It’s that time of year again; time to dig out your pens, pencils and notebooks from the back of your closet that haven’t been used in months. Going back to school has a certain air of excitement; you compare your schedule to your closest friends’, prepare for try-outs, and buy stylish 3-ring binders for your AP classes. While going back to school means it is the end of your vacation-laden summer, it is also another year to better yourself. Here are my suggestions for making the most of your school year:
- 1.Get Out There!
This, in my opinion, is the most important thing to do while you’re still a student. Typically, everyone fears doing something because of the judgments that may come from your peers. The “weird” kids usually end up being the most successful because they put their focus in what they enjoy rather than caring about what everyone thinks of them. Which brings me to my next point, while it may sound fun to do all your activities with your best friends; I encourage you to be different. Pick one or two extracurricular activities where you have the chance to meet a new, unique set of peers. They don’t have a club you like? Start your own.
Participate in school wide activities. Go to the school dances; football games; basketball games; the school BBQ; pep rallies; go all out for spirit weeks; volunteer for beach clean-up.
Choose your friends wisely. You don’t have to belong to one specific clique of people. Befriend people from different peer groups and you’ll see things from different perspectives and become a well-rounded individual.
Surround yourself with some academically advanced students. Everyone will have different learning techniques and translate the lectures in a different way. Create a study group where you can study your hardest subjects together while still having fun; ordering pizza half-way through a study session is the best way to take a break! The benefits of a study-buddy group are endless. Someone will always have the notes that you missed or be able to explain a topic you were super lost in. It also creates a positive competitive atmosphere to obtain the best scores in your study group!
- 2.Attitude is everything!
School doesn’t have to be monotonous. Yes, you have to attend the same classes with the same people for months on end, but your outlook can change everything. Negative statements like, “Why do I have to take this stupid math class that has nothing to do with anything in the real world” or “why does she always give us so much homework? Doesn’t she know I have other classes and sports?!” won’t change the fact that you have to do it. Time management is vital for completing assignments with your best effort. Utilize a planner and write in all your due dates so there are no last minute surprises. There is no harm in starting that 20 page term paper 3 months early!
It is important to try to become as well rounded as possible, as you could change your mind about your path of study a hundred times. This can be potentially stressful, especially if you feel like you are running out of time. All your peers know exactly what they want to be and you’re still trying to figure it all out. Don’t worry! There will be a subject that resonates with you and it will all click when it is time.
Finding your most effective study method could help you maintain a positive attitude toward school. If you don’t enjoy reading the textbook, try listening to a lecture online or watching a video on Youtube. Switching up your study methods and locations could keep you from burning out.
- 3.Put Your Social Media Down!
These days, everyone is disconnected from reality and looking at the world through their handheld screens. You are missing out on connections and experiences that happen on campus. Don’t text the whole passing period, put your head up and make eye contact with live human beings. Smile at your friends in the hall and stop and chat about where you’re going to sit for lunch. When you attend school functions don’t spend hours taking pictures and checking your social media pages. Social media creates a fear of missing out on things. Be in your own moment, make your own memories, and hang out with your friends in person instead of staring at who is doing what on Instagram.
Consider deactivating accounts while studying for important exams. This may sound like the end of your social life as you know it, but you’ll thank yourself when you get all 5’s on your AP exams, and who knows, maybe you won’t even miss your accounts!
Go back to school with confidence and get ready to have another great year meeting new friends and watching yourself grow physically, mentally, and academically!