Monday, January 21, 2013

Make This Your Best Semester Yet

School is back in session, make this your best semester yet!

Here are nine tips to make this semester truly great:
  1. Get Organized - Write everything down, review your lists regularly and create an inbox at home so that your work is visible, glaring at you until you get it done. If you would like more ideas on getting organized check out our August, 31st 2012 blog article on organization.
  2. Know Your Teachers - Make an effort to know what they like and dislike, how they prefer to see your assignments. Being in the good graces of your teachers has a subtle effect on your grade.
  3. Find a Mentor - This could be a tutor, guidance counselor or family friend. Try to find someone whose success at academics, sports, art, etc, inspires you.
  4. Search Out Free Resources - Use websites like Textbook Tactics to help you with your math, Evernote to help with your organization and Cliff Notes to help with your English.
  5. Get Involved - Join a club, a sports team or a volunteer group. Go out and get active in the things that you love in life. You will find yourself inspired and doors will open for you.
  6. Speak Up - Ask for help when you need it and tell your teacher when you don't understand something. You are not alone, the rest of us don't get it sometimes too. Find or make a study group with your friends from class.
  7. Read - I'll say it again, Read. Read what is assigned and what isn't assigned. Often times in life you will be assigned reading that you may not be interested in. Try to learn to open up your mind and become curious about the topic, this will help you cultivate an interest in the material. This will benefit you immensely on standardized exams and in the rest of your adult life.
  8. Set Goals and Write Them Down - Writing something down is the act of taking a thought and making it a physical, tangible thing. It can have an incredible effect on you and your success rate if you take the time to do it.
  9. Find Balance - School is not everything. Sports are not everything. Video games are not everything. Strive to find a balance to the multitude of activities that you undertake on a day to day basis. It is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. The goal of high school, and college for that matter, is to not only grow academically, but to grow as a person as well.
These are just a few ideas to students get off to a good start this semester. For more ideas make sure to sign in to and check out the monthly college advice section on the Channels page.