Small Goals for This Year | Back to School

On Tuesday, at 11 o’clock, I’m going back to school. I’m officially starting year 13 – the second year of A-Levels – and I couldn’t be more shit scared. Why? Because I can’t let this year be like last year.

I’ll set the scene of what might happen: me, in a boring outfit, frantically attempting to find what will probably be my new form room. When people speak to me, I’ll be either shriekingly hyper or monosyllabic. Then, I’ll sit like a zombie for 3 hours whilst the obligatory start-of-year notices, admin and people complaining about how much they don’t want to start lessons go on. If I get little sleep the night before, I’ll be dead tired as usual. There’s apparently a barbecue for years 12 and 13 after school ends that first day and if I do end up going, I’ll be actually socialising for the first time in weeks. When I go home, I sincerely doubt I’ll do much apart from freak out about how much work I haven’t done.

No. Fuck that. That was how last year started and I won’t let this year start that way: there’re too many important things going on for me to let that happen. Take, for example, university applications, positive mindsets, looking after my mental health: I can’t let myself retreat back into that pit of numbness that has been my thought process since last October. If I do then bye-bye, good grades!

Last year, I made a big list of pretty admirable goals. Unfortunately, because I’m unmotivated and a month after school started my mental health crashed, I completed none of them. I know it wasn’t my fault but I let that severely affect me. This time, I won’t make that mistake: here are some tiny goals for first few days of school. If I complete them, great; if I don’t then it’s no big deal because I still have a lot of time to try.

When I get back from school the first day or two, I’ll spend 10 minutes away from literally everything to try and calm my mind down. It’s a bit like meditation but I’ll put myself in a place where I have nothing to distract me because sometimes, when I got home from school, I’d be so unhappy and tired that I’d do no work. Hopefully, after I’ve done that, I’ll feel a bit more relaxed, enough to do something with the rest of my day.

I want to read every single night. Whether that be a tiny bit of my book or some blogs, I need to make my brain more active rather than slipping into exhaustion. Ugh, it’s going to be difficult but I love reading so it should make me happy? I bloody well hope so! I already started two nights ago so it should make me more dedicated.

Oh yeah: I need to work on improving my mindset. After a panic attack I had on Results Day because of emotions I’d experienced the day before, I’ve agreed to speak to my old Head of Year to try and sort stuff out. If I forget, I’ll look back on this post because I need to get that done quickly. I really don’t want people to have to see me terrified out of my mind in school like that again.

Before school, in the first few days, I might go and sit by myself for a bit so that I don’t jump straight into talking to people. Because I often miss out mentally preparing myself for the day I can get snappish and internally very very exhausted. I was told by some wise person or other that if you start your day off well, it’s more likely you’ll feel good in the rest of it. Yayy positivity! (Can you tell I didn’t get much sleep last night?)

Blogging. I need to get better at that but in a more relaxed way. At the weekend after school begins, I’ll write some blog posts: part of my reading will be blog posts from other people. Only then will I allow myself to go on social media because it can often serve as a huge distraction for me as well. It’s all about dividing up my time with the things I love vs. what I have to do but not so rigidly that I get stressed when I deviate. I love blogging with everything I have but I won’t let it turn into a chore: you guys have helped me so much that I know not to get stressed about it any more.

If I think that this year will go as badly as the last with many internal breakdowns and terrified evenings where I did nothing, it will be. I need to approach this with a positive thought rather than the idea of everything being doomed. I’ve always been a worst case scenario thinker but if I start to change that in a little way now, maybe that can transfer to it being the case in all parts of my life. It’ll take time but I’ll be on this blog every step of the way. I may be scared constantly but I can turn that fear around into something positive.

I forgot just how much writing my unplanned thoughts out helps. When I started this post, I had the vaguest idea of what I wanted to write down but it only formulated into small goals as I was typing. It’s funny how much connecting yourself to the best parts of your life can make you the happiest.

If you’re stressed about starting school, honestly take it one day at a time. Don’t think too far ahead into the future right now because it can make you even more panicked. Also, remember that things are going to improve. This year isn’t going to be easy because of all the things that may happen but you know what? I can manage. I will get through it and I won’t just do that: I’ll succeed and be happy.

If you’ve started school already, how’s it going? If you haven’t, how’re you feeling about starting again?

