High school is not all proms and parties. It’s four years of intense learning and high expectations leading to a completely new chapter in your life: college. Staying on-point and making the most of your high school experience is important in setting yourself up for a great future. Success in high school can be influenced by little things like having the right academic calendar app to much bigger concerns, like getting enough sleep or asking for help. Below, we highlight some of the important factors for high school success:
Keep calm and get organized: If your notebook is full of half-legible notes about assignments and due dates, it might be time to streamline your academic experience. With technology at your fingertips, you can use online calendars and academic planners as well as apps to map out what you need to do and when. Find your personal academic calendar and even pick your own template and style here. Or go old school and consider an actual paper calendar, datebook, or dry erase board on which to track your assignments and deadlines. As for apps, many high schools and colleges have their own academic calendar apps which you can download to your phone. Definitely check with your school and take advantage if it has something like that. If not, you can pick from a ton of calendar apps and personalize them to your liking; click here for a list, or simply search the app store on your smartphone.
Have fun with supplies: For some students a trip to the office supply store is torture. But there are, in fact, some really fun supplies that can help you stay motivated and organized. I, for one, love Post-it flags. They’re small and convenient and, best of all, they take the place of dog-earing your text or filling your book with little scraps of paper. Check them out in all their glory here. Basically, get the supplies that will make you feel most comfortable and that are the most utilitarian. It’s amazing what a strong supply cabinet can do for your motivation and your ability to organize and stay focused. With your click-pen highlighter and Post-it flags, for instance, you’re ready to annotate. Here are some more must-haves.
To err is human: It’s not easy to admit that you’re struggling, but most of us have encountered something that has posed an academic challenge. If you feel yourself falling behind in a class, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. It doesn’t mean you’re weak; it means you’re self-aware. Whether it’s getting extra help from teachers, working with tutors, or being a part of study groups, getting the help you need is vital to your high school survival. In fact, many college professors see asking for help as the “new smart,” as evidenced in this professor’s blog post.
Rest for the weary: If you’re not tired during your high school experience, you’re probably doing something wrong. Most students are sleep-deprived, with a measly 15% actually getting the recommended 8.5 hours per night. This lack of sleep can lead to some disturbing effects on young people. That being said, sleep and rest are important factors for success. Sleeping in on a Sunday, for instance, doesn’t make you lazy; it actually may help you prepare for a good week in school. While there’s something romantic about pulling an “all-nighter,” you’re much better served by making a concerted effort to get the rest you need and deserve.
Keep the end in mind: High school, particularly, the back end of it, can be arduous, tedious, monotonous, and challenging. Senioritis, for instance, is all too real, and many students fall prey to the temptation to slack when the end is in sight. It is important, then, to somehow stay focused for the long haul. Incentivizing the experience by thinking about the end result may help keep motivation strong. College is an amazing experience and knowing that it is your reward for four years of hard work can help make the high school process more bearable and, ultimately, fruitful.
Written by Phil Lane
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