Relaxing in the sun all summer may have made school feel like a distant memory, but there's a lot to look forward to in the new year ahead. Here's a guide to getting you prepared for going back to school - from planning and organisation to increasing motivation and productivity.
Mentally preparing for school may seem pointless, but it is essential for a productive start to the year. University student Elaine Wang has some tips:
Set goals: Before you step back in the classroom, ask yourself what you want to learn and achieve this year. Your goal could be academic or something outside the classroom.
Make sure your goals are realistic, and stay on track by reminding yourself of them throughout the year.
Make a plan: Look over your goals, then ask yourself how you can realistically achieve them.
List small, easy steps you can take throughout the school year. For example, if you want to make it onto the swimming team, sign up for a swimming class and start practising.
Don't abandon ship: Sticking to your plan is the most difficult part. Remember to keep your end goal in mind throughout the school year.
Once the school year starts, make sure to get involved and take advantage of the opportunities around you. Join a new club or society, participate in a charity event, or volunteer. You never know, you could meet your new best friend and learn some unexpected things along the way.
Look after number one: Even as the school year gets busier and busier, remember that the most important thing is to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day.
Time spent relaxing and hanging out with friends is just as important as studying. Staying active is essential too, so make sure you exercise regularly.
It's easy to fall into bad eating habits during the holiday, so make sure you eat plenty of fruit and veg, get enough protein and fibre, and lay off the deep-fried or sugar-coated snacks.
Most students find it difficult to actually sit down and study. Chinese University associate professor Shiu Ling-po has some advice on how to improve your productivity, avoid distractions and study to the best of your ability.
Break it up: Shiu advises spreading your revision out over a longer period of time to retain more information and study more effectively. Instead of studying solidly for three hours, split your time into 30-minute study sessions with small breaks in between each session.
The structured breaks will not only make studying more enjoyable, but also help you control the amount of time you spend daydreaming. You'll learn far more.
Bring it to life: Don't just read from textbooks - interact with the information. Jot down notes and answer questions to lock the information in your memory.
Do things you're interested in: To stop getting distracted, Shiu recommends making studying fun and enjoyable.
Though that may an unlikely suggestion, there are lots of fun and creative approaches to learning. As well as making notes, try methods such as mind maps or visuals, and see what works best for you!
Give yourself reasons to complete your task: An end goal will motivate you into studying harder and better. But don't add to the pressure by thinking of negative motivations such as: "If I don't pass this test, I won't get into a good university". Instead, try to think of positive results: "If I pass this test, I'll be one step closer to getting into my first-choice university."
Lots of people feel nervous about the new term. Whether you're starting at a new school, in a new place, or you're just a bit nervous about seeing everyone after the long break, feeling this way is perfectly normal.
Shiu has some tips that will help you to stride into your first class with confidence and a smile on your face.
Look back: Review what you learned last year and realise you already know a lot. "If we see the things that we have accomplished, we will have more confidence to move forward," says Shiu.
Look forward: Look through the syllabus for next year. Knowing what you're going to learn will make you more prepared. Looking forward to learning new subjects will also help boost your confidence.