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The West Press

The West Press

The West Press

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How to Start The New School Year Off Right

Returning to school isn’t always fun, but if you put your best foot forward, it could become an experience of a lifetime.

As the students of Lakota West return to school and prepare for another nine long months of tests, projects, and essays, it’s always good to reflect back on the previous year, and things that went well (or not). With a clean slate in front of you, there are numerous ways to improve the year ahead of you! We’ve gathered a list of things to think about and do to help you have the best year possible and create some unforgettable memories along the way.

Tidy Up your Belongings

Oftentimes, students walk into school without the necessary supplies they need to have for their classes. Try and have folders for at least your core classes during the first week, and add on if other classes also require them later in the year. Charge your Chromebook, bring extra pencils, and try to keep a portable charger or something to charge your devices within your locker. We all forget to charge our electronics at one point or another, so prevent the need for any loaners and think a few steps ahead!

Speaking of electronics, go on your Chromebook and organize your Google drive! Your teachers will likely discuss this during their required introductory presentations, so why not be a step ahead? Create a few folders for each class, and get rid of any old PDFs or Google documents you won’t be needing. Also, go through your Google drive and title any documents that are called “Untitled Document.” These will be a total killer when going through your drive and looking for an assignment, and the only thing that pops up is a cringy meme page from your first year in middle school. Nobody wants to relive those moments – save yourself some pain and clean up after your (past) self!

Focus on Focusing

Even that header probably made you get confused. Focus up, people! It’s time to get your priorities straight. Many students have classes to do well in and colleges to apply to. Where do you start?

Make a list of the things you need to do and figure out which ones are the most essential to you, and most essential to your future. How do they balance out? For example, perhaps you are a member of the girl’s tennis team, and you need to continue working on your skills to make the varsity team. Whilst that is an important thing to you, completing your math assignments on time (and understanding them completely) is a struggle for you. Try to find a ratio of the two and assign moments to focus on both. Some classes you will do might be a breeze, so don’t put much time into them. Focus on the ones you know you might do poorly in, and give them the attention they deserve. Once you have your classes in control, then you can bounce back to your hobbies. Want to try out for a team? Maybe you want to get a trainer? Plan these things out to where they won’t interfere with your other focuses in school. It’s all about figuring out what’s important, and what’s not!

One more important thing to do is jump on your assignments right at the start of the year! We all know that once you start getting a few late assignments, they will keep building up, and once you only have a week or two left in the quarter, it can be very overwhelming to complete them efficiently. By knocking out all your assignments as soon as you can, and even working ahead at times, you can keep your schedule stress free. Plus, if you get sick or have something pop up that takes your attention away, you will already have less to worry about from your past, putting your focus on “the now” moments.

Let’s Think Long Term

Searching for colleges and getting scholarships completed will take a lot of time during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the school year for seniors. School might not be your biggest focus at the time, but can we do something to make it more bearable?

Aim to apply for a new scholarship each week. Then, apply to a college you are interested in every other week. For college applications, start at the end of September, and continue doing this until you feel you have completed all the applications you want to submit.

When applying, you should also set up a “top, middle, bottom” priority chart for the colleges that need the most attention, and the ones that aren’t important. Get as many important ones done thoughtfully while submitting the smaller, safer picks later so you don’t waste energy on places you don’t even have a strong intention of going to.

It is YOUR Year!

Think about the things you did last year. Where can you improve?

Some people choose to get to school at the last minute, and it can result in being late. Perhaps you should try waking up just 5 minutes earlier, and see how that goes. If it’s not enough, then move the time up even more. Learn from your mistakes, and become a better student from it!

Think about where you want to go this year in the building. Do you know a place that is never filled with students or easy to navigate? Do you know somewhere that you shouldn’t go because of crowded halls or a teacher you had a bad relationship with? Stop by between classes and say hi to your favorite teachers from previous years– they’d love to see you!

Finally, minimize how much stuff you are bringing back and forth. Try breaking up your supplies by your study halls, nexus bells, advisories, or lunch. Those are the perfect times to stop at your locker and grab new supplies if you don’t have enough space to carry it all with you. Just…try to keep things at a minimum. The staff isn’t always a fan of students making large amounts of trips throughout the halls if they can be avoided. 


Whether you are a freshman or a senior, Lakota West is a great place to be… when you know what you’re doing. Put your best foot forward, and your experience will be unlike anything else. Go to the football games! Be in the student section! Participate in spirit week! Give Mr. Brown a high five in the hallway- no one is going to stop you! Do the things you think are awkward or weird, because those are the things you will smile about when you are older. You only get one life here, so make the most out of it. Do something stupid, do something amazing, and show the world why you are here. After all, West is a place to learn, but also a place to grow as people and mature into intelligent, young adults. WE are the beating heart of Lakota, so it’s up to us to make each year another great story for the books.

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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