With the start of the school year, your schedule can be overtaken. You no longer have a ton of time to
do all the things you did in the summer.
You are probably eager to maintain the momentum of your summer training, but now have class, homework
and other extra curricular activities.
Here are some tips to make your transition into the school year a positive one.
Get some sleep
Don’t go burning the candle at both ends. Most doctors recommend at least 8 hours of sleep a night. For
dancers, athletes and others who get a lot of exercise, 9 – 10 hours
are recommended. Not getting adequate rest has serious consequences including susceptibility to
sickness, injury, slower recovery time and difficulty learning.
Use a daily planner like the one you get on the first day of school to write down all your appointments
and homework. Most people are gung-ho for the first couple of weeks but students
organization tends to drop off after that.
Be disciplined enough to keep at it. Using a daily planner will give you an idea of how much time you
have to complete assignments before they are due as well as help you plan
your day better so you do not feel overwhelmed.
Put School First
It can be hard to resist social media, YouTube, random Google searches and checking e-mail when working
at your computer. Try to block out chunks of time during which you can
focus 100% on getting through a task (finishing a chapter, completing a problem set etc). One technique
to help you manage your time is the Pomodoro Method where you organize your
productivity into 30 minute segments. You work with total concentration for 25 minutes and treat
yourself to a 5 minute break at the end before getting back to work. After
completing 4 of these cycles, give yourself a longer 15-30 minute break.
Spend Some Time With Friends
Friendships are vital and like everything else require work to flourish. It can feel difficult to
maintain friendships with people who do not know the insanity of a dancers schedule.
When you have to forego hangouts for class or rehearsal you might start to feel distance opening up
between yourself and your friends.
It is important to remember that you are not just a dancer. Often it is your non-dance friends who are
able to provide you with some perspective. Your friends will understand
that the demands on your time are important. They are your friends and admire you for who you are, and
dance is obviously a part of that. Trust them to get you. Be emotionally
available for them, even if sometimes the best you can manage is a text while stretching before class.
Little reminders that you care add up and mean a lot.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
It’s ok to slip up once in a while. No one is perfect. We are attending school to grow and learn,
not to prove to ourselves that we never make mistakes.
If you had a bad day and bombed a test, don’t get down on yourself about it. Cut yourself some slack
and learn from your mistakes.
In a couple of years you will not remember you failed a test but you will remember that amazing 5 AM
practice you had before class or the moment you realized that you and your
team really gelled.
This isn’t an excuse for you to make the same mistakes over and over but merely a reminder to look at
the bigger picture when feeling like a failure. It’s important to keep things
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