The most stressful week of first semester is over, so give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve made it. You’ve survived the worst, and whatever happens…happens. It’s time to look back on your strengths and weaknesses this past semester and set new visions for second semester — another beginning, a second chance to redeem yourself for the mistakes made in first semester.
- Organize. Get rid of those loose papers in your binders, folders, and backpacks to lighten your load and enhance your fresh start. March into second semester like a blank page and never look back. Of course, you should save important papers such as your list of mathematical formulas and logical fallacies.
- Do NOT procrastinate. You remember those sleepless nights as you internally punch your mind and cram a month’s worth of knowledge into it the night before the test. We say that we were “too busy,” but 99% of the time, we suffer cram sessions because we put off studying until the last minute instead of spreading it over multiple days. Get a little done every day by starting Mr. Kim’s 25-5 plan: completely focus on a productive task for 25 minutes, and take a break for 5 minutes. Repeat.
- Start/continue writing in your planner. School is overwhelming; you try not to get too dizzy from those twenty assignments spinning in your head like electrons around an atomic nucleus. Don’t panic. Instead, record your homework in your planner. That way, you can face your fears head on and better visualize a way to successfully tackle them all. To many, using a planner is second nature; to others, it’s a foreign language that will help them in the long run.
- Be one step ahead. Don’t procrastinate. Great! But a less painful semester also means staying ahead of your classwork, so you can have more time to rest and enjoy your life. Let’s be honest here: you don’t know when you’re going to have a fever, when that time-consuming extra credit opportunity will be assigned, or when you’re just too tired to grind that day. To those who have watched the famous TED talk on procrastination or our staff’s wonderful article on it: don’t let that panic monster catch you from behind!
- Sleep. You come home late from school and the first thought that comes to you is I’ll stay up to study for my test. You think that because 1. you do not know anything on tomorrow’s test and 2. you need the whole night to learn everything and do well. But that is not the way to go. The worst thing to do the night before the test is to lose your sleep and do poorly on your tests as a result. Give your brain a break, drop everything, and sleep. Trust me, you know more than you think.
Cheers to the end of finals and the dawn of a new semester. It only gets better from here!