How can you get the most out of the new school year?

IJGA serves as a resource for junior golf tips in categories from instruction to student life to college placement. September is a time to regroup as the excitement of the new school year settles down. At IJGA, our Student Life Team makes sure each of our students adjusts and stays on track for the new school year. Our Director of Student Life, Erin Elliott, is an expert in helping students succeed on a day to day basis. See what tips she has for to help junior golfers get the most out of the new school year. 

by Erin Elliott

Without a doubt, the biggest challenge students face at the start of the school year is managing the grind of their school and training schedules. September is an exciting time where we are all almost settled back into the routine, but you don’t want to overlook anything and have to worry about grades or deadlines when it is too late. Check out the following tips to help you manage the new school year.

  1. It’s important to work on time management right away!

The most successful students do so by keeping a planner that they complete daily – and that they review weekly. These students know what assignments and tournaments they have coming up and plan accordingly.

It’s also important to balance social life with school and training. It can be easy at the very beginning of the year – when assignments are a bit easier – to spend more time socializing than studying. Don’t fall into this trap! Dedicate study time daily and use it – if all of your school work is finished, use the time for college placement work, ACT/SAT/TOEFL studies, or test preparation. Carve out this time just like you would for golf training.

By making a habit of goof time management, you will situate yourself for success at the start of the year and beyond. IJGA residential students have study time every school night for this purpose.


  1. Everyone struggles and it’s okay to ask for help when you do.

This is something I want to make sure every student at IJGA knows! When you look around, you may think everyone else has everything figured out. Trust me, they each have a struggle of their own. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

The Student Life and Golf Teams want you to succeed. We know there will be challenges. We know there will be struggles. We know the long days can be overwhelming. No matter what, keep going. Work hard. Don’t give up. Give your all and you will find the people around you will do everything they can to help you achieve your goals. I really cannot state this enough: it’s okay to need help.

Everyone will need it at some point! Those who can learn to ask for it, will often find success sooner rather than later. For students not at IJGA, look to parents, teacher, coaches and everyone else on your personal “team” to help you when you struggle!


  1. Create a routine for what works for you – not what you see working for your friends.

Everyone’s needs are different. Some people need to study math more than history, or have more trouble with ACT Prep than SAT. Whatever you need to work on, and however much time you need to set aside for that each day, may not be the same as what your BFF is doing.

There are also students who don’t practice good time management skills- and you don’t want to fall under their schedule either! You can’t let friends that are coasting on minimal effort be the standard for the amount of work you do. Take the opportunity of the new school year to create a schedule fit to best help reach your individual goals.


Whether coming from another country or another state, all students tend to experience similar challenges when transitioning to life at IJGA. Starting a new school year means leaving the comforts of home and recreating home in a new place, with new people and a new way of life. Schedules are different. Food is different. Language is different. Friends are different. School can be different. Timing is different. All of a sudden, at IJGA, you are waking up when your friends and family are going to sleep back home. And they are waking up as you are going to sleep. It can be hard to stay in touch with people from home. So many changes happening all at once can be exciting but it can also be overwhelming. Almost every student will feel this at some point. That’s okay! It’s also not unusual to miss home and love everything at IJGA, too. It’s actually very natural to be homesick at some point.


Here are some tips I give our kids at IJGA:

  • Use your resources (remember this for college, too).

IJGA has an abundance of resources to help student succeed in school, golf and life! The greatest mistake you could make in your time here is to not use those resources. Spend time with your coaches, student life team members and teachers. They are some of the greatest resources you will ever have!

  • Embrace the process (and meet deadlines).

JGA’s processes work! Everything we ask students to do has purpose and is part of the process of becoming a better scholar, a better golfer and a better person. When we ask you to complete something for school, golf, college placement or student life – do it! If you need help doing it – ask!

  • Step out of your comfort zone.

The beauty of our community is our diversity. Take time to learn new things about new people – and let them learn from you. Try new foods. Learn a new language. Go with a friend to their preferred religious service. You never know what you could learn by doing this – but I do promise your life will be enriched because of it!


 For more information on IJGA Student Life, click here.


For more information on how IJGA can help meet your goals, fill out this form.


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