Life Hacks For Getting to School on Time


One of the worst parts of the back to school routine is getting back on a regular sleep cycle. Study after study has shown that teenagers function best when they don’t have to wake up super early — in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start at 8:30am or later. Unfortunately, Corvallis high schools begin at 8am sharp (and that’s if only you don’t have early morning rehearsal). For most students, especially at the beginning of the year, it’s hard to wake up that early, which means a lot of snoozed alarms, hastily stuffed backpacks, and groans of disappointment when you realize you’ve packed your notebooks for an odd day when in fact, it’s even.

Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at some point or another. But if you’re a chronic late sleeper, these tips might be just what you need to come to school a little more prepared in the morning.

Be prepared A lot of confusion can be avoided if you just take some time to figure out what you’re going to wear the next morning. Picking an outfit the night before might seem a little extra, but you’d be surprised with how much time it saves. If you don’t want to do this every morning, have an “emergency outfit” that you’ll have ready to go when needed.

Pack your lunch Speaking of preparation, if you bring a lunch from home, get it packed the night before. You’ll be a lot more likely to pack a well-rounded, healthy lunch, plus you can grab some leftovers from dinner if you want! Make sure to put it in the fridge if needed, but remember to grab it in the morning. If you don’t currently pack your own lunch, for whatever reason, high school is a great time to make that a habit. Bringing a lunch from home saves time and money that you might spend finding something to eat. And if your parents pack your lunch, take some extra work off their shoulders and make it a part of your evening routine.

Make a list One way to remember your lunch — and anything else you need to bring to school — is by writing a short list on a sticky note. Put it in a place you’ll remember (bathroom mirror, kitchen counter, front door) so you’ll be sure to check it before leaving for school.

Cut down your morning routine If you wash your hair in the morning, switch to dry shampoo. Even if you really can’t miss that morning shower, combine it with brushing your teeth to add a precious few minutes to your morning. For those of you who use makeup, try to simplify your routine and only use a few staples. The time you spend covering up your eyebags could be spent sleeping in so you don’t get them in the first place!

Slide in, slip on Reevaluate your wardrobe: what clothes take more time to put on? Less? Out go buttons, buckles, and laces; in come zippers, t-shirts, and slides. Getting dressed has never been easier!

Eat on the go Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say, but there’s no reason why you can’t move and eat at the same time. If you’re walking or riding in a car/bus, bring a smoothie, granola bar, or some fruit along for the trip.

Back ups at school Even if you forget everything at home, there’s still a Plan B if you’ve thought ahead. Your locker can be the secret super power you didn’t know you needed — as long as you’ve packed it with the essentials. Be ready for anything with extra paper, pencils, snacks, pads & tampons, a phone charger, and of course, some gum. As the year(s) go on, you’ll know more about what you (and your friends) really need, and can adjust your survival locker to your preference. It might seem like overkill, but by finals week when your brain is fried, you’ll be glad you had that last Luna bar.

If these hacks are helpful (or you have more to pass along), let us know! You can always reach us at

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