Tips For The New Semester

Jayanny Oliveira

With finals season upon us, you might be spending a lot more time worrying about that test you need to makeup, or counting the hours of sleep you’ll lose if you stay up until 2 A.M. During these rushed times, we often promise ourselves that we’ll do better next semester. But does that really happen?

It depends. The results of the student who sets themselves up for success can vary greatly from someone who goes in with no backup or accountability. So, now that you have your GPA and new expectations, here are some ways to maximize your success.

1.Turn off the TV.

I know, I know. Youtube, Netflix, and Disney+ make doing homework a little less lonely, but the reality is; all it’s doing is distracting you. I loved doing my homework to something in the background, so I wouldn’t be forced to focus too hard on boring subjects I cared nothing about, but all I got was mediocre work and even more mediocre grades. Slowly cut out the streaming services, and you’ll find yourself completing work faster and more efficiently. 

2. Snacks are your allies.

Rewards are often the easiest ways to get yourself to do something, but allowing yourself a five-minute break on your phone can turn into two hours spent staring at a screen. How do you fix this? Switch in your social media breaks for snacks, and you might find yourself getting things done quicker and more efficiently. Plus, you can always type with one hand and eat chips with the other, can’t you?

3. Drop the lists, grab a calendar.

I know I sound like a middle-aged soccer mom, but it’s true. A list will not do anything for you, but a schedule will. If you stick to it. This means getting an agenda for the year. (Our school even has some for a couple dollars at the school store) Put exact times, alarms, and give yourself time to do the work. Mark your due dates, it’ll save you the trouble of studying in your first period for that French midterm that you totally forgotten about. It’s even good for practice times and tryout dates, I personally use it to force myself to go the gym to prep for Spring season.

Most importantly, stick to it. Need to reschedule something? Perfectly okay, however, don’t get into the habit of continuously putting things off.

4. Give yourself time to study.

I know it seems complicated, you already have so much homework to get to, and now you need to reserve time for studying? It’s tedious, but it’s necessary. We all forget the information we learn at the beginning of the semester, and sometimes we need a check-up. In preparation for tests, I recommend just ten minutes each day for the subject, and then the night before do fifteen or twenty. You’ll do better than you expect.

5. Weekend studying is a lie. (And you know it.)

Imagine this. It’s Friday night, you’re home, knowing there’s a project due on Monday, or worse, a test. You think, “I’m not doing anything tomorrow, it’s fine.” Then comes Sunday night at 9 P.M. and you are rushing through a project, and all you want to do is sleep. Yep, happens to the best of us. It’s often inevitable. Instead of wishing for a snow day, you can maximize the amount of time you have to sleep by just preparing in advance for your procrastination.

Create a quizlet, or find one, study it or look over it a couple times throughout the weekend to prepare for a test. Then Sunday night, look over the actual material and go to bed. For a project: Create a plan, outline, whatever, so that by Sunday, you’re not totally lost at 1 A.M. with no project, no supplies, and no ideas. You know yourself best, so prepare in advance for your procrastination monster. I promise your grades will thank you later.

6. Music is your friend… until it isn’t.

Before I delve into this one, I’d like to ask all the cool teachers who let us listen to music while we work to look away. This only applies to homework, I swear. Studies show that listening to music with lyrics can impede students from actually registering and remembering the material. This means while studying for a test, doing vocab, and doing literally any work that involves memorization (History notes, reading a book for English, doing vocab for Biology, memorizing formulas), music is not your friend unless you find some lo-fi hip-hop channel that you really vibe with. Otherwise, grab your headphones. Music can make writing essays (or articles for Journalism..) a quick and easy process. Unless you’re easily distracted. Then I recommend a bit of isolation to bore yourself into doing work.

And these are some of my little tips. From a curly-haired, caffeine reliant (still constantly napping) honors student to you. I have classes with many different types of teachers, and they all have a variety of teaching methods. No two classes are the same, but as a student, you can always do your best to prepare. Plus, a shiny, new GPA to finish off the school year is still fun. You have a few months left in school before summer break rolls in, so why not use it to improve your grades?

Thank you for reading and supporting the LHS review. If you enjoyed, please leave some feedback on our Instagram page @LHSReview. If you’d like more pieces like this one, just let us know! We appreciate feedback and are always open to suggestions.