School
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Succeeding at School

Listen While Reading: Coffins // Misterwives.

More often than not the school year is stressful and the majority of people dread it. I, who has finally graduated high school, think that learning is one of the most incredible things to experience and it is such a shame that education system is so flawed that it brings more stress than joy into teenagers’ and young adults’ life. However, you have to work with it, not against it. I compiled a list of things that I think have helped me a lot throughout my final years of school.

  • Consistent sleep schedule. You can be the smartest person out there but if you stay up late and wake up before the dawn or if you pull all-nighters frequently, you’re not going to live up to your potential. Go to bed before 12 am every night, don’t snooze your alarm too many times in the morning. If you get at least seven and a half hours of sleep at night, that’s a success. You’ll feel well rested, relaxed and generally happier. No exam and no test can be too stressful for you then.
  • Healthy diet. Your brain needs good food. Don’t try to study all night whilst drinking soda and eating sweets, you won’t go far. While studying (and in general) drink loads of water, change it with tea of your preference. Eat fresh, home cooked meals, lots and lots of vegetables and fruit. Don’t skip meals because you’re studying. Take breaks to eat and drink.
  • Frequent breaks. Whilst spending hours and hours sitting and studying, take breaks. Take a break every hour for ten to fifteen minutes. Get up, stretch, go outside for a breather. You brain can stay focused and sufficiently absorb information for only so long. Give it a break and come back with a fresher mind.
  • Hobbies. I can’t stress how important it is to keep a hobby. I know that during school year time is an issue and it is never enough of it. But try to keep the hobby you loved during summer time. Whatever it is. Reading? Painting? Writing? Films? Music? Blogs? Find time and indulge into your loved occupation at least for an hour a day. It will take some of the stress away, keep you creative and a good critical thinker. Besides, when you’re having a rough day at school you can always find some peace in the idea that once you’re finished here, you can go home and open a book you love. In addition, whilst keeping up a hobby and dealing with school work you will learn time management, that will not only help you later on but also will look impressive in personal statements.
  • Friends. Don’t forget to keep good and healthy relationships with your friends and family. Again, time is a difficulty, but those who want, always find a way. Meet with your friends for a cup of tea on a Friday night or for a breakfast on Saturday. It won’t consume a lot of your time but it will take your mind off of a school related stress and you’ll be able to look at the unsolved problems with fresher, happier eyes. Also, organise a study session. Ask your friends over and study together for an upcoming test or do your homework.
  • Days off. Always take at least half a day off from studying. Make your Sunday evenings, time for only yourself. Have a hot bath, read a book or a magazine, watch a film. Relaxing is a crucial thing during a stressful year of studying.
  • Staying focused. Don’t let distractions get to you. If your friends are going out every evening or if your favourite TV show is broadcasted late at night, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should participate. Evaluate your goals and understand what is the best for you. You and your friends dreams can differ massively, so just because they can let themselves go out and have fun every night, doesn’t mean you should. Don’t be pressured, stay focused.
  • Doing additional work. Read materials on the Internet on the subject you’re studying. School doesn’t always offer everything there is. If you’re interested in the topic you’re learning about in History class, browse different resources: the internet, books, and stories from relatives. When you find anything you are at least remotely interested in, study it thoroughly and give your all to that topic. You have no idea how much it will help during the exam. Also, if teachers offer some additional work, don’t hesitate. You will not only rise in their eyes, you’ll also get a chance to research the given topic and have way more information than you would have if you didn’t take up the work.

Stay focused, stay happy and stay calm. It’s school if teachers see you working, see you doing your best, chances are you’ll be in their favour. Don’t work for them, though. Don’t work for your parents either. Work for yourself, work for your own growth and education. But above all, take care of yourself. Grades don’t measure your intelligence, but knowledge definitely does. Study for it and grades will follow.


 

Words by Goda K. // Photography by Sydney Ferrara.

© 2015 Reef Magazine

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