Whether it is you or your kids just starting school or returning to college or university, here are five helpful tips that mentally and physically prepare post-secondary students for the year ahead.


  1. Practice a sleep routine. Give yourself enough time to relax before going to bed, turning off all those bright distractions to get enough undisturbed sleep. Making this a routine before and during the school year can have a positive impact on your health and overall productivity. Rather than starting the night before, begin this routine some weeks before the first day to help you avoid frustration.


  1. Prepare meals ahead of time. Making nutritious meals a day or two before school can free up a lot of time elsewhere in your schedule.


  1. Pack your backpack the day before. Organizing your backpack, the day before with what you’ll need for school the next day is important. It is much better to realize that you cannot find something a day or two early than scrambling that morning when you’re already running late.


  1. Practice going to school. Map out a route you’d like to take and — whether you’re walking, driving or taking public transit — try that route out during the same time of day when you would leave to go to school.


  1. Talk with someone with experience. Speak with an alumnus or current student who enjoyed the program or institution you’re enrolled in. Having a positive outlook on your school career can have spillover benefits for your education.


These tips are shared by Beautiful World Canada, a Toronto-based charity that focuses on supporting women in Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone wishing to attend post-secondary education. Find more information or become a sponsor at www.beautifulworldcanada.org.