School Countdown

Instead of freaking out about going back to school, be back-to-school cool. Give your brain a rest for now -- we’ve done the thinking for you.

1. Fashion Showdown! Break into your closet and figure out what fits from last year and what doesn’t, what’s still in style and what so isn’t. Put keepers away and pile the rest in a box for charity (or your little cousin).

2. Shop Till Ya Plop Hit the stores for new clothes (or uniforms, if your school requires ’em). Keep in mind what items you got rid of. If last year’s pants are too short but shirts fit … you get the picture.

3. Supply and Demand Pick up basic school supplies (notebooks, pens, erasers) for your first day, then round it out once you have a complete list from your teacher.

4. Compute This! Get your study spot all tidied up. If you have a home computer, be sure it has the right software updates and upgrades. If you don’t have one, get familiar with computer usage policies at the local library or your school’s computer lab.

5. What’s up, Doc? OK, shots are no fun. But it’s embarrassing to be turned away on your first day because your immunization records aren’t current. Ask your parents to be sure you have all the physical exams and vaccinations your school requires.

6. The Extracurriculars Planning on any after-school activities? Think about what sports or clubs you want to take on and consider dumping those that created too much stress last year.

7. The Route Most Traveled If you walk to school or the bus stop with friends, arrange a place to meet up in the a.m.

8. Be Prepared Whether or not you’re already menstruating, put together an emergency pack for your locker or backpack with tampons, pads and a fresh pair of undies.

9. Lunches and Munches Buying a cafeteria lunch? Have your money or tix ready. Packing? Hit the supermarket for your fave foods. While you’re at it, pick up stuff for quick breakfasts and after-school snacks.

10. A Little Alarming! Snoozing all summer can get you out of sync, so go to bed at a decent hour and force yourself to get up earlier. That way you won’t be so groggy when time comes for the real deal.