Back to school – High school

How to be a successful high school student

by Wikihow.com

-Make good use of your agenda. They give it to you for a reason. Don’t only write homework, make sure to write down other stuff you’ll need to remember, like games, practices, study sessions, etc. In order to be a successful high school student you need to have a busy schedule, but you also need to stay on top of all those activities. Use your agenda to stay organized and make sure to follow through with your plans. Also, use your agenda to set time limits. If you’re spending more than an hour on that math assignment you’re clearly not getting it, and are only hurting yourself. Stop, put it aside, move on to other homework, and the next day explain what happened to your teacher. Chances are, they’ll be happy to help and not dock your grade. Just make sure you’ve made an attempt to do the work.

-Stay Organized Make sure you have all the supplies you need. A 3-pronged binder with pockets for each class (maybe only a folder for an elective class) with loose-leaf paper, and dividers if they help. Also, if your teacher likes to lecture, have a spiral notebook for notes – the pages are less likely to rip out than loose-leaf. Keep papers in chronological order – they’ll be easier to find later when studying. If your binder starts to get full, transfer old papers into another binder to keep at home. This way you won’t have to lug them around, but they will be there when studying for midterms and finals.

How to be a successful high school student

by Wikihow.com

-Make good use of your agenda. They give it to you for a reason. Don’t only write homework, make sure to write down other stuff you’ll need to remember, like games, practices, study sessions, etc. In order to be a successful high school student you need to have a busy schedule, but you also need to stay on top of all those activities. Use your agenda to stay organized and make sure to follow through with your plans. Also, use your agenda to set time limits. If you’re spending more than an hour on that math assignment you’re clearly not getting it, and are only hurting yourself. Stop, put it aside, move on to other homework, and the next day explain what happened to your teacher. Chances are, they’ll be happy to help and not dock your grade. Just make sure you’ve made an attempt to do the work.

-Stay Organized Make sure you have all the supplies you need. A 3-pronged binder with pockets for each class (maybe only a folder for an elective class) with loose-leaf paper, and dividers if they help. Also, if your teacher likes to lecture, have a spiral notebook for notes – the pages are less likely to rip out than loose-leaf. Keep papers in chronological order – they’ll be easier to find later when studying. If your binder starts to get full, transfer old papers into another binder to keep at home. This way you won’t have to lug them around, but they will be there when studying for midterms and finals.

-School IS important. You don’t have to be the nerd who holes herself up in her bedroom Friday night or reads gigantic books in the corner of the room to be considered someone who takes school seriously. The truth is, school IS important. You need it to have a lot on your resume, and you need it to get into a good college and later get a good career that will support you for the rest of your life. It’s important to have fun and have lots of extra-curricular activities, but school should always be your number one priority. That being said, never take homework, tests, and quizzes lightly! Extra-curricular activities are also good with college resumes as well.

-School is important, but so is a social life. Balance is the key. You can be someone who makes straight A’s in all advanced classes, but if you have zero extra-curricular activities in your application for college, you will have a much more difficult time getting accepted. It’s just not attractive either way. Keep on top of your school work but make sure you let your hair down a little sometimes and join a few clubs consistently throughout your high school years. You won’t regret it.

-Get involved at your school. You don’t have to wear spirit colors everyday or be a cheerleader to do this. What I mean is, stay on top of things–current events, who won the basketball game last Friday, attending school functions like dances and variety shows, keeping up with plans your student council has for the school, etc. Just like keeping up with current events and politics is important, so is being active at your campus. Not only will it bond you with other people, but it’s always good to have a collective unity over a student body. It shows that you care about the learning environment that you’re in that you support all the organizations at your school.

-Join a sport. It’s easy to forget to stay in shape when the workload starts piling up, so joining a team at your school makes it one less worry in your schedule; it’s already incorporated in your daily routine. If you’re going for all three seasons, that’s great, but make sure you’re being reasonable. If you’re taking all honors classes, for example, and you know you’re going to have a heck of a lot of homework, you may want to consider taking a season off. Try your hardest at both your sport and your schoolwork and you should be more than great–you’re healthy and on top of your schoolwork.

-Figure out what your hobbies are and find a club that matches that. Not being an athlete is no excuse for not having something to do after school. If you’re into art, join the art club. Music, join the band or a band. Join something and be sure to stick with it for a long time; it looks good on college applications. If you’re not into any of your school’s clubs, ask your principal to start a new one. Most likely he/she will say yes and it’s just one quick and easy process into a initiating a new activity at your school.

-Care about college, start visiting colleges. You don’t need to decide anything yet, but it will help you decide if you want a large school or small; urban, rural, or suburban; if a state school is an acceptable choice; and so on. Visit your guidance counselor a lot – they’re going to have to write a letter of recommendation, and the better they know you, the better a letter you’ll get. Also, they’ll be able to help recommend colleges and find scholarships.

-Get involved in school politics. It’s a great opportunity to a) get involved, b) show off your wonderful leadership skills and make new friends in the process, and c) make some changes at your school.

