We all know there's lots of little back-to-school tip lists going around right now, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that five little tips like "buy what you need!" and "be positive" don't actually help. So here's 10 actually helpful back-to-school tips. (I'm planning on doing more of these so make sure you follow me!)

1. Really clean your room

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Cleaning your room isn't just putting things in place. Before school starts take half a day (or a full day, if your room is a mess) to deep-clean your room. This means:

1. Start by decluttering. Throw everything away that you don't need anymore, or didn't use for years, everything that is broken or that holds bad memories. Don't forget things that hang on the walls.
2. More decluttering! This time, take everything you don't need, let's say every month, and put it some storage space outside of your room. A good way to do this is to put all the things in boxes. Don't forget to cover the boxes so nothing gets dusty!
3. After the first two steps you will see that your room is now a lot emptier. Now start dusting your room, cleaning your windows, etc.
4. The last step is what most people define as cleaning your room: Putting stuff somewhere. Make sure everything you need for studying is near your study space (aka desk). Your study space has to be the cleanest of all places in your room.
5. Don't forget to declutter and reorganize your closet. It's autumn, so put these summer dresses somewhere else and make the cold-weather clothing more accessible. Also - again - throw everything out that you don't need anymore, or at least put it somewhere else.

But why clean your room? First of all, because you have to do it anways. Second of all, it will make you feel a lot cleaner, which helps to concentrate - and that's what you need for studying or doing homework.

Don't forget to regurarily clean your room. I recommened one minute everyday, and then 5-10 minutes every weekend. If you do that, your room will always be clean and you won't have to invest a whole day again.

2. Get ready for school

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Buy a backpack, or if you have one, wash it. Get yourself a nice pencil case and make sure you have everything you need for school. Don't go overboard! The more you put into your pencil case, the more you need to carry everyday. Try to limit that daily weight on your back, because it isn't good for you. Buy school books, folders, paper...

One special tip for paper: Buy dotted paper. That's paper you can use for writing and maths, but it's nicer to look at. If you can't find dotted paper in your shops, there's websites where you can download and simply print pdfs with dots on them.

Also make sure you have all the clothing you need. Buy winter jackets and shoes now before it's too laze and you freeze your *** off.

3. Work on your handwriting and note-taking

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You probably don't wanna hear this, but if you don't put actual effort in your handwriting, it's probably bad. Handwriting and your method of note-taking are very important if you're studying with these handwritten notes. So here's a really special tip: Google (or search on whi or tumblr) for the keywords "studyblr" and "bujo". You'll see a lot of beautiful handwriting and notes which you can use for inspirations.

Here's my tip for note-taking: Keep it simple. Try to write most of your text in blue (ink) or black, and use 1-2 accent colors. (One for headings, one for vocabulary, for example.) Many people like to use 5-7 colors and "code" them, but in reality this will only confuse you and make it even more work to read the notes.

I personally also like to write small but with a high line spacing.

4. Use many bullet point lists

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This kind of goes together with the previous tip, but seriously, this has saved my life.

Writing full sentences takes a long time to write and read! So make sure you always write down keywords in bullet point lists if the full sentences aren't important (e.g. quotes, or use of vocabulary). My 30-page notes always consist of only bullet point lists with titles, and i love it. It's easy to find something specific, and a lot easier to remember, especially if you like to memorize things visually.

Bonus tip! Make an account on listography.com, it's a community created just for writing lists. It's not only super fun, but also useful. For example, you can make a list of your current grades, of school work you have to do, etc. And it's online so you can read them on all of your devices without syncing.

5. Use mantras

Inspiring Image on WHI

Mantra (noun): a mystical formula of invocation
... or just something you tell yourself all the time.

Write down your mantras for the school year (you can, for example, put a small sheet of paper in your pencil case), read them regularily, and try to live them out.

Examples: Study more. It's over soon (when it's your last year of school). Your worth is not defined by your grades. Speak up. Do not get involved in drama. etc...

6. No drama

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Everyone hates drama, but most people still get involved. Why? I don't know. Make sure you get involved in as little drama as possible this school year.

Drama fighting mostly doesn't solve any problems, so if it's about something that needs to be solved, try to be grown-up about it and just talk to people - You'll find this is a lot easier.

But if it's just pointless rudeness, just ignore it. Even if someone attacks your friends - you don't have to defend them. If they really are your friends they will understand your wish to not be involved. Just make sure your 'side' of the argument (if you have one) is known (at least by your friends). Then you don't have to participate in the drama in any other way.

7. Work together

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If you have friends - great! If you don't: Also okay, you don't really need to be friends with someone to work together.

Let's say you have two big exams coming up. You still need to make sure you have everything you need to study for both of them. For that, you need to look through many sheets of paper, folders, books, and emails. Lots of work, huh?

In this case, just work with one other person, and you have half as much work. You prepare everything for one of the exams and give your work to your partner, and your partner does the same.

Simple, really. But try to actually do it. It's really worth it.

8. Prepare your PC and phone

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You use a laptop in school? You don't? Either way, prepare your PC / laptop for school.

This means, firstly, to clean your school-related files. Then, clean your other files and your desktop. Then, get a new wallpaper.

Then prepare your phone. Deinstall apps you don't need, and install helpful apps for school. Most importantly: a todo list app. Get a new wallpaper, again. (Trust me, this feels so good.) Download new music.

And at the start of the school year, make sure you have the phone number of everyone, so you can easily stay in touch!

9. Use your not-free-time

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I travel three hours by train everyday to get to my school. I know this is a lot, but even if you only have just one hour of commute, or if you have free periods inbetween classes: That's time you can use!

Working or studying all day simply isn't possible. If a big exam is coming up, then yes you can use this time to get some extra study time. But otherwise, try to get a break from all the work.

I recommened downloading YouTube videos, tv series, or movies to your phone or laptop (if you have it with you everyday) and watch these in that time, because watching things is an activity you can do everywhere, not just at home, and it takes a lot of time. (So is reading, by the way.) So if you watch that one daily episode of the tv show you love so much while in the bus, then you saved yourself these 40 minutes free time from when you're home, and you can use this time to do something you can't do in the bus, like drawing.

10. Watch your mental health

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We all know school is stressful. My mental health always drops at the start of the school year. But mental health is super important! It is as important, or maybe even more important, than physical health.

If you wouldn't go to school with a broken foot, then don't go to school if you feel miserable. You know it won't do you any good. Just make sure you know what you missed: Ask your friends to write a list of everything that happens on these days where you stay at home.

If you have serious mental health problems, meet a professional. For smaller problems, I recommend meditating, or at least being mindful (you can be mindful everywhere - even in the bus!) If you don't know how, read online tutorials. It's really easy and relaxed you a lot.

What I also found helpful is writing down all your problems in a list and actually working hard on finding solutions. For example, I always felt horrible because I couldn't get my eyebrows right in the mornings when I put makeup on. It ruined my whole day. Then I just went to the hairdressers and got them styled, and now I don't even use makeup anymore, and am happier with my eyebrows than ever. Some problems have simple solutions like that - you just have to stop and think for a second. And lists help with that.

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Part 2!

Just publised part 2: Five more tips! Click the link:
http://weheartit.com/articles/296465552-5-more-actually-helpful-back-to-school-tips

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I will write more lists in the future, so don't forget to follow me (or at least my article collection). See you, and good luck in school!

If you have any ideas of articles I could write, send me a message! <3