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How to Prep For Your Back-to-School Glow Up

College is the perfect place for growth and self-improvement. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your momentum doesn’t slow during the summer.  Self care is the best way to make sure you don’t fall into a slump during the off season. Here are some quick and simple ways to be the best version of yourself during the summer months –– so you can head back to school in August wish a fresh glow up.


You’ve been on the go for so long… Aren’t you tired? Make sure to catch up on your rest and fix your sleep schedule. Getting between 8-10 hours of sleep each night will help you to be productive throughout the day and helps regulate your metabolism. Not to mention, it’ll keep you from heading back to college with bags under your eyes.

Set your goals for the month

Decide on a list of practical and achievable habits and activities that you can spend your summer doing, write them down, and stick them to any surface! Whether you keep your list in your journal or hang it up on your mirror, make sure you have it in a place where you’ll see it often and allow it to motivate you!

Go through that closet!

You’ve most likely spent the last school year in the same old outfits. Try to switch up your style a bit! Can you match a regular T-shirt with a patterned pair of jeans?  Or maybe try to pretty up that summer dress with the jewelry you don’t wear that often? Mix and match with what you already have, and then hit up your local thrift or department store for some pieces that will empower you with every stride.

Reorganize and decorate your room

Surely you’ve grown and changed as a person throughout the past few months that you were away. Now that you’re home, your bedroom might not exactly reflect who you are. You don’t have to rush out and buy new furniture, of course –– but even just moving your bed and dresser around may give your space a whole new vibe. Go through your drawers and toss what isn’t “you” anymore, too!

Make yourself a feel-good playlist

As someone who is hardly ever seen without her earbuds in, I throw one of these together for myself almost every week!  You’ll be surprised by how much a change in music here and there can update your mood, and even your personality!

Revamp your hairstyle

If you’re like me, you wear your hair in the same messy mop every single day of your life and it’s getting real old. Or maybe you’re used to throwing it up in a bun the same way all the time, or maybe you keep it pulled back in a ponytail throughout the day. Take some time to stand by your mirror and experiment with new styles. Can you incorporate some new clips or scrunchies? Or, if you’re feeling especially bold, head to the salon for a brand new cut, or even the drug store for a boxed kit of DIY hair color!

Your SKIN, girl!

There’s no better time than right now to try out new facial products. Pay close attention to their ingredients and try not to choose the products that may be too harsh. Go shopping for a new face mask, moisturizer, exfoliant or toner that will keep you glowing. Once you’ve found what’s right for you, go to town –– and try to create the routine that’s best for you!

Speaking of your face –– go easy on the makeup (if you don’t already do so normally)

It’s summer, and it’s time to cast those insecurities away. Let your fresh face take in the sunlight and take a break from the harsh foundation and contour it may be used to!

Start exercising! .…

Okay, I know, I hate it too. But seriously –– how sick would it be to go back to school with a fit new bod? .… Okay, I’m kidding again, it’s almost impossible to completely transform like that in less than three months. But, in all seriousness, even just a few minutes of exercise per day (or a few days a week) will work wonders for you. Going for a quick jog around the block or taking a trip to the gym will keep you agile and confident. It’s all about staying healthy and strong. You set the limits!

Work plenty of water and good foods into your diet

Staying hydrated is super important during the hot summer months –– not to mention, it’ll keep your skin clear and will keep you from bloating as well. Trying out some healthier snacks and recipes will improve your mood and keep you in shape as well. Watermelon, almonds, berries, yogurt, green vegetables and even different kinds of cheese are all snacks you should keep in your grocery wagon this summer.

Clear out your phone

You probably know as well as anyone that that thing holds all kinds of petty receipts and screenshots. Give yourself a detox by going through your camera roll and deleting what you don’t need. Sort through your old messages, notes, and apps too, and get rid of what you don’t need. It’s better to get out with the old, and bring in the new!

Head to the salon

Even if you aren’t always on your feet or you don’t play a sport, chances are that your feet are not in their best condition right now (that’s right, even you… don’t kid yourself). Treat yo’ self to a fresh pedicure for beach-ready tootsies. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a fresh manicure or set of acrylics. However you want to flaunt them, freshen up your nails and do your best to maintain them!

Try a new hobby

Now that you’re home from school, you probably have lots of free time to kill. Keep up with your normal activities, but try to squeeze in a new interest or project too. Start a blog, get cooking or baking, or find a new outdoor adventure to trek. Keeping busy throughout the summer months is an awesome self care method, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get so into your new thing, you’ll take it back to school with you!

Whatever you decide on, just be your best you. School will be back in session before you know it, and you’ll want to feel confident in yourself no matter what!

Kelly Donohue is currently sophomore at Arizona State University, pursing a B.A. in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She loves dogs, Mexican food, reading and writing, classic rock and the season of autumn. She also hopes to one day pursue a career in journalism, television or politics.
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