September will be here before you know it, so start preparing now to get the new academic year off to the best possible start

The post holiday haze, when your brain struggles to change back from ‘summer mode’ to ‘study mode’, can be difficult to overcome. At the beginning of summer, it feels as though the next school year is an age away, but before you know it, it’s the end of August, and you haven’t so much as glanced at your school work since last term. Preparing for the academic year ahead is vital if you want to reach your potential, and doing so doesn’t need to be an ordeal. Here are a few simple ways to use the summer break to prepare for the upcoming academic year.

Set yourself goals

What grades do you want to achieve? What study habits should you develop? What projects/clubs would you like to take part in? These are important questions to ask yourself before school restarts. Once you have the answers, write down these goals and put them somewhere visible, where you can see them every day. Give yourself bigger goals to achieve over the course of the year, and smaller ones for each term or subject.

Make a plan

A good study planner will help you break down intimidating revision into manageable bite-size chunks. Having a structure in place will help you get into the swing of things more easily once school begins. Be sure to note down important dates, like exams, when assignments are due, and holidays, and give yourself time for relaxation and down time too. An overworked brain is an ineffective one.

Start a study group

Chances are you’re not the only one thinking of the upcoming school year with a mixture of fear and panic. Ask your friends if they’d be interested in meeting up for a study session once a week, or post on school notice boards, or set up a social media group for a specific subject. Even just creating a secure online space where people can share their problems or ask questions will make studying and completing assignments so much easier.

Get ahead on reading

If you know what texts you’ll be reading next year, get a head start on them now. This will give you a greater level of familiarity and understanding by September. Buying them early in the summer break, before everyone else, also means you’ll be much more likely to find a cheaper copy.

Stock up on supplies

Back to school season is the time of year for stationary nerds. New notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters and post-it notes might seem superficial, but they can really help to create an organised study system, which will be easy to sort though to find relevant material come exam time.

Summer school

For those truly dedicated to making the next school year their year, summer school is definitely the way to go. Programmes like Immerse Education summer school in Cambridge offer a range of different courses, so you can study something new or brush up on a topic you’re not that confident on with the assistance of world-renowned university tutors. You’ll have in-depth discussions with students from around the world, broadening your horizons by introducing you to new perspectives.

The home of Immerse Education summer school, Cambridge, is as inspiring as a location can get for those who want to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking or any number of other greats. Summer school will also benefit you long after the next academic year, particularly when it comes to university admissions boards and future employers. If you’re aspiring to study in an esteemed university like Cambridge University, summer school is a great way to get a head start.