Tips to Stay Sane in the Beginning of the School Year


The beginning of the school year can only be compared to being slapped across the face with a slice of burning hot pizza by your best friend. The night starts fine. You and your best friend order some pizza. Maybe get some movies. You’re into your second movie or so, you’re having a pretty great time, but your best friend starts to get a l’il antsy. She starts twitchin’ around over there. You’re like, “Hey, Becky, you okay? What’s wrong with you?” You look down into the pizza box and there’s one slice left. You’re feeling pretty generous, so you say, “Oh, are you freaking out because of the pizza? You can have the last slice.” Becky gets this gleam in her eye that you’ve never seen before, and a smirk rolls across her face. “Um, Becky?” You say quietly, leaning in closer. “What’s going on?” Becky slowly pulls the pizza out of the box, then, quick as a flash, BAM. She slaps you right across the face.

Alright so, first of all, your BEST FRIEND just slapped you. Chalk down “betrayal” as an emotion that you feel. Secondly, imagine how the roof of your mouth feels when you go ham on a slice of way too hot pizza. Now imagine that feeling on your face. Second emotion you feel: “pain.” Then, your dog runs down the stairs and starts eating all of the pizza bits that have been splattered across the wall and floor, and you remember that the last time your dog ate pizza, he yaked everywhere and you had to clean it up. Third emotion, then: “stress.”

The beginning of the school year is a lot like that.

Summer is amazing. Once it starts coming to an end, you might deal with the feeling of betrayal that the rotation of the planet puts you through in a few different ways. You might just start screaming at random points in the day, glare at the sun (not recommended, as the sun always seems to win staring contests since it can “cause blindness” or whatever), watch all eight Harry Potter movies instead of doing homework, or pull out the dusty box labeled “Time Traveling Machine” that you created when you were five in hopes that maybe, given time, it would start working. Then, you swallow your pride and head out to buy school supplies. This is pretty fun for the first few minutes, but then it dawns on you: school has arrived. And it doesn’t let out until next May.

So how are we expected to survive until then?

The first few days (weeks, in my case) are always tough. As a senior, going into my fourth and toughest year, here are a few tips I’ve developed to survive.

  1. Make your alarm something super obnoxious and wicked loud.

Nothing wakes you up more than “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee at full volume at 5:45 in the morning.

  1. Splurge on a cool mug.

Everyone knows that kid- it’s five minutes into first period, and the usual tardies walk in, with their Starbucks coffee or with a shy grin on their face. They mutter “sorry” to the teacher, then quietly sit in their chairs. Ten more minutes roll by. You can hear faint footsteps in the hallway. They slowly get louder. And then…the door bangs open, and there’s that kid: fifteen minutes late, practically screeches “WASSUP (teacher’s first name).” Clutched in their hand is the source of their power, their unwavering confidence: a mug. Filled with delicious coffee or tea or something that has caffeine in it, “that kid” attracts all the eyes in the classroom.


Breakfast foods are THE BEST. First of all, breakfast is awesome. You basically get to eat dessert foods (looking at you, cinnamon buns), right after you wake up. Secondly, you’ve heard this a million times because it’s true: breakfast fuels you. Freakin’ eat your breakfast kids.

  1. Bring back 90’s surfer boy slang.

Cowabunga, brother. (This will make you feel better, I promise).

  1. If you’re having a bad week, have one dedicated Popsicle day.

ONLY, EXCLUSIVELY, consume popsicles. Constantly. After you finish one popsicle just keep stuffing them into your mouth. In the moment, you’re going to feel awesome. Sugar and ice are the perfect remedy to this hell-like warm time of year. By like, 5-ish, you’re not going to be feeling so great. Instead of thinking “man this week really blows” you’re going to be thinking “man I can’t wait for tomorrow because this death feeling from only eating popsicles today will be gone by then.” Bad week over.

  1. High School Musical.

Freshmen- Please, please, trust me on this. You don’t know the ropes yet, so I’m going to let you in on a secret that the upperclassmen use to weed out the freshmen who are “lame” and “can’t hang.” If you’re in the middle of a math test that you’re stressed out about, just start singing at the top of your lungs. Everybody does it.

School is rough. Let’s get through it together.

(Obviously Ali has PTSD from the first two weeks of school and cannot number her ways to survive these weeks)