After a long summer break, it’s tough to get back into the swing of things. The beginning of the school year is a hectic time – navigating through new classes and working with new professors requires students to be focused and organized. Luckily we have a few tips to help students start strong and continue to stay motivated throughout the academic year.
1. Schedule standardized tests. It’s a good idea for students to leave themselves enough time to take the ACT or SAT twice. Scheduling the tests in advance will help students plan out designated study time and focus on the task at hand. Students should consider working on practice problems and studying vocab words as a part of their scheduled homework time.
2. Strengthen relationships with teachers. Staying active in class discussions and going in to office hours will help strengthen a student-teacher relationship. Teachers not only assist students with assignments, they are also a great resource for college advice as they have seen many students make the transition from high school to college. Fostering a strong relationship with teachers will also help students when it comes to their college recommendation letters.
3. Stay organized. Time management is key when it comes to a busy academic and extracurricular schedule. If a student is applying to college, he or she should make sure to leave plenty of time to write admissions essays – a good essay requires time for brainstorming, drafting, reviewing, and editing. It’s also a good idea for students to make a calendar of application deadlines so they are not scrambling to get materials together a week before the application is due. Whether or not a student is applying to college, he or she should always try to stay on top of current school work. Unfortunately this may mean a student skips hanging out with friends or misses a favorite TV show in order to get homework finished; luckily it will all pay off in the long run!
4. Challenge yourself and get involved. Students need to challenge themselves both academically and with extracurriculars. Taking an AP or Honors course and getting involved in an activity are two ways for students to challenge themselves throughout high school. This is something even freshman can start to look into! For example, if a student loves to write then he or she could get involved with the school newspaper. Students should think about what interests them and then see if any clubs or classes are available to further develop those interests.
There are many strategies students can use to prepare themselves for the upcoming academic year. Overall, it’s important for students to stay focused, stay organized, and work hard as they get back into “school mode” for another year of learning.