Cassie Gibbs

School has started once again, meaning earlier mornings, homework, backpacks and more.

Some may not be a fan of the first days of school, but I love the start of the school year. There’s a feeling in the air.

It’s a feeling of new beginnings or the beginning of the end for some. I’m looking at you, seniors.

The new beginnings could be the start of new, maybe more difficult classes, the meeting of new students or even just showing off a new wardrobe.

It can also be the start of a new set of habits to make this school year an even greater success.

Now, I don’t have children in school myself, but looking back at my own high school and college education, I wish I had developed better habits, so I encourage each student and parent to think about starting some new ones this year.

For this piece, I’m just going to talk about some general habits that might make anyone’s life better or easier, no matter what age you are or grade you are in.

Now, simple things can help with studying during the school year. For example, the University of South Florida’s College of Education website says setting up a study schedule, taking a break every now and then, and rewarding yourself can help improve your study skills.

The USF website also says that taking good notes while in class, using flash cards or creating rhymes may improve your memory. Who doesn’t love a good flash card?

Parents, there are also ways you can help your child start the school year on the right foot. PBS.org suggests that parents should help their student with homework.

Don’t do the homework for them, obviously, but just help them when they hit a difficult part in their assignments.

Even if you don’t make changes in doing homework or studying, though you probably should, both parents and students could always benefit from a good night’s sleep.

A Harvard Healthy Sleep article says that without enough sleep, a person can seem to lose what they have previously learned.

“When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information,” the article says. “Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.”

So, when it comes to a big test or quiz, being able to remember what you’ve learned is important. That’s just one reason why rest is best.

Of course, these are just a few suggestions of healthy habits to think about starting this new school year. Online research can lead to tons more, with a few that might seem even more interesting to start.

It’s never too late to start new, healthy habits to make this school year a success. If you start now, you never know. It might make your life easier and slightly less stressful in the end.

Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at cgibbs@southeastsun.com.

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