The Blog

Ashley Wagner’s Back-to-School Tips!

Call me crazy, but growing up I secretly loved going back to school.

Sure, the early morning wakeup calls and daily homework assignments were hard to get used to. But there was so much to look forward to – like making new friends, meeting new teachers, being a role model to younger kids and all of the awesome new things I was going to learn.

This school year, I want to challenge you to become the best version of you. Here are some ways to do that:

Brighten someone’s day

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At some point, we’ve all been the new kid. Whether you moved to a completely new city and school or you just didn’t know many people in your math class, it was probably a lonely and intimidating feeling. When you see someone sitting alone at lunch or being left out of a game at recess, invite them to join you, and get to know them. A small act of kindness goes a long way.

Be a positive leader

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We always think of peer pressure as a bad, negative thing. This year, let’s put a positive spin on peer pressure and challenge ourselves and our friends to make the right decisions when it’s not always the easiest thing to do. What will you do when a friend wants to cheat on a test, or something else you’re extremely uncomfortable doing? Practice these scenarios with your friends and parents so you can confidently say “no” in a sticky situation.

Set goals and an action plan

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Want to make the honor roll? Learn a new sport or instrument? Perform in the school play? Those are all great goals, and ones I know you can achieve. To make sure you achieve your goals this school year, the key is to make an action plan. Set smaller goals – like getting a good night’s sleep every night or practicing the piano for an hour every day. These small steps will make it easier to reach your bigger goals.

What are some of your goals for this school year, and how do you plan to achieve them? Let me know at @AskListenLearn, and let’s make this year the best yet!

IMG_5901_SMALLAshley Wagner is a Three-time National Champion figure skater and Ask, Listen, Learn amabassador!

 *The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( or any member.*