5 Science- Based Back to School Tips to Start Your Year


Does anyone feel like summer this year wasn’t long enough? As August comes to an end the reality of back to school is hitting home for many. Here at Stargate West we have many residents who are weeks away from hitting the books again this year, and in honour of our student residents, we have dug up 5 science-based back to school tips originally published by personal coach, teacher and musician Ran Zilca, to help them (and you) get through the school year ahead.

Tip #1- Reminisce On Last Year’s Memories

I bet you’re wondering what last year’s memories have to do with a successful school year ahead? According to a study conducted by The State University of New Jersey, reminiscing on positive memories by reliving the good moments and past experiences can help with positive emotions. The Australian Psychology Society further states that focusing on past positive experiences can attribute to present moment positivism. Why not try scrolling through your smart phone pics of last year or reliving a fun time with friends- this will get your mind thinking about the exciting times ahead, instead of the more stressful moments.

Tip #2- Embrace Change as an Opportunity to Grow

Change is inevitable, and the more willing you are to embrace the more likely you are to benefit from it according to author Nassim Talem who writes about the concept of anti-fragility. According to Talem, change is a source of creativity, and challenges are meant for future growth and should be embraced not avoided. When you experience feelings of fear, frustration or confusion when approaching a new situation, a stressful assignment or an awkward social scene just remember the feeling you are experiencing is an opportunity to grow and evolve your life skills.

Tip #3- Get a Handle on Clutter

A cluttered space creates a cluttered mind, that’s why it’s important to stay organized during the school year and not let stacks of supplies clutter your external space, resulting in a cluttered internal mind. A study by the UCLA social sciences division in 2012 found that physical clutter in the home resulted in increased stress hormones in the blood supply. You can probably relate to the experience of having a messy apartment or room and being distracted by the clutter. This year start the semester off with the intention to keep your space organized and clutter free and see how it effects your productivity and mood.

Tip #4- Focus on the Breath

Are you conscious of your breath throughout the day? According to Harvard School of Medicine failing to breathe deeply results in the brain being deprived of oxygen. The brain needs sufficient oxygen supplies in order to manage stress effectively so next time you’re busy studying, socializing or doing errands notice your breath- is it slow and steady or erratic and short? Yoga and meditation are great activities to create breath awareness and reduce stress. The act of simply being mindful of breath can reduce erratic shallow breathing and promote calm and smooth breath.

Tip #5- Create a Future Vision

Using the power of the imagination can help ward off feelings of uncertainty and help prepare you for future events. If you are worried about the details of the future such as where will you eat your lunch and with who, what your classes will be like and what type of workload you can expect then according to a study by the University of California, mentally preparing yourself can help you feel more prepared. Before the semester starts do as much research as you can into the subject outlines, the school grounds, classroom settings and social communities. By engaging with these support tools, networks and real life settings you can create a vision of yourself in your new environment, removing the stress and worry of the unknown.

These five tips will help you begin the school year confident and prepared. If you are yet to find student housing make sure to check us out. Here at Stargate West we offer one, two and three bedroom apartments in a resort-style setting near the University of Arizona and Pima West Community College. We offer a GPA rewards program and a free bus for U of A students. Fill out an application today and let Stargate West be your home away from home this year.