Going to secondary school is very exciting – there is a new building, uniform, new friends, teachers and lots of opportunities to try new subjects and activities. But all this can be a bit daunting. This year it’s even more confusing, after months off and new rules due to the pandemic, we’ll all be feeling a bit weird.

The thoughts of having to get up early and sitting in class for hours might not be very appealing. But, think about the fact you’ll get to see your friends again! All this anxiety about what school will be like is scary and that’s ok!

We decided to create a little checklist that you can have a little look through each night before school to make sure you have everything you need and help you get back into a routine a little bit faster. When you get back into your groove in school, you’ll be surprised how quickly your stress will fade.

So let’s have a look at what’s on our nightly checklist then shall we?

1. Have I completed all my homework listed in my journal and ticked off each subject?

Whether you are new to secondary school or just a little bit rusty, having your homework done for every class is so important. As you get the hang of your timetable, you may realise you can leave a piece of homework for a night or two, until you have the class the next day. (Try to only do this if you absolutely can’t get it done the night you get it, trust us, you’ll be glad you got it done early)

2. Is my full uniform hanging up and ready for tomorrow morning?

Or is it at least in my room (possibly in a ball on the floor?) where you can get it handy when you fall out of bed at the last minute?

3. Have I checked tomorrow’s timetable and made sure I have all the correct books, copies, zip files, equipment as well as my school journal?

Your school journal will be your best friend! You can keep track of everything in that little book. Try to double-check what books you will need for tomorrow so you won’t accidentally leave a book or homework at home! There is nothing worse than having your homework done, you open your bag, and it’s not there! It’s at home, casually being used as a mat to hold your Dad’s cup of coffee.

4. Is my school bag packed and ready beside the front door?

Do you have everything ready so that you can get the most amount of time possible in your bed? 10 minutes the night before will be worth the extra 10 minutes in bed! All you gotta do then is grab your bag and go!

5. Do I need any additional materials for practical classes – PE Gear, Art Materials, Home Economics Ingredients?

I know I’m not the only one guilty of forgetting my PE gear or home ec stuff and having to call my very busy mam and have her drop the stuff to the school (and then face the death glares that comes along with it).

6. Is there anything I need to return to school/teachers – permission slips, library books?

Here’s where your little journal will come in handy again! Instead of throwing notes into the bottomless pit that is your school bag, try popping that note into your journal on the week you are in. That way, when you open it up to do homework, the note is looking at you.

7. Do I have my locker key, swipe card, lunch card etc?

I will forever remember walking into school, realising you forgot your locker key, and having to get the maintenance man to cut my lock. Not what you want to deal with first thing in the morning! Even worse was forgetting lunch and not having money to get something. You can save yourself all this bother by just having a little check before you head off that you have all the essentials (and by essentials I definitely want to include food, no one wants to be hangry, especially in school).

8. Is my lunch made and easily accessible in the morning?

Again, would you rather an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning? Why not make your lunch every night before school so you can just pop it into your bag in the morning! Or if you are buying your lunch, make sure you have enough money on you.

9. Have I set my alarm for the correct time?

It will probably happen to you at some stage but the worst thing is your alarm not going off! You start your whole day off on the wrong foot. Try taking just a minute of 2 in the night time to make sure you have your alarm set at the right time! If you want to be extra careful, you can always set an alarm on a second device.


10. Do I have mask and a plastic ziplock bag to put it in, a packet of tissues and wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitiser?

This might sound scary but it’s just the new norm. To keep yourself safe, have a little pack made up in your bag where you can have your own little sanitation station! 


We hope these tips were of some help! If you have any other tips you would like to share, please let us know! We would love to hear them! You can email us on info@shona.ie



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