It’s back-to-school season! For some, this is a super exciting time and for others this is a completely dreaded time of year. Of course, no-one likes saying goodbye to summer, but I think the start of a new school year is always great. You get to see friends you haven’t seen in a while, and the possibilities for the year are wide open and full of potential.
Regardless, the start of a new school year can be intimidating. This is especially true when it comes to your period. Whether you’re a time-of-the-month rookie or a pro, surviving your period at school is a whole new ball game. You don’t have the luxury of being at home where there’s always a box of tampons at the ready. I can’t even tell you how many times I showed up to school without tampons and got my period, and had to frantically text my friends asking for a spare - it sucks.
I’m here to make sure that ‘Oh-No’ moment doesn’t happen to you! Along with your other important school preparations like pens and a new backpack, I’m going to teach you some valuable period hacks for school. By the time you’ve finished reading, the only thing you’ll need to worry about at school is your homework (and maybe your crush!)
1. Get your agenda ready with your monthly cycle
Whether it’s on your phone or in a notebook, you should have an agenda to keep track of important deadlines and events, and that includes your period. You probably think you can remember everything on your own, but having an agenda to check throughout your day makes managing your period during school much easier. Not only will this ensure you never forget a pop quiz, you’ll also know when your period is coming - and how to deal with it when it arrives.
If you’ve already had your period a few times, you should know the rough timeline of your cycle. A good rule of thumb is to count 21-28 days past the date when your last period ended. This gives you a general approximation of the date when your next period will arrive. If you want a really exact timeline, there’s also tons of period tracker apps that can help too.
2. Stock up on period necessities
There’s literally no such thing as having too many tampons or pads. Realistically, you’ll have your period for 30+ years, so I guarantee buying an abundance of menstrual products will not be a waste.
When you get your period, the last thing you’re going to feel like doing is going to the store to buy more. Having a ton of tampons and pads around is great, but also make sure you have a backup like our ‘Oh-No’ Proof Underwear. They’re washable and reusable, so you know you’ll always have a pair at the ready if you forget to buy tampons or pads. Knixteens make surviving your period at school easy, and it’s always worth having a spare pair or two to hand.
Read more about moisture wicking underwear and how it helps you stay dry.
3. Keep tampons or pads everywhere
I’m not kidding. Keep them in your backpack, your locker, your pencil case, your wallet or even your car. Keeping spare tampons or pads anywhere and everywhere is a serious period hack for school. If you happen to forgot to pack tampons or pads in your backpack before school, you’ll know you have a backup stash.
I’ve been known to forget to put tampons in my purse before I leave the house, so I personally keep a box in my car at all times. It’s saved me on countless occasions, so trust me, you’re going to want to do this.
4. Catch some zzz’s
When people hit high school, it becomes cool to stay up as late as possible - I know I was guilty of it. There’ll be times when you stay up late to finish an assignment, or you’re up till 2am talking to your crush. But regardless, it’s important to remember that you need your beauty sleep!
Studies have shown teens need around 8-10 hours of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep means you’ll be more alert and focused so you can ace your tests. Not only that, but it’ll also make your period cramps less severe when Aunt Flo arrives.
While a lack of sleep can’t necessarily make your cramps worse, it can make them a whole lot harder to cope with. Imagine dealing with cramps at school and being exhausted at the same time! It’s a recipe for disaster. Not getting enough sleep will hurt both your health (and your grades) in the long run, so just go to bed.
If period leaks are keeping you up check out our guide to preventing leaks at night.
5. Get some exercise
Getting exercise is a great way to deal with period cramps at school. Exercise not only improves your mood, but it also reduces your period cramps significantly. If you’re feeling tired and sluggish during your cycle, going for a walk will boost your energy levels and help your manage your period during the school day.
Exercise can also help you deal with your period anytime, whether you’re in the middle of your cycle or you’re just about to get your period. Plus if you’re exercising regularly, you’ll sleep better too. If you read tip #4, you know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to dealing with Aunt Flo.
If you’re on your period at school, gym class might seem like the last thing you want to do, but sometimes a good workout really can make you feel better.
If you’re wearing a pair of Knixteens, being on your period during gym class isn’t a hassle at all! However, if your period is really affecting you, remember there’s no shame in speaking to your teacher about sitting out of gym class. Having your period at school can be tough, and you need to put your well being first.
By the way, if you're starting a gymnastics class and are unsure on what underwear to wear, read our teen gymnast underwear guide which also has tips for periods.
6. Have an emergency contact
I don’t care what anyone says, getting your period at school when you don’t have tampons or pads on-hand is a straight-up emergency. While you definitely can’t call 911 about it, you should have someone to go to if you end up in an ‘Oh-No’ situation.
Whether it’s a parent, a sibling or a friend who’s always fully stocked on tampons, make sure there’s someone who can help you in a sticky sitch. If that fails, know that your school nurse or guidance counsellor will have tampons and pads if you can’t find them anywhere else.
When it comes to dealing with your period at school, you should never feel ashamed about your monthly flow.
Never feel embarrassed about speaking to a teacher, nurse, guidance counsellor or any other faculty member at your school. They totally get it (especially the women!), and will help you in your time of need.
Read our guide to good period food and what to eat when you're menstruating next.
There you have it, your very own back-to-school period survival guide. We hope everyone has an amazing start to their school year!