-Make friends with everyone. There’s too much crap going on to worry about cliques, who’s friends with whom, who the popular people are, etc. The best thing to do is to just be friends with everyone. Be confident and be yourself. Get into the habit of saying hi to people and not being afraid to talk to new classmates. The more comfortable you become with a more diverse group of people, the more people will like you and the more you will accustom yourself to the art of versatility later in life.

-Don’t compare yourself with others. Again, I cannot stress enough that there’s already too much on your plate to worry about trivial stuff like this. High school is only a competition with yourself. Everyday you should only be trying to get better, not worrying about how the girl sitting in front of you has nicer clothes, is getting better grades, has a hotter boyfriend, etc. Focus on yourself. Focus on what you can do to make yourself better. Then, most importantly, go for it!

-Don’t procrastinate. This is probably the #1 curse of all high school students. I know it’s hard, and it’s okay if you do it every once in a while. But come big tests, exams, and essays, don’t make it a habit. You’ll only be sorry in the end, especially in college with jumbo papers and insane amounts of reading will become the norm. It’s best to accustom yourself to getting things done early and out of the way rather than waiting until the very last minute.

-Eat breakfast and lunch. It sounds stupid, but you’d be surprised how many people I know who skip breakfast or lunch. Not only is this dumb, but it’s uncool and unhealthy. First of all, waffles are yummy. If you don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, take some at the bus stop or buy some at your cafeteria before the first period. It’s important to jump start your metabolism the right way so it’s running smoothly throughout the whole day. Lunch is important too so your stomach isn’t grumbling during your last periods. A full stomach keeps you focused. (Skipping meals actually only slows down your metabolism and makes you gain more weight, not less.)

-Stay healthy both inside and outside of school. Don’t fall for the vending machine trap. Most of the crap in there is just that–crap. Go for the soy chips or anything whole grain if the vending machine is all you have the moment. Don’t fall for the Vitamin Water trap either–it’s loaded with sugar. Only if you’re a competitive athlete and will be burning off those 400+ calories pretty soon should you pay for that jumbo pack of gummy bears or something. At home, take an after school snack to keep your belly full until dinner time–invest in fruits, nuts, and healthy chips. Loading on junk food during the day is not only unhealthy but will only give you a temporary “energy” for homework or that 10-pg. paper you have to write tonight. Convince your school to get an all-natural and organic vending machine (see resources).

-Get enough sleep. I know, I know. This is easier said than done. But sleep has so many benefits, that if only every high school kid got around 7-10 hours like they should, everyone would be a much happier camper. Try, try, try to get things done and out of the way so that you get your much needed shuteye. Not only will you be more alert during the day, but it helps improve your complexion and your figure, and you’ll be much more likely to pay attention in your boring classes and, as a result, ace them. Of course, this is not always possible, especially in the dreaded junior year. If you’re taking 3+ AP’s and are in all those clubs and sports there are chances you will be up until 1AM doing homework – if that happens, skip clubs/sports the next day and nap! You are no good to anyone when you are severely sleep deprived. Naps are wonderful things. Also, caffeine can help you keep focused – but there are potential side effects, and addiction can hurt you in the short and long term . Try to use the stimulant in moderate amounts and only when absolutely necessary e.g. an important test.

-Support your immune system as stated above, it is often impossible to get the 7 hours of sleep recommended to ward of the flu and other sicknesses. Take vitamin pills to keep up your health – missing lots of school is only going to get you backed up and cause more stress. But remember, always follow the directions on the bottle and don’t take more than one. Too many vitamins can cause health problem like kidney stones.

-If you feel sick try to go to school unless you are contagious or near dying. You can always come home early. If you feel miserable during the day, go down to the nurse’s office during a free period or unimportant (not core) class and rest for a period. It may be enough to get you through the day. Always eat lunch, skipping will only make you feel worse.

-Get a social networking profile: preferably a Facebook or MySpace. Again, it sounds stupid, but it’s every high school student’s essential means of communication, besides the standard cellphone.

-The only trend you should follow is yourself. I’m not saying you should then go to school the next day wearing pantyhose on your head, or whatever. What I’m saying is that you should have your own style and your own identity, so that you make your mark in high school the right way and not as a nondescript ugg-wearing replica of every other girl out there (or guy, if you’re reading this. You probably don’t wear Uggs though). Be original, don’t be afraid to be yourself. I know it’s cliche, but it’s essential. People are more likely to remember you and want to be friends with you if you are intriguing and different.

-Always go out during the weekends. This is crucial. You endured 5 agonizing days of school, and the time has come to cut yourself some slack. Never do homework on a Friday night unless you absolutely have to. If you have friends to go with, go somewhere fun and have a blast. Even if you don’t have many friends, spend the weekend relaxing and doing what you like to do. It’s important to let yourself loose and energize yourself so that come Monday, you’re all partied out and ready to focus again.

-Never give up. Again, cliche, but important. High school is all about making a fool of yourself but picking yourself back up, trying again, and making friends along the way. Learn to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake. Learn to not beat yourself up over the occasional C, D (or heaven forbid an F) on a test or quiz. Tell yourself to study harder and strive for an A the next time. If your team lost a game, tell yourself to push yourself a little harder at the next practice. Learning this will soon apply outside of school and into other parts of your fantastic life brimming with potential