Elite Daily's "Back At It" Issue Is The Back-To-School Guide You've Been Waiting For

by Kylie McConville

August is a back-to-school lover's dream: pretty folders, plush pens, weekly planners, and daily organizers galore. If you've set a goal to be more attentive in class this year, or to actually be on time to your Tuesday 8 a.m. — there's a gadget you can buy to help with that. But what about what really matters when back-to-school season approaches? I'm not talking about what books you'll need or your freshman course syllabi or even your meal plan (but seriously, splurge for the good one — you won't regret it). I'm talking about your re-entry vibe.

Getting ready to go back — to school, to college, to a job after the long stretch of summer ends — isn't just about the gear you'll need to purchase to ensure you actually survive your course load. With Elite Daily's third digital issue, Back At It, we're focusing on the only prerequisite that matters: you, and we're sparing no expense. (And if you haven't checked out our all-new redesign, do it! We love it.)

As Parrish teases, "darkness still seems to follow Mona everywhere," and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This year, there's no one we'd rather go back to school with than Janel Parrish, someone you probably know as the gloriously dark and twisty Mona Vanderwaal from Pretty Little Liars. Set to reprise her role as Mona in Freeform's 2019 PLL sequel, The Perfectionists, we shot Janel as our cover star and then sat down for one of the most exciting on-the-go interviews we've ever done. (Midtown NYC traffic? Easter eggs about all the drama in store for Mona? Yes please!) As Parrish teases, "darkness still seems to follow Mona everywhere," and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

We've got the scoop on how you can score discounts when you shop the products we loved most.

At the core of this issue is our first-ever Glow Back To School Awards, a roundup of 43 beauty products that will take the back to school vibe we're talking about to new heights. Armed with everything you'll need to sparkle, shine, and set fire to your look for the year ahead, our Fashion & Beauty editors curated a custom list of winning fashion and beauty products — all released in 2018! — that will have you feeling and looking your very best, whether you're headed to the lab, the library, your library crush's house party, a friends night in the common room, or settled in for some self-care after hitting the books nonstop. Even better? We've got the scoop on how you can score discounts when you shop the products we loved most.

In between looking great and sometimes making it to Intro To Psych, you've got to sleep, right? Uh, right. That's why we're calling BS on the idea that college students have more than enough time to snooze. In between classes, homework, your extracurriculars, rushing, and occasionally calling your parents, you probably don't ever wake up ready to seize the day. If you're wondering why that is, our Ring The Alarm feature explores why a good night's sleep is so hard to come by in college and offers realistic advice on how to make your 10 a.m. alarm feel a little less like your mortal enemy.

Speaking of rushing, if you're looking forward to joining a sorority or fraternity this year, you don't want to miss our Modern Greek feature. When it seems like all you read in the news about Greek life on campus is bad news, bad news, and more bad news, we spoke to Greek chapters all across the U.S. who are using their letters as forces for good (for real — this isn't just what they're telling Pan-Hel). Their stories prove that Greek life can play a positive role on campus, in the community, and in your personal relationships and development — and they'll make you actually want to sign up ASAP.

A plush robe you'll live in on weekends, a pizza-inspired tapestry basically made for Instagram, and a custom Beyoncé poster. Vibe, done.

We also know that going back to school is a really great time to set some personal, friendship, and romantic goals. Whether you want to call your BFFs more, date more, or procrastinate less so you're actually submitting your study abroad forms ahead of time, our School Year's Resolutions series will make it impossible for you to fail at the things you're most excited about (even if you don't read it until next week).

Finally, no guide to revamping your back-to-school vibe would be complete without addressing your decor situation. In the coming days we'll be posting our Add To Cart guide and this time around it's — you guessed it — all about dorm life, and it's, like, really good. Here's a preview: nap-worthy comforters and pillows; lap desks you'll actually want to work on; a plush robe you'll live in on weekends, in between classes, and after a first date; a pizza-inspired tapestry basically made for Instagram; and a custom Beyoncé poster. Vibe, done.

No matter what this year has in store for you, you can take this as guarantee that it'll open you up to see, experience, and do more than you ever thought possible. And if the idea of breaking out of your comfort zone is enough to send you back under the covers until next year, let Janel Parrish break it down for you: "Trust the fact that life is going to happen no matter what, and sometimes you kind of just have to start a new chapter and see."

As for us, we'll see you in class.

-Kylie McConville, Managing Editor, Elite Daily