Thursday, September 18, 2014

Advice for this new school year (for new middle school & high school students) from Ananya S.

Advice for This School Year
Whether you are in middle school or high school, here are a few tips that might make your school year a bit easier:
1)    Don’t procrastinate: Procrastination leads to stress and unhealthy habits such as sleeping late or not at all. Additionally, it’s quite hard to break out of the habit of procrastinating once you begin it. If a teacher gives you two weeks to do an assignment, it’s probably because it’s simply too much work to complete in one night…so don’t save it for the night before it’s due! This is not to say you should work on it every single day you have, but you should at least space it out over the course of six or seven days, if not all fourteen. And you never know; something unexpected could happen on the night before your assignment is due. Maybe your computer crashes, or you get a lot of homework to complete that night. Whatever the case, it’s best to be prepared! 
2)    Do your homework: …and do NOT underestimate its value! Homework, while annoying and tedious, is a gift. Usually, homework is graded for completion. This means that you can earn points simply for doing the assignment. These points can boost your grade. Furthermore, homework provides good practice for assessments; by doing your homework, you increase your chances of performing well on quizzes and tests.
3)    Ask for help: This is very important! If you find yourself struggling with a particular concept or subject, ask a trusted peer or adult for help. Many people would be willing and able to help, and you could clarify anything you have doubts about. Also, ask questions during class to increase your understanding of the topic being discussed. If you feel uncomfortable about asking a question in front of your peers, try to talk to your teacher privately before or after class.
4)    Relax: In the midst of crazy schedules, quite a bit of homework, and extracurricular activities, try to set aside some time to unwind and have fun. This can be anything from fifteen minutes a day for your favorite manga to an hour a week for an episode of a TV show – but set aside a little time for yourself to catch a breather. It gives you a small break and helps to keep your stress levels under control.

~Ananya Swaminathan

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