It’s only October and you are already exhausted, only getting five hours of sleep a night, falling behind in some, or all, of your classes, and have been getting some grades on tests that aren’t your best.
If none of the above applies to you, and you are confident that it will not happen in the future, stop reading now. You’re good to go.
Still here? Okay.
So you ask yourself:
How do I catch up? How do I feel at least somewhat rested? What if I push myself to my limit just to get into college only to burn out in the first year? It happens.
How can you avoid it?
First: sleep! Sleep sleep sleep! Halloween is coming and you do not want to feel like an actual zombie at the costume party. You want to have fun with your friends and family, right? Sleep! Medical studies say that teenagers should be getting 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Having trouble remembering what you read? Focusing? Staying awake? That’s because you’re not getting enough sleep. Make sleep a top priority. If you don’t, you are literally taking years off your life. It’s true. Look it up.
Which brings me to my next point: Plan. Plan plan plan. Sit down on Friday, just for 15 minutes, sometime after school or later that night, and plan out what the next week looks like for you. 60 pages of reading? Break the reading up over the number of days you have until the reading is due. 30 pages due Monday? Read 10 pages a night over the weekend. Learning is done best over time and in an organized way. You’ll remember the material if you slowly build upon it. Do not wait until the last minute and try to cram. Cramming does not work except in the super short term, and since most of what you learn requires you to remember the information beyond a small test or quiz, do not cram.
About those small tests: as our fearless leader Homayoon says, get all your easy points now. As a math tutor with years and years (and years) of experience, he knows firsthand math class will only get more difficult as the year progresses. So for those of you who think you can catch up later, fat chance. Rack up all those easy points now; put yourself to the task. Then, when it does get difficult, you will have both the knowledge to perform better on the advanced concepts, and those easier test points from earlier in the year to back you up in case you do fall short by a few test or assignment points on occasion later in the year. This lesson applies to all other subjects as well: get your easy points early, while they are easy.
Finally, and I know this sounds crazy: have fun! The learning process really should be fun, and when I walk out into the lobby and I see you all milling about, shouting across the room to each other, calling out to each other as you head down the hall, you do have sparkles in your eyes, laughter in your voices, and genuine smiles on your faces, because the center is fun, and it invites a joyous mood. Your lives, your everyday lives, should do that, too. And perhaps they do! But if they don’t, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you don’t find yourself stopping to smell the roses, taking pride in the work you do, and feeling rested, please see above.
Of course, you’re also always welcome to just come in to the center more often. ; )