After a summer of long sleeps and relaxation, going back to school’s early mornings and go-go-go pace can be a shock, especially for students who seem punctuality-challenged. Fortunately, with planning and practice, being on time is an easy skill to learn.
“If you’re not early, you’re late,” is the best advice to go by. Instead of arriving at school while the bell’s ringing, plan to be in the building fifteen minutes before. Not only will you have time to get ready (or cram for tests), but you’ll have a “buffer zone,” so running late doesn’t have to mean being late for class.
Know how to get to your classes. Plot the quickest route before you even get back to school using a map or by walking it yourself. This is especially important if you’re starting somewhere new. Getting lost wastes time and is quite embarrassing, especially on the first day back to school.
Also, plan what to do between classes, even if it’s only a few minutes. Should you spend your free time studying nearby, or hanging with friends outside until the warning bell? Do you have time for a locker trip or do you need to lug around a few extra textbooks? Make time-wise decisions to be on time.
Always have your school supplies ready to go. Don’t spend all morning searching for your books; pack your backpack the night before. Take a few minutes in the morning to double check that you have everything. Spend some non-rushed time organizing your locker to cut down on time spent digging for that oh-so-important paper. Avoid squander time looking for your things by having everything ready to grab and go.
Make your mornings longer. There are some things you can’t do the night before, so give yourself more time to do them by waking up before your usual time. This may mean going to bed a little earlier (gasp!), but it doesn’t have to be a huge change. Five minutes may be enough extra time avoid the morning panic. Start small and keep turning back the time on your alarm clock until your mornings run at an easy pace.
Set an alarm to get out the door on time, not just to wake up. Use your phone’s alarm at school to give yourself an extra warning a few minutes before class begins too.
Being on time doesn’t have to be difficult. Small changes and a little preparation will mean punctuality, not punishment, when going back to school.