School consumes most of my life. It’s a lot of time management, discipline, and hard work. In fact, I am sitting in a coffee shop right now which I came to so I could study for the SAT. Most of the year, I enjoy school. Enjoying school?!?! Haven’t heard that one have you? Yes, I do enjoy learning, collaborating, and being surrounded by people.
I know that this isn’t the case for everyone though. Many dread going to school, taking tests, or giving presentations. School creates stress for most and students are pressured to memorize rather than enjoy the learning process.
At one point or another, a student will feel stress or pressure from school. Personally, my stress levels change throughout the school year depending on the class, my volleyball schedules, and the SAT. In order to stay calm and maintain a healthy academic balance, I have a few ways which I simplify school which I will be sharing in today’s post.
SO MUCH WORK: How do I stay organized?
- In order to stay on top of my schoolwork and due dates, I keep a paper agenda. I find that it is rewarding to physically check off tasks rather than hitting a button in reminders. Not only do I feel like I have completed something, but my week is also planned ahead. I suggest writing down your assignments the day that they are due. For example: English Paper due Thursday; write it under Thursday’s date so you can prepare earlier in the week.
- If you have access to a digital device, use Google Drive or some digital program to keep your online files organized. I cannot stress this enough: FOLDERS!!! Create many organized folders in the app. I have folders in Google Drive by grade, subject, and type of work.
- Use real folders. I find that having binders for each class is bulky and not nearly as useful as folders and notebooks.
- Work ahead whenever it is possible. This trick takes a lot of self discipline. If you have any free time, use it to complete one task. Doesn’t have to be a major project, but do something to help yourself.
STUDYING FOR TESTS / QUIZZES: Where do I start?
In a perfect world, your teacher mentions your test two weeks before and you have plenty of time to prepare. Obviously, this is usually (NEVER lol) not the case. Instead of panicking when you find out that you have an upcoming test, slow down.
At my school, I usually get notified about a test 3-6 days before hand (depends on my teacher). If your teacher does not give you an advanced warning before a test, think logically. As the unit comes to a close, your test will most likely be happening within the next week.
- My sweet spot for studying for tests ranges from 3-5 days depending on the class. As a student, you become aware which classes you will have to work harder for than others.
- If you have 3-5 days, you can spend smaller chunks of time preparing for your test. I would spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour preparing each day depending on the difficulty of the unit.
- Gather all information / notes you could possibly need for the test. If you missed a day of class, it is YOUR responsibility to go talk to your teacher to ask questions and get the notes from a trusted classmate. YOU need to take initiative and figure out your situation. Most teachers are understanding about situations like that, but they are not here to “baby” you.
STUDYING FOR TESTS / QUIZZES: How should I study?
- One of the most effective studying strategies for me is rewriting / redoing problems. It has been proven in studies that physically writing down information allows students to memorize information better. For example, this past year in Chemistry, I would rewrite the major concepts from my notes and rework various problems.
- After being in a class for a while, you slowly catch on to the teacher’s methods and what they are looking for. Instead of trying to memorize / rewrite everything your teacher mentioned in the unit, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself questions. For instance, “What did we spend the most time on?”, “What would I put on the test if I was writing it?”
- QUIZLET!!!! A fan favorite for sure. For my Science classes, English classes, History classes, and Spanish classes, I use Quizlet religiously. Going through a set of online notecard for 5-10 minutes per day is not difficult and is an easy way to memorize information.
RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Cramming 101
I wish I didn’t even have to write this section, but it happens. We all know that everyone has been in a situation where life gets crazy and OMG, you only have one night to prepare for a test. When I am put in this position, it is usually due to volleyball scheduling and I am forced to work through it. The ways which I get through it are the following.
- Utilize every spare moment you have in the following 24 hours. Essentially, do not waste time, even while at school. Let’s say you finish a lesson in class 10 minutes early. Rather than packing up and heading to lunch early, stay and work. Every focused minute counts. I suggest putting in earbuds for better focus (use the playlist on spotify Chill Lofi Study Beats).
- Tell yourself that the next 24 hours may not be enjoyable, but will feel great once it is over. If you have break time, a free period, or study hall, take it seriously. Find a quiet room to sit in and work. Although it would be more fun to spend time with your friends, you need to be discipline and smart with your time.
- Do not go to bed at 2:00 am. I have done this about twice in my high school career and it was detrimental to my well being for the rest of the week. If this is necessary for your situation, do not get into the habit of it.
- Brain dump on your test. As soon as you receive your test, write down ANY information you remember from studying. Since you are not as familiar with the information, this will be helpful in answering questions later which may need in-depth knowledge of the material.
School is extremely stressful and difficult no matter how prepared one is. I hope you found these tips helpful and informative! Just remember, all students are in the same boat and it is up to YOU to maintain a healthy academic routine. Thanks for reading!
Instagram: @sunshinestatejulia | VSCO: @julia-craig | Poshmark: @sunshinestateju