We are all beginning a new school year, with new teachers, new goals, and a fresh start. This is typically the time when students and teachers alike make resolutions to make this year better than last. And why not? We are all looking at a blank canvas that is brimming with possibilities, and we set our sights high so when June comes, we can feel good about the work we’ve done. Here are a few tips to help you make sure this year is a great one:
Shoot for the heavens, but anticipate landing among the stars.
We often set rather lofty goals for ourselves, which is a good thing. However, if our goals are too high, we set ourselves up for disappointment and we may feel like we’ve failed. So, set realistic goals for yourself. Having one or two goals that are stellar is great because it keeps us reaching higher and higher. Just remember to celebrate progress instead of waiting for perfection.
Make your presence known.
Your teachers are working hard to memorize all of your names right now. Go introduce yourself to your teachers personally. Tell them your goals for the class and what you anticipate being your biggest struggle for the class. Developing relationships with your teachers will encourage them to keep an eye out for you and they might open up opportunities for you to make sure you are successful in the class. Plus, it will help you feel more comfortable asking for help if you feel like you are struggling.
Manage your time wisely.
We are very busy people. Even teachers. Using a calendar for everything will help you visualize your upcoming week and weekend, so you know exactly when you can schedule the most important activity of all - relaxing with friends. Yes, I strongly suggest you add time for socializing to your calendar. It sounds silly, but it helps a lot and it will help you avoid “all-nighters.”
There are tons of tips on the internet about how to study more effectively. Take the time to find a few good tips for yourself, and don’t be afraid to try something new! My favorites, which are all supported by data and research, are the following:
Take 5 minute study breaks every 20 - 30 minutes.
Do your homework and studying at a desk, as opposed to being in front of the TV or in your bed.
Occasionally reorganize your notes. Nothing makes studying unenjoyable more than wrestling with sloppy and messy looseleaf papers.
Highlighters are your friends. The more colorful your notes, the more pleasing it will be to review.
Have an amazing start to your year! Make it what you want!