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10 Ways to #LevelUp This School Year

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Ciara’s hit song “Level Up” inspires me to become stronger, better, and smarter in the game of life. School is around the corner and if you want to make an effort to transform your academic year from lame to lit, follow these steps that helped me defend against school’s hardships and level up my character to form my best school year yet.
 

1.  Purchase Cute Supplies

You can’t avoid the reality of school approaching but finding cute and colorful supplies can calm your nerves. If you buy appealing items for your backpack, you'll be more eager to use them. Instead of purchasing boring, standard black pens, search for interesting variations with black, scarlet, sunshine yellow, and magenta casings.  Skip all white binders, diversify, and select colors and designs that excite you. Daily, you sluggishly drag yourself to school. So the least you could do is find some motivation to go. 
 

2. Dress to Impress 

Every day, arrive ready to slay. Even with strict uniforms, you can express your true self. There is nothing that screams personality more than accessories and jewelry. After all, author Karen Erickson mentions that “whenever a woman accessorizes, she puts her own point of view on a look.” Establishing your signature style boosts your confidence and levels up your sense of identity.  
 

3. School Picture Day

Picture day is by far one of the most important days of the year. You only get a few minutes to capture how people will remember you for a lifetime. Do you want to be recognized as a fashion fail or a fashion icon? Okay, maybe a fashion icon is overreaching, but you want to look beautiful and unforgettable. Impress yourself with your best face, clothes, and accessories. Whatever brings out the best version of you, do it. 
 

4. Organize, Organize, ORGANIZE


 

Good organizational skills help you flow through the school year with ease. When everything is in its place, you take less time searching; therefore, you can focus on what really needs your attention. Color code your binders, clean out your bookbag and arrange each category of supplies. No matter how you organize, you are guaranteed less stress when you know how to find your belongings.  

 

5. Better student, smarter student 

Let’s get real... class can be boring. We’ve all been there. However, regardless of your teacher’s tiring lecture and monotone voice, you control what you absorb from class. Take notes (preferably handwritten; according to a Psychological Science’s recent study, handwriting notes boosts memory), ask questions, and participate by adding to discussions. When you are more involved, you remember more, better preparing you for upcoming assessments. Additionally, engagement alerts your teacher. That’s brownie points! 
 

6. No Procrastination

Everyone has heard of this rule, but I can’t stress the discomfort procrastination generates. Procrastination burdens you mentally and physically, resulting in bad health. Don’t pile up your workload—it’ll only get bigger. There is no such thing as “I’ll do it later.” “I’ll do it later” means “I won’t do it at all.” or “I’ll do it five minutes before it’s due.” When you get an assignment, do it the day you receive it. To avoid procrastination, make a checklist each day, writing all the assignments you need to complete. It’ll help you plan and prioritize. 
 

7. Be Involved with Sports or Clubs


School sports brings you and other classmates together, so join a team, attend a game, or find a club. Clubs and sports help you identify your passion and relax your mind. With every club or team, you represent your school. Supporting your school/university is the best way to be involved, and possibly indulge yourself in something new. 
 

8. DE-stress


There will be a time when schoolwork does pile up. It's a normal stage, but you can’t let it shake you up. Take a break from school and relax your mind, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Try something like meditation or yoga, which calms your brain. I guarantee you’ll come back to your school work refreshed and ready to go.
 

9.  New people = New memories


School can be a stressful environment, and you can’t get through it by yourself. Find people that share your values and make you happy. With friends, you create unforgettable memories that ultimately make school fun. You might not look forward to the lessons, but at least you see the people who level up your experience. 
 

10. School Isn’t Just Grades

Yes, school is for education; however, don’t let your grades overlook the importance of learning, not memorizing for the next grade level. Memorization is a part of education, but it’s not all of it. Straight A's are dope, but they should not drive your learning. Go to class expecting to learn something new, and the good grades will come. 
SOUL REPORTER | Shelby Wingate is a rising senior at Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Georgia. The extremely competitive athlete plays basketball and runs track for her school. While she does love sports, Shelby uses her competitive nature to excel in academics and will apply that same drive when she attends college to major in Journalism or Communications and minor in French.