For most of you, school is about to start. It probably has already started, today.
Which leaves you with 180 days of torture. Yay.
When I began 9th grade almost exactly three years ago, I was in way over my head.
Like the picture? It's pretty accurate if you ask me.
Starting high school was scary and for good reasons. The work gets harder, especially if you are switching curriculums like I did. But not only does the work get harder, it gets longer. As in, instead of spending one hour doing math, you now need two, maybe more. And history? No way you can breeze through that anymore.
Every day was torture for ninth. The fact that I had no idea how to handle so much work was the main problem. I would spend two hours on math, and hour or two on science, three hours on English (I was basically doing college level English), you get the picture.
All in all, if I was lucky if I would end at 7. Some nights I worked until ten. And those nights I probably didn't finish my schoolwork, so when I went to bed my head was swimming with thoughts of all the work that needed to be finished the next day, in addition to that day's work.
Maybe you didn't have this problem. Maybe you were totally on top of things in the way I was not.
But now that I'm technically starting college, I've learned that a few things make the difference between a torturous and a well-oiled school year. (***I am a homeschooler, but hopefully this will still help even if you're not!***)
1.) MAKE A LIST
For me, tenth grade was WAY better than ninth, and I had harder and more work. But I had learned how to handle all that work, so it became possible.
Make a list of all the subjects you have to cover. If you're assignments for the week/day look manageable, you might be fine. That depends on how well you function without a list. (I am a very logical type of person so for me lists are a pretty important) I personally like to do my subjects in the same order every day (least favorite to favorite) so that way my day gets better and better instead of worse and worse.
2.) LOOK AHEAD
This cannot be stressed enough. If you have the opportunity to know what your assignments are in advance, USE IT. This is especially important if you don't have a teacher, or anyone who's parsing out your assignments for you. That way you aren't freaking out when you have a 2,000 word paper due tomorrow. Instead, you can take notes as you go, and not have to go back to refresh your memory.
3.) If you have a really stressful, busy week ahead, write up a very detailed list. VERY. The more details the better.
Last year I was taking an online college composition class (English) along with all of my other subjects. I had three months to complete a college course when it was designed to be a semester course (five months) And we were going to Florida for a week. And let's not forget about Easter break. I was not about to be doing work on Holy Saturday. And let's not forget about that long weekend trip to D.C. Lastly, I refused to do work once prom rolled around. And I was the teacher in this class, so somehow I had to make it work, while still being able to have a bit of a social life and get other things done.
So I spent hours designing a day by day calendar for myself. I reviewed all my papers, figured out how I had to divide the work, and typed it up. I had a messy combination of book reading, online reading, quizzes, tests, and papers to do. But once the schedule was done, all I had to do was follow the calendar. There was no last minute "OH MY GOSH I FORGOT TO WRITE THAT PAPER AND SINCE WHEN DID I HAVE TO READ SIXTY PAGES IN ONE DAY". I was SO glad I did that calendar. It took forever to do but there was practically no stress involved in that class.
4.) TAKE A BREAK
No, that doesn't mean you should sit around for an hour and then realize you need to shower, nor does it mean you should do one subject, take a half hour break, do another subject, half hour break, etc.
Buckling down to get your work done is VERY important, but so is a break. One or two breaks during the day can make the difference between stress and no stress. During ninth, I started to get into a grove, where every day at about 4:30, I would take a walk, rain, snow, or sun. When I knew I was going to be working until 9 anyway and wouldn't have any free time, it gave me the chance to relax a little, and the exercise really helped me feel good about myself. I was still managing to get exercise even though I was sitting at a desk all day. And if it was snowing, it felt like an adventure. Who else would dare to walk in 20 degree weather? I had the whole neighborhood to myself. And if it was raining, I would get soaked, but I'd feel even more refreshed than if it was sunny. Believe it or not, I even had more energy once I got back, especially because at that point my mom was probably beginning to make dinner, so the house smelled good and I could look forward to my next break.
5.) The one thing I always say I'll do, and don't end up doing: FILING MY WORK AWAY
Make it a habit to always put your work away when your done. Do you have a paper that just got returned? Put in your binder. Put in a folder. But it SOMEWHERE you can REMEMBER so that at the end of the year, all of your stuff is exactly where it's supposed to be, and you don't have to deal with a floor covered in random papers, from exams to handouts....hehe....
Anyway, I hope this helps a little. So good luck to you all, and of course...
MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.
P.S. DRINK LOTS OF COFFEE.