8 things to remember before you go back to school
School starts back again tomorrow – and let’s be real – we’re mostly dreading it.
With most of the StudyTime team having finished high school a few years ago, we’ve certainly learnt our fair share of lessons.
Whatever level you’re headed into, this year will definitely have its ups and downs, and there are some challenges you’ll undoubtedly face that are simply outside of your control.
But there are also steps we can take to make the school year a lot easier on yourself. Tomorrow doesn’t have to mark the beginning of Four Terms of Suffering.
With the right perspective and attitude, it could actually be the beginning of a really lucrative, transformative, and energizing year for you, your future self and your mates too (tag ‘em for support).
Read over this list to remind yourself that your education is up to you, not anyone else.
School isn’t an evil institution trying its best to break your spirit. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Most importantly, it’s yours.
Make the most of it by remembering these simple truths.
Prioritising study will make you happier later on
Allocating some time for your study is essential in making sure it is actually done. This can include a planner or just some time after school.
Even just a little bit of regular revision can be greatly helpful in regards to retention of information.
Try to be as concrete as you can with this allocated time also, if you flake out on it continuously, it can set a precedence that any other activity will take priority and because studying is generally perceived as being unpleasant, other things can turn into excuses.
Be firm with yourself, and if you need, study with a friend or let your parents know about it so they can help keep you accountable.
Prioritising yourself is just as important
Self-care is important in making sure you can keep going. This comes in heaps of different forms, but self-care simply boils down to what makes you tick.
Take time for yourself so you don’t get sucked into the hustle of assignments. It’ll not only help you stay grounded, but also sane throughout the year.
Choose satisfaction over procrastination
If you haven’t heard it from us before, you have now. Procrastination is applied anxiety, where a task that is perceived as unpleasant is put off because your brain has decided it won’t be fun.
However, when what you’ve put off is achieved, there’s that great feeling of relief and satisfaction.
When beginning your study, think of this end goal and use that feeling as a motivator to get started.
Our brains catfish us a bit where they make things out to be a lot bigger a task than what they actually are (we’re on to you, brain). So if you can utilise this projected thinking it can be a great help in getting started.
We’re all embarrassingly familiar with the age-old-excuse “I’ll start next week” or “well, this week is a write off so I’ll try again later.”
Don’t fall into this trap. If you have something to do, do it as soon as you can. In reality, there is very little reason why we should wait to round off the week, month or year.
If you have something you need to do, start now.
Despite what we want to think, we probably won’t be feeling super motivated at the beginning of the mentally agreed date. The universe will never conspire to make you all of the circumstances for a perfect study session magically align. You have to make it happen.
In the famous words of Shia LeBeouf, just do it.
Everything adds up
Studying doesn’t have to be hours and hours of reading and writing notes. If you have 5 minutes free on the bus, use it.
Having pre-made study tools like flash cards can be really handy for the on-the-go student.
Instead of looking at Studytime memes (as great as they are) on your commute, use that time to look over something, clarify that definition, or practice that formula.
There is a widespread myth in education spheres that study has to occur at a desk in a quiet room somewhere, and while this is helpful, it’s not the only way.
A little time here and there adds up.
Think of it this way: the ocean is made of billions of drops.
You are you
It can be easy to fall into a competitive kind of mindset throughout the school year. For some, this can be a great motivator and help them achieve. For others, it is a source of constant stress and self-doubt.
Every person is different and has has different strengths and weaknesses. What is easy for some is really hard for others, and vice versa. Allow yourself to set your own goals, independent of what others’ around you are doing.
Focus on bettering yourself because what other people are doing in school generally has very little bearing on you.
We understand the tension that can arise when new grades are passed out and friends ask: “what did you get?” (which, by the way, you are not obliged to tell if you aren’t comfortable with it) and so by reminding yourself that your goals are independent of others’, you can save yourself some stress. Focus on yourself. Not anyone else.
Less of a staying motivated/studying, more of a social tip. We’re all familiar with that twist in our guts every time a set of grades are passed out in the class. Sometimes we’re elated, sometimes less-so.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of the grade you got, especially if you worked really hard towards it. You are in your right to celebrate this, and we encourage you to do so.
But bear in mind that there are likely those who are disappointed, so here’s a gentle reminder to be considerate of those in a different boat to yourself.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone has the same goals, and so while to some a pass is not great, to another it may feel like a blessing.
Essentially, the tip here is to stay humble.
Don’t take it too seriously
Since exams results came out, Studytime has made an effort to remind students that grades-and high school in general-isn’t the be-all and end-all, despite how you’re feeling now.
In a few years’ time, whether you be at university or in the big-wide world, you’ll probably look back on high school and wonder what all the fuss was about. While uni is still further learning, it is a very different beast to NCEA and high school.
There are always ways to go about achieving your goals if high school didn’t work in your favour.
That concludes our top things to remember going into this new school year.
Just do it.
Love from your Valentine, Studytime. xoxo