Summer is already flying by—school is right around the corner! It’s time to start thinking about the upcoming year. Are you going to put off everything until the last minute like you have in the past or are you going to be on top of your work this year? Here are some tips for how to have a stress-free school year and stay a step ahead.

Use your study halls. If you have a free period during the day, use it for something constructive instead of chatting with your friends the entire time.

Pay attention in class. You will feel a lot better about studying for a big test if you understand what you are learning about.

Ask your teacher questions. This goes along with the previous tip—if you don’t understand a topic, ask your teacher about it! He or she will be impressed with your eagerness to learn and you’ll feel better about any upcoming tests. Stay organized, too. Yes, it’s hard to do, but if your locker and notes are clean and organized, that will help you immensely.

Set your priorities. If you have a lot going on all at once (we know you do!), get your priorities straight. Make a list then complete the most important assignments and those that are due soonest first. If you know what you need to focus on it will make your year easier.

Don’t stretch yourself too thin. If you have too many activities you can’t give your best to any of them, and besides, you won’t have any time to breathe! Take on only what you can handle.

Schedule your time. If you set aside a specific time for each thing you have to do, you’ll feel more in control and you won’t end up studying into the wee hours of the night.