Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Back-to-school mental health and deskspace tips

Start the school year off on the right foot with these mental health and organizational tips.
Licensed by Creative Commons

It is no secret that the start of the school year, regardless of what grade you are entering, is a stressful time for all. Starting up new classes, receiving homework, and having an abundance of clubs to learn about and join after having nothing to do over the summer; it is understandable to be overwhelmed in areas such as mental health and organization. 

However, if you are able to establish little habits early on in the year, it will make those bigger challenges that much easier as the year moves along. And, don’t worry! These tips for a fool-proof school year will take one more thing off your to-do list. 

Establish a routine

It may be a clichè tip, but it makes all the difference if you stick to a set schedule and teach yourself discipline. It can be as simple as writing a to-do list every morning on a Post-it or Google Document to complete when you get home or as big as purchasing a daily planner to fill out at the start of every week and update as the day goes on. 

The one aspect that must be followed with the to-do list is to be specific. If you simply write “clean room” on the list, it will not have any effect on your daily routine and will eventually be abandoned in the long run. Writing “pick up all dirty laundry and fold clean clothes” will have a much bigger effect on your self-discipline since there is a clear-cut goal to achieve.

As the days move along, try adding a little more to your list each day until eventually you have built up your self-discipline and are able to get through a night’s worth of homework and studying after soccer practice, no sweat. 

Base-1-2 Rule

The most challenging aspect of being in school is trying to balance your academics and mental health to avoid falling behind or burning out. It is certainly not easy, but it can be made easier with the Base-1-2 rule. 

This rule consists of doing your “base” work, or what must be completed for the next day, then one extra academic piece, such as studying for a test or working on a project for 15 minutes; after the academic parts have been completed, it is to be balanced out with two mental health exercises. 

It can be as big as journaling for 10 minutes and meditating or as simple as laying in bed with your headphones on, playing your favorite songs while breathing in and out. These amounts may be adjusted to personal needs, like Base-3-1 or Base-1-3, depending on the day you had. 


Another rule that may have caused an eye roll; however, as simple as it seems, listing your daily work in order from most to least important can take an incredible toll on your mind. It also allows you to make better judgment calls; if you are too tired to complete all your work for the night, simply get through the big tasks and all the other smaller tasks will fall into place tomorrow. 

Establish a study space 

Your mind often associates certain places with certain activities and motions. This is part of the reason why you might find yourself focusing better in school compared to your room. This is also why it is so important to establish a workspace somewhere such as a desk or table instead of doing your work on your bed or couch where your mind associates that space with sleeping or simply hanging out. 

All these tips can lead to a successful school year; however, it is important to remember that these may not work for everyone and it is important to adjust or find tips that work for you and your life. Best of luck for the upcoming school year!

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About the Contributor
Rily Alexander, Life & Style Editor
Hills junior Rily Alexander is excited to be a part of the Trailblazer for another year. She joined the publication her freshman year as a staff writer and edited for the Arts & Entertainment section her sophomore year. This year, Alexander is looking forward to covering trending topics for the Life & Style section alongside Sammy Lazar. Fun fact: Alexander enjoys learning new skills and is currently learning American Sign Language.

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