5 things to do this summer to make the back-to-school season less stressful

We've all been in that last-week-before-school struggle where we try to cram *the entirety* of our summer work into just a few hours. It's just so, so, so stressful. That math packet seems to get longer with every turn of a page. You have no idea how to begin that one English essay. And that summer reading book—where did you even put it?

But DW, we've got all the tips to make this week a lot less stressful for you. The secret? Let's take everything step-by-step before the summer ends.

1. Put it all in one place

First, make a list of *everything* you need to get done. Go through your emails, teacher handouts or your school website to get a visual refresher of all your required summer work. Then, write all of it down into your notebook, planner, Notes app or an online resource such as Notion.

Then, considering what else is keeping you occupied as the summer winds down, split up your workload into certain time slots every day. If you follow this plan, you'll be relieved of those long hours of burnout during your last week of summer. Plus, you can even give yourself "days off" to reward your mind for all of the hard work!

@madyplans LOVE a timelapse plan with me! So satisfying ✨ inserts from 8Lotus (code MADY8) #planwithme #planner #agenda #ringagenda #plan #worklife #workfromhome #corporategirlies ♬ Massive - Drake

Feel free to make your summer planner however you like it. Do what works best for you! It doesn't have to be super organized—as long as it is functional and keeps you on track.

2. Explore what you're getting yourself into

You may be going into a new class having absolutely *no* idea what to expect. That, tbh, can be pretty scary. But with all of the books, online videos and resources available to you, you can go into your class feeling confident!

Explore the curriculum your class will be covering. Perhaps check out a library book about the subject you'll be learning, or better yet, if you've already received your textbook, read through sections of it! Consider taking some notes you can look back on later. Trust, this will help you be better prepared for class and tests in the fall. 


YouTube is also a highly helpful study strategy. Oftentimes, being provided with audio and visuals to learn can do a lot more than a page of tiny words on paper. Browse channels that apply to the course you're taking, and believe me, a 10-minute video can teach you *a lot* of info. For example, CrashCourseHeimler's History and Melissa Maribel cover incredibly useful content for their various subjects and are highly recommended by many.

Finally, if you have any questions whatsoever, never be afraid to reach out to your teachers and upperclassmen who might have taken the class before. They might recommend some good study tools or some class "secrets" to get you through the year.

3. Read, read, read!

Read, obviously, your assigned summer reading book—but don't just stop there! Even just reading for fun can boost your knowledge on many different subject areas! Using your outside knowledge can help you with in-class discussions, and diving into that summer read will also ease your mind of any stress going on. Your brain will thank you.


Another pro tip (especially for books you need to read for class) is to annotate! Use sticky notes or highlighters to mark what you're curious about on a page, or write down your own thoughts about the words you've just encountered. This not only makes the book look aesthetic and impressive, but you'll understand what you read on a deeper level.

4. Keep an eye out for stationery sales

Making sure you have all of your supplies *before* that last week is certainly a good move. You really never know if all of your packages will arrive on time. Plus, there are always such ah-mazing sales going on before school starts—the perfect occasion to stock up on that new stationery.


It's definitely a good idea to make a list of everything you need beforehand and watch the prices fluctuate over time so that you can buy it when the best sale finally comes around.

5. Get enough sleep (while you can)

Summer provides us with so many hours to have fun, so appreciate the free time while you have it! You're most likely going to bed out of your own will at the end of a fun day, rather than falling asleep at 2am after studying for that huge exam.


Getting enough sleep while following a consistent routine boosts not only your energy, but your mood and brain functionality as well. You'll be able to tackle *any* schoolwork after a good night's sleep—both during the summer or during the school year!

An amaze tip from GL intern Ava Slocum is to try and wake up at your regular school day's time a few days before school actually starts. This way, you'll be used to that 5, 6 or 7am alarm clock even before you actually *need* to listen to its ringing and get out of bed.

What's keeping you busy this summer? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

We've got the tips to make this upcoming school year the best one yet! Check these out:
📝 4 foolproof note-taking methods you should try this semester
📝 How to *actually* get stuff done when you're tired
📝 5 ways to reduce college application stress

Slider image: @annielongyt
Top image: @jawonee._


by Lucy Ke | 8/1/2023