Secrets to Being Successful

Paige M.

Staff Writer

With the holidays around the corner and the seasons changing, it is that time of the year that students are beginning to feel sluggish in school. They find themselves unable to concentrate on their work and unable to stay motivated enough to complete it. Students are counting down the days until the next break, hoping to have a week without school and stress. It is crucial in these months that students do not abandon their grades. Focusing on certain study skills will help to make the rest of the school year much easier to get through.

One habit that almost all students are guilty of is the after school nap. Although most rely on this nap, it is surprisingly not a good habit to have. Taking a nap after school will make students feel lazy while doing homework and sports after waking up and will make it harder to fall asleep at night, therefore making one stay up later and leading to another tired morning. For many, this is a constant routine that occurs throughout the whole school week and results in a very unenjoyably draining experience.

Fortunately, there are habits that can be adopted to turn a week around. Upon arriving home, eat a healthy snack instead of taking a nap. For example, celery sticks and peanut butter will energize the body and enable it to stay awake. The next step is for students to complete daily homework right when they get home. It is ideal to do homework on a table or on a flat surface. Many people use beds or couches as a study space and end up falling asleep during the process. Sitting at a kitchen table in a quiet environment will allow students to finish and understand their homework with no distractions. If students complete all of their tasks right as they arrive home, they will have the rest of the night to relax and catch up on their sleep.  Do not procrastinate and do homework during lunch or during another period, as this will only result in more stress during the day. Junior Nick Bruno says, “When I get home from wrestling, I go straight to doing my homework, taking a shower, and getting ready for the next day. I’m generally always in a good mood in the morning because of the amount of sleep I get.”  Following this schedule will decrease stress levels immensely, and it will much be easier to focus and understand material instead of sleeping in class and not paying attention.

Another crucial habit that students are slacking off on this time of year is studying. People are just scraping by because of their limited amount of time spent looking over material for tests and quizzes. It is important to remember that these grades make up a large portion of a yearly average and can greatly raise or decrease an average in the blink of an eye. Having an attitude of “l will just wing it” can hurt grades more than one might think. Mrs. Deborah Hipp, AP and honors chemistry teacher, said, “With allstudy skills 2 paige of the new technology available for students to study with, there should be no reason not to study. Online flashcards, games, and other things on your computer and your phone are very helpful.” Finding time to study is crucial. It is best to treat studying like homework; it has to be done. Listening to quiet background music also helps people focus. For large tests, some people like to create study groups, which can be very beneficial if they pick the right people to study with. However, students must not choose to study with a group of people who will draw them to slack off. Instead, pick people who know what they are doing and are serious and on task. When studying, keep in mind what kind of environment to study in. Pick a quiet place with no distractions that will lead to becoming off task. Places like coffee shops and libraries are always a good option to choose because of the limited noise. Different people enjoy different study habitats, so it is important to find the one that provides the individual with a place to be the most proactive.

One of the most important aspects of studying is to put away anything that could be considered a distraction. Phones are the number one largest distraction to students in this generation and result in an abundance of useful time going down the drain. Turn the phone off or put it in a backpack so that there will be no temptation to use it.  Also eliminate television, video games, and computers that are not being used for educational purposes. Studying with no distractions will be much more beneficial and will take much less time than it would have if busy on an electronic device. Sophomore Matthew Poirier says, “It’s really crazy how much more you get done when you have nothing to distract you.” Cutting out distractions will cut study time almost in half and provide more available time that can be used doing something truly enjoyable.

Being prepared with homework, tests, quizzes, and any other work from the night before is another habit that can relieve stress and result in a productive day. Many people wake up in the morning rushing to prepare all of the belongings that they need for school. An alternative to starting the day off in chaos is to prepare the night before. Set out an outfit to wear, pack a lunch, and complete all homework before going to sleep the previous night. This will allow more time to sleep and will ensure being on time to school. Being prepared keeps students relaxed and starts the day off positively so that one can stay on track with homework and studying.

Lastly, something that influences the productivity in more ways than imaginable is eating healthy and exercising.  Exercise not only benefits people physically, but also mentally. It boosts brainpower by increasing the levels of serotonin, reducing stress levels and providing more energy due to endorphin release. All of these strategies will positively affect performance in school, as more energy means more productivity.  Blood circulation is increased so the brain absorbs more information and understands more of the content that is being taught. Eating healthy foods and snacks throughout the day is also important because it gives the body the vitamins and minerals that it needs to work hard the whole day. Save the junk foods for the weekends, and cut out unhealthy foods from the weekly school schedule. Make sure to have a healthy breakfast full of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates to keep the body going for the whole day. Fruits, dairy, eggs, and wheat are all good choices when debating what to eat. Also, make sure lunch, snacks, and dinners are filled with ingredients that will benefit the body and make it feel good so that work can be completed. Eating healthy and exercising are some of the most important aspects to keep the body and mind going during the day.

Although it may be difficult to work hard in school, it is important to push through the next few months to make it out on top at the end of the semester. Grades are important and decide a large portion of colleges and the future in general. Following these tips will guarantee lower stress levels, better grades, and happier moods. Make these last couple months of the semester productive ones by staying on track with school and enjoying fun activities in available free time.

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