Five simple tips for starting Term 2 off right
If you’ve spent the holiday correctly, you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready to go for Term 2.
If you’ve somehow forgotten to give yourself the right release these holidays, don’t worry! We’re here with some simple tricks for you to really kick it into gear this term.
1. Hit that big red reset button
First things first, give yourself a moment to clear your head and realise that you get to start over. Term 2 is a clean slate and no matter how term 1 went, you have every opportunity to make it whatever you possibly want.
It’s the same idea as today being a brand new day. If you’ve made what you feel is a slow start to the year in term 1, you may feel like you’re playing catch-up. Playing catch-up from last term is like racing Usain Bolt in 100m, but you’ve decided to start 50m back from the start line.
It’s as impossible as it sounds – only because you can’t correct what’s been done. So leave it that way. Done. This term is an entirely new race, and luckily Usain Bolt’s retired and you’re only racing yourself.
Get yourself some fresh new stationary – or just clean up your gross smelly backpack. Wash your uniform. Tidy up your desk. Set your alarm. Pretend like you’re starting a new year.
Take a deep breath, and focus on what’s ahead of you rather than what could’ve been behind you.
2. Please use the Term 1 template provided
I know I told you to look forward, but there’s no point in doing anything if we’re not going to learn from it, right?
This may seem to counter our first point, but the two actually go hand in hand.
Just as we get to hit the reset button, we should also be thinking, “If I were to redo Term 1, how would I do it differently?”
Term 2 is your opportunity to reflect, and make a plan to get better.
Ask yourself: did I give myself enough time and effort to succeed in French or English? Did I hold myself accountable for my own study? Did I pay attention in class, or did I waste my time and pay the price? Did I reach my goals in these subjects? If not, why not? Could I have perhaps spent a bit more time researching for that internal? Or was it the final write-up that Ididn’t spend enough time on?
This is your chance to fight smart, and choose where your energy is going to be most effectively spent.
3. Sit at the front – you can’t read the whiteboard from back there
A big part of bringing to life the reflections we’ve made on term 1 is changing your physical habits. Classroom behaviour is the best place to start.
If you were are anything like me at high school, and choose to sit right at the back of class at every chance you get, it’s definitely in your best interest to consider changing it up.
You don’t need to do this in all your subjects, just choose yourself where you think it’s needed.
This simple act does three things.
Firstly, it forces you to concentrate, and gives you less opportunity to get distracted. Secondly, it shows your teacher that you’re willing to put in the hard yards in order to improve. Thirdly, it means that you’re attending class with a clear intention. Your very presence at the front of the class signals something: you’re here to learn.
Your teacher will reward you here, by putting more effort in themselves. If you show that you care, I can assure you that they’ll do their part as well.
This is as close as you’ll get to a subject cheat code. It won’t be as fun as sitting at the back yarning to your mates whilst watching the NBA playoffs, but if you’re willing and wanting to improve, this is your chance.
4. Befriend the nerds
So you’ve made your way to the front of the class, and in doing so found yourself surrounded by people who have similar goals.
This is great – you’re much more likely to be ambitious if everyone around you is as well. It is so easy to stay comfortable with your closest mates and go to the library after school to ‘study’ with them.
However, studying isn’t something that’s done very effectively with friends – unless of course you both have the same goal of absolutely nailing this biology internal. Give yourself the best chance to do well in something by surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to work hard and reap the rewards.
Better yet, go sit next to someone who seems to work harder than you ever thought you could.
You’ll be surprised by how much extra work you end up doing. After all, it’s pretty hard to talk to someone when all they want to do is study. Who knows, you might find yourself studying too.
5. Help ya friends, help yaself
So there’s a pretty strong belief that teaching is a one-way thing: Eg: teacher imparts knowledge to student.
There’s a catch-22 here though, aligning with something Albert Einstein said may or may not have said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
As someone who teaches subjects, the greatest revision I ever do is when I am teaching someone else. You find out where all the gaps in your knowledge are, and in doing so improve your understanding dramatically.
So if you want to really test how well you know something, ask your friend if they can lend an ear and let you explain something through to them. Talk through your concepts, explain them aloud, that’s your best study strategy yet.
If you’re the one getting asked for help, be grateful that this lovely human being is lending you their ears, and giving you a fun opportunity for you to boast your own knowledge. Friends who explain concepts to friends stay friends. Remember that.