New School Year, New Me, New opportunity to Excel

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By Thamar Jones
The long drawn out hiatus from work and school is all but over and if you are a student it is time to start preparing for the new school year. With some effort, a little strategy and a good game plan, you can really have the best academic year of your life.
I’ve always believed that it is important to be a good student. But why is it so important? In our day and age, with seemingly so many other routes to success. Instagram models who are living the life, rappers and ball players without much education living lavishly, education seems not so important.
Maybe you agree with doing what it takes to pass your test and quizzes and moving on to the next grade but putting in the extra hours and going the extra mile might not seem as appealing to you. However, I am here to tell you that maximizing on your learning experience is invaluable.
As a student, when you fail a test or perform below the standard that you know you are capable, you experience both stress and reduced self-esteem. Statistics show that students who have better grades are happier, have higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the future. Plus by topping your class, you earn yourself some serious bragging rights! You earn the appreciation of your teachers, set an example for your fellow students, and not to mention how proud your parents will be!
To become a good student, you need to get motivated! Motivation can come from seeing the situation of many children around the world and even in Belize who are not lucky enough to get a proper education. Keep this in mind when you find yourself not wanting to attend class or study at home.
By applying simple steps to your academic life your performance can greatly improve. Getting and staying organized in school is extremely important. If you are organized, then you are one step ahead in being successful. Here are some simple ways to be better organized for school:
Create folders for each subject
By designating a folder per subject, this means you’ll be able to organize your math papers in your math folder, your English papers in your English folder, your science papers in your science folder, and so on. Make it fun by creating a summer project of it. Whether alone or with a friend, you can decorate and label your subject folders. Your project can extend to wrapping your text and note books, and decorating your pen and pencil cases.
Be prepared
Bring everything you need with you to class. It would be a good idea to pack your school bag from the night before class with your books, folders, pens, pencils, homework, review sheets and anything else you need. It helps if you use a checklist.
Be Engaged in Class
If you happen to be shy, sitting in the front row can be very uncomfortable at first, but I promise you, it’s one of the best ways to pay attention to everything being taught. You can hear better, you can see everything on the board without having to crane your neck around the head in front of you. You can make eye contact with your teacher. Don’t underestimate the power of this. If your teacher knows you’re really listening and that you care about what you’re learning, he or she will be extra willing to help you. Besides, it’ll feel like you’ve got your own private teacher.
Ask questions
Ask questions immediately if you don’t understand something. A polite raising of your hand is all you need to do to indicate you’ve got a question. If it isn’t appropriate to interrupt, make a quick note of your question so you don’t forget, and ask later. If you’re completely lost, make an appointment to see your teacher after class.
Manage your time wisely
Do your homework on the way home from school if you have a long commute or in any spare time. Do as much at school as you can where you have teachers who can assist you.
Make sure not to rush on your homework
Remember to be neat and to check over it for errors. Don’t put off work for later. When studying or doing homework, keep all of your electronics such as your phone, iPod and laptop away from you as these can lead to procrastination.
Study, Study, Study
While you should review your class notes on a daily basis, it is advised to start studying at least a few days before a test. Make a study schedule. If an extracurricular activity gets in the way of your studying, tell the person in charge of that certain event that you will not be able to attend, or you will have to leave early. However, there will be certain situations where you will have to attend. In this kind of situation, you will just have to study another day. This is where your study schedule comes in.
Read More
If you are not already a reader, start at your level and work your way up. You may not know this, but by reading challenging and difficult books, you expand your vocabulary. A good book can also provide entertainment while at the same time giving you a wealth of information.
Set goals
Enjoy setting goals for yourself, so you can transcend your weaknesses and reach your full potential. Your study goals must be realistic and achievable so start with small steps. Achieving those will then motivate you to reach more challenging targets. Understand that you are working primarily for yourself and your future. Studying well is your chance for self-development.
More tips
If you find yourself getting stuck doing home assignments, take a short break to clear your mind. (Listening to Music helps!)
You may have many academically good students in your courses, try becoming friends with them, and you’ll be immersed in an academic environment which will help you feel motivated.
Remember, be confident! Enjoy your learning experience and feel the joy of bettering yourself; and your journey to acquire knowledge and success is going to be a most fulfilling one.