High school students are under an immense amount of pressure. Between clubs, sports, social activities, sleep, and last but not least, school, their schedules are tight. Many students question their academic abilities as a result of their multitude of hours dedicated to extracurricular activities. They often force themselves into an ultimatum: take easier classes or drop an activity they are passionate about. Well, while sometimes a student might simply have too much on their plate to keep both their challenging courses and their activities outside of school, often times there are easy fixes which can make their lives a whole lot easier.
The first, and most important tip, is to NOT STRESS. According to www.stress.org, stress is the basic cause for 60% of human disease and illness. On nights that you have a lot of homework, make sure you do not get distracted. Following an after school activity, do what seems impossible, and put down your cell phone. Various studies have been conducted which display that the more a student checks their cell phone during a learning or work period, the less productive they become in retaining and articulating information. This means that by texting during your homework, not only will you be prolonging the time it takes to finish it, but you are also decreasing the value of doing the assignment. The less value you gain the more you will struggle with the material, causing you to become frustrated and thus, stressed. A personal recommendation, which I consider a large part of my success, is to make sure your weekends are as fun filled as possible. This leads to an increased motivation throughout the week as you look forward to the fun times ahead.
The second tip is very commonly expressed but not nearly as followed: DON’T PROCRASTINATE! If you receive an assignment a week in advance, plan out your academic schedule based on your extracurricular schedule for that time period. If it is assigned Monday and due Friday, look ahead to the coming days. If you have a doctor’s appointment, a DECA meeting, and a football game on Wednesday, and no activities after school on Tuesday, plan to do the assignment Tuesday. Despite the widespread mentality, “Oh it’s not due tomorrow so I shouldn’t worry about it,” it is actually beneficial to divide up your workload as to alleviate the pain of staying up until one the night before five assignments are due. Not procrastinating is also a safety net in case of emergency. If you have five days to do an assignment and you wait until the fourth night, if your power goes out or a family member has to go to the hospital, the teachers will not accept the excuse.
Lastly, it is important to have a physical agenda. Many students entrust themselves with remembering every single meeting/homework assignment/test date, and it is often to their detriment. Have you ever walked into class and when the teacher says, “Pass up the homework,” you turn around to the kid behind you with a terrified look, and ask in a shaky voice, “What homework?” If not, you are probably of a rare breed. Humans make mistakes; it is inevitable. But, with an agenda, these mistakes are much more limited, as it offers the ability to do your brains job for you.