluent in Spanish and hopefully spend some time either traveling/living or studying in Spain!

Other: Lastly, I’m taking Video 1. Even though I’m super passionate about health I also love creative projects (which is why I love blogging). And making videos is one of my favorite things to do!

As for clubs, I’m going to be co-vice-president of a volunteering club, layout editor for our school newspaper, and I’ll be participating in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).

So with all of this stuff going on I am a little bit worried. But I am also beyond excited, because I feel like I will learn and grow a lot this year. If you are a student, please share your plans for this school year in the comments! I love talking to other people about their classes and stuff, and it will help us all get excited about the new year!

School Survival Kit

As you’re going into school, it really helps to be prepared. School is stressful enough without worrying about losing your only pencil right before a test, or being distracted by your chapped lips all day. I’ve put together this list of essential items to take with you to school. You can keep them in your locker or your backpack - whatever works for you! I share a locker with a few friends and we have a stash of pencils, pens, and erasers there that everyone contributes to and can use when they’ve run out!

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Pencils and Pens

You can’t really go to school without a writing utensil, so don’t go to school without a backup! Sure, you can borrow from friends but then you have to remember to return them and it’s just a hassle. I recommend using a mechanical pencil (I’m a big fan of the Papermate ones), and then keeping a few regular pencils stashed in your backpack or locker for emergencies.

Feminine Products

Periods don’t always come when expected, so be prepared AT ALL TIMES. If you run out, make a note in your planner to refill ASAP, because we all know those “mental notes” aren’t super reliable.

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Bobby Pins and Hair Ties

If you have medium/long hair you'll need these at some point: to put your hair up in gym class, to keep it from blowing around in the wind if you have to go outside, or to keep it from getting scorched in the Bunsen burner in chemistry class… I have a little pouch for hair ties and bobby pins so that they don’t get scattered around the bottom of my backpack.

Extra Clothes

Hey, spills happen, so keep a t-shirt and some leggings or shorts in your locker. It won’t take up much space and it’s so worth it.

Water

I know I said you can keep this stuff in your locker or backpack, but keeping your water bottle in your locker is a no-no! (Unless your teacher doesn’t allow it). You need to be sipping water all day long, and the only way that’s going to happen is if you keep it by you all day long. Here are some more tips for drinking more water.

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Glasses

If you wear glasses, keep an extra pair. If you wear contacts, still keep a pair in your locker because those suckers can fall out! In middle school a guy broke his glasses completely (the arms came off and they broke down the middle) so he had to duct tape the two lenses together and hold them in front of his eyes for the whole day.

Floss

You should be doing this 2 times a day anyways ;) but it’s also perfect for getting food out of your teeth, SO much easier than toothpicks.

Lip Balm

On those cold, dry winter days, chapped lips can be unbearable, and you can’t exactly borrow from a friend (although one time a super kind friend just gave me one of her new lip balms when I was desperate). Make sure you find a good brand, or better yet, make your own!

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Snacks

It is very very hard for me to get to lunch without having a snack. I always bring a lunch box and pack some extra snacks, like nuts or grapes - foods that aren’t messy, distracting, and don’t require utensils. You might want to check out this post I wrote about road trip snacks!

Essential Oils

I’ve been seriously getting interested in essential oils lately. I just picked up The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy from the library and have ordered a starter set online. You can use different blends of essential oils at school to calm yourself or to get pumped up for a presentation. You can buy inhalers or roll-ons  that make it easy to use oils on the go. There is also this cool brand called MONQ that makes personal essential oil diffusers. I can't recommend them because I haven't tried them and also, they look a bit like e-cigarettes, so maybe don’t risk it if you are a high school student ;)

Loose Leaf Paper

This is a cheap thing to have and also very useful. Some people opt for loose leaf instead of notebooks, so if they run out, they have nothing to write on! If you are a notebook person you might fill up your notebook unexpectedly. Or maybe your teacher wants you to write something on loose leaf and you don’t want to waste time tearing out of your notebook and then removing the curlies. Just keep a folder of paper!

What else do you keep on hand for when you are at school or at work? Also, if you're a student, please share your classes/clubs, I always love hearing about that!

Have a great Thursday :)
Beatrice