From Elm πŸ™‚

60 thoughts on “Small Goals for This Year | Back to School

  1. Hope you get to achieve those goals this year, I’m pretty sure you will. I, personally wanna have less distractions and focus more, I also wanna blog more since I think I have more than enough time to post 2 or 3 times a week. Let’s see.
    I’m actually excited and really nervous at the same time about school. This is probably my last year with my teacher crush; if it is, then I’m happy to have him one more year – if it isn’t, then I’ll cry for ages until I get to the idea of losing him. School starts in 10 DAYS for me and I don’t know whether to scream or chop my head off, hehe
    Great post! Again, good luck, you’ll do very well, I’m sure!! πŸ™‚

  2. Well start of a school year is always difficult. I started my blog just this year at the onset of my most important year – year 10 and it’s hectic but sure I’m handling things one step at a time and trying not to let worry and tension get too close to me. Well the year is going pretty well. Much better than I expected. I hope your new start gets you all where you want to be and you accomplish all your goals and plans effectively. Best wishes Elm!!

    • Thanks so so much!! πŸ™‚ I’m glad this year is going welb, how long have you been back at school? It’s great to hear that you’re not stressing too much xx

      • Well it’s been just a couple of months and the work is just perpetual with all responsibilities rolling out of the sky and some days I’m just sinking beneath all of it. But then there are days I’ve conquered my peaks. I’m sure you’ll do well. It always seems impossible before it’s done. I bunked the first day of the start because I was going insane with everything about to start.

  3. Hey Elm! Haven’t spoken to you in a while I hope you’re doing okay. No year is the same (thank God for that) so there will always be improvements and better days, year 12 was horrible I HATED it, however year 13 was better and sometimes the best way to face certain situations (especially ones out of your control) is adopting a different attitude which is what you’ve mentioned in your post. Goal setting is always a great idea and I’m definitely doing one for when I start my first year at university. What uni are you thinking of going to? Please contact me if you ever want to talk about year 13 & uni. All the best with your new school year, you’re hardworking and have amazing potential so you’ll definitely be great!! xxx

    • Awww Roxy thank you!!! I really needed this πŸ™‚ You’re such a nice person and it’s so reassuring to know that year 13 was better for you. I hope I can be for me too! I’ve missed you a lot ❀ I'm thinking of going to Birmingham or UEA: when are you starting and at which uni? xx

  4. Good luck my lovely! I know year 13 will have it’s challenges but I know that you can get through them, you can succeed and can be happy. I’m always here ❀️

  5. Good luck, Elm! I think these small things will really keep you going! I have test anxiety so I have breakdowns at the start of the school year. Or at least twice every semester. It helps to just cry it out because it helps me release all the stress πŸ™‚ hope that helps! Handling the things to be done each day also helps. I list down things to accomplish on the first day then cross them out once done. It helps me feel reassured that I’m accomplishing something. You got this, Elm! I have faith in you ❀️ If you need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to message me πŸ™‚

    Also, I started school waaaay back! Here in my country, we begin school on June. It’s going alright so far πŸ™‚ Just taking it day by day.

    • You’re so lovely; thank you!!! Yes, crying can really help. I hope you’re feeling okay; it’s horrible to have breakdowns but as awful as this is, it can be necessary xx

      • No problem! πŸ™‚ I am feeling a whole lot better! Thank you for asking. That’s true about breakdown! πŸ˜›

  6. Hey Elm! Good luck with year 13! I’m just about to go into year 12 in a totally new 6th Form College a good few miles away from home, and I’m terrified! Reading this post really helped though-thank you so much! I hope you are happier this year πŸ™‚ xx

  7. I just started a few weeks ago, I’m a junior which is year 12?? in Europe I think. In America everything you do during this year is what matters for college not your last year, so I definitely get what you’re feeling. I already am having sooooo much homework and it is stressing me out so much, but I haven’t fallen into any bad habits that you talked about yet ( I procrastinated a lot last year). Hopefully we both have good years and good luck with school :).

  8. I’m really impressed that you’re so aware of your mental health and your own limitations. When I was younger, I struggled with depression and severe social anxiety disorder–but I had no idea. I just thought I was weird. I’m sure that if you continue to attend to your mental health, you’ll destroy this year. Good luck !

    • Ohh I really hope so! πŸ™‚ It’s sad to hear that you had such bad experiences when you were younger but it’s good to know that now, you have more clarity on the subject! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support – it means a lot xx

  9. Best of luck with starting school. I’m starting my first year of college in the next few days. I understand how tough school can be especially after being off for the Summer, it can be tough getting used to it. Goal setting is a great idea. Take it slow and you’ll get there. If you a miss a day, that’s okay. The next day is new and you can start over. You’ve got this!

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