Starting Off the New Year Right


Sarah Aguilar, Contributing Writer

With a new semester arriving in the new year, it’s easy to get swept up in last year’s bad habits once again. Especially when it involves school and time management, it’s simple to shove everything aside until the last possible minute and then not put in the full amount of work needed. School is stressful enough, and leaving work undone could lead to forgetting to turn in assignments, slipping grades, and losing motivation. Fortunately, there’s always time to improve. And while you need to be able to motivate yourself and remain strict, with these quick tips it could hopefully help you quickly improve your grades and work ethic.



Start Your Work Right Away; Don’t Procrastinate


            It’s tempting to want to shove away your work and wait until the last possible second to even start it. But the truth is that this does so much more harm than good, regardless of what you actually tell yourself. By delaying the inevitable, you are only making yourself feel worse when the time comes for you to start your work, and you will have nothing done. Doing this every once in a while is fine, but doing it continuously will turn it into a habit and ruin your work ethic. Once you get home, the first thing you should do after you eat is begin working and studying. Doing this every day will tell your brain that work is a priority, and getting it done before dark will leave you with the rest of the evening to do as you please.



Begin Work Ahead of Deadlines


While it may not seem as if starting work earlier could make that much of a difference, in reality, it can give you so many more opportunities that you may not have known about otherwise. Once you are given an assignment, a project, or even an essay, begin working on it immediately, regardless of the due date. By doing this, you’re giving yourself not only more time to work, but you’re also allowing yourself to ask questions early on. Starting a week or even a couple of days in advance can give you time to work on other projects or make it so that you’re no longer stressed over your assignments. It may not sound like much, but by working ahead of the deadline, you’re giving yourself so much time to relax but to also get other work done that you may not have had the time to do.



Always Stay Organized


This is one of the most important skills that you should have down pat by the time you leave high school. Organizational skills will play a vital role in your everyday life, regardless of your profession. Even if you don’t want to get a planner to write down events, a notebook will do, even just to keep track of what you learned, what you need to finish, and what you need to start. Instead of just shoving your papers deep into your backpack, never to be seen again, it’s important that you begin to put all your papers in order. Begin to highlight important dates and take note of what you did or didn’t do.



Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions


One of the bigger issues that students face when it comes to school work is that they don’t ask questions, whether it be because they’re afraid of getting embarrassed in front of people or are intimidated by the class itself. And although it may seem difficult in the moment to raise your hand and speak aloud in front of the whole class, in the end, if it helps you out, then that’s all that matters. What’s important is that you understand the materials in the class and are confident enough with your knowledge. It’s better to ask a teacher, whether it be in private or during class, about anything you need clarifying. And even if you don’t feel confident enough to ask a teacher, there are always your peers and tutors, who would be more than willing to answer all your questions.



Don’t Overwork Yourself


While it’s easy to get swept away in school and forget to take breaks, it’s important that you don’t burn yourself out. It’s important to do well in academics but not at the expense of your own well-being. Regularly catch up on yourself and make sure you’re in good shape before diving back into your work. Take breaks every 10-15 minutes when studying, make sure you rest your eyes when looking at a screen for too long, and actually manage to get some sleep. It’s easy to read yet impossible to do, but actually going to bed early, especially before an exam, can do wonders. No matter what, doing your best without wearing yourself thin is extremely important. However, this is not an excuse for you to suddenly start to slack off and not put as much effort into your work as you normally would.