Let’s face it: school has turned into more of a prison than an actual fun house by the time we enter as ninth graders. It’s just a constant struggle of the usual: pile of homework if you got honors or AP, upcoming tests from two of your least favorite classes on the same day (for example: euro and chemistry on Friday), overwhelming projects either individually where you have to actually put effort into knowing what to do to know what you’re going to do. Or perhaps in groups where you might do almost all of the work while everyone else receives an A for pretty much doing nothing.
Then comes sports, responsibilities at home and outside school activities, keeping up with grades because you’re nagged constantly by your both parents non-stop since college is right around the corner and if you don’t get all As, you’re most likely intimidated by the fact that you’re never ever going to be in college like your friend who’s going to Princeton, UCLA, Stanford (not to mention in scholarships).
“WHAT IS ALL THIS CRAP?” a student would one day scream. “I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR THIS!” “I DON’T GET ENOUGH SLEEP ALREADY I WANT IT ALL TO END!” “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL! YOU’RE BASICALLY DONE WITH HIGHSCHOOL SO JUST SHUT UP!”
Oh goodness gracious. Okay first of all, take deep breaths. Inhale in and out and just relax. I know this might be the hardest thing to do but seriously, chill! Think of high school as a maze and you’re a Runner. Of course it will be filled with dead ends, and then Grievers are around the corners catching up to you and you have to run for your life in order to survive. High school is not the end of the world. It will be if a student doesn’t know the simple life hacks of becoming a ninth grade, later on emerging to a twelfth grader in just a few years. Trust me, I’m a tenth grader myself and I’ve learned a couple of things for myself.
- Pay Attention!
Have you heard of the phrase “I have a short attention span”? Honestly, please don’t believe that you have that. Don’t come up with excuses later on that you didn’t get this because you have a short attention span. Focus! Everything your teacher says are 99.9% all the time going to be on the upcoming test.
In chemistry, math and English, my teachers don’t really give a care whether you’re on your phone from time to time. Seriously, you could search up stuff in the middle of them teaching and be immersed in it. Though, that’s the first mistake of having an advantage of phones being out during class. You’re taking this privilege for granted and BAM test papers are out and you totally missed what properties solid, gas, and liquid have. If you know that the class you’re in is going to be a constant struggle in the near future, I would suggest you to ask questions during lecture and copy down notes!
Don’t just take in everything. Write them down and don’t let your phone distract you all the time. Settle it down, give it a break and only check on it when there are break times such as the teacher stopped talking and is doing something else at the moment while you have nothing to do.
More importantly, if you’re sitting next to a friend, don’t talk to him or her all the time. Don’t fool around. Just don’t. Talk once in awhile about something that’s actually relating to the lesson to clarify some things and resume to paying attention. It helps to do that but talking about concerts and when we should hang out can be saved later on.
2) Ask, ask, ask
Honestly, that’s what teachers are paid to do. They teach everything they know about the current topic because of course they’re familiar already with the subject they’re teaching. And you’re not. So ask questions if you don’t get what the heck is going on. Go after school or during lunch. Whenever you have a free time.
Or better yet, email them questions! That’s what my euro teacher keeps on saying so take that advantage. It really helps. In the previous semester, I was really bad at math. And a fatal mistake that I’ve committed was that I didn’t take the opportunity to actually ask in class, during lunch, or even after 5th period. But now, I’m improving on my grade and it’s all thanks to asking!
If asking teachers doesn’t seem to be your thing, then approach those smart people. It doesn’t hurt to ask them questions about the lesson because sometimes, an interpretation from a student seems to make much more sense than coming from a teacher. Rely on them as well. Also, if it’s possible ask them if you two or a group can study together.
Don’t end up like her.
3) Self-learning is the key
This might be the hardest thing a student could ever do. If one is weak in a particular subject, then it’s gotta take some practice and dedication. Even though in classes teachers normally give you notes, it will actually help you if you take the time to break everything one by one by reading through the textbook and take your OWN notes. Of course, that would mean limited time on the computer, social media, and games. Sacrifice is mandatory if you want to pass a class, you know.
But that doesn’t mean overworking yourself. Take your time because your brain will need to process everything and that can take a while. If you are not that busy over the weekend or the break and you are aware that there’s an upcoming test when you come back, divide your studying into days. We’ll be talking about this on the next life hack number 4.
4) Procrastination has got to go
Unless you are a really smart person and understand things easily or have no free time at all, I would advise for you to start on your studying and homework right away. Don’t wait until the end to open that textbook and start writing down answers for questions 1-5 for history at ten in the evening when you’re half asleep. If you’re going to be distracted at home, do your work somewhere else like the library or some place that’s quiet. On weekends, try to divide your homework into however many days off so that you don’t feel pressured on the last day trying to get that one project done and whatnot.
High school may sound like it’s another gateway to hell and the teachers are a pain, homework is a drag, tests and quizzes could just go and die, etc. etc.; however, if you manage your time well and do your best, it will all work out in the end. Sure you might lose some sleep, but really all of this will be temporary. Just remember the four hacks: pay attention, ask questions, challenge yourself to self-learn, and sacrifice your time by putting away distractions. To put it bluntly, it takes dedication as how one would with sports.
But remember! Do your best and don’t give up!