Make Your Academic Year One for the Books from the Get-Go
Back-to-school entails more than shopping and last hurrahs of summer. It’s a fresh start; a blank canvas on which to paint a year of academic achievement, personal growth, and memories to last a lifetime. A few simple steps to preparedness go a long way in making the difference between a relaxed, productive year, and a year where you’re panicked, scrambling, and routinely behind the eight ball.
It’s tempting to prioritize the last drops of summer fun across the first several days of school, and sure, you or your child would likely be up and running within a couple weeks, but why not start strong out of the gate? By getting ahead of the game and preparing, you’re setting the stage for achievement from Day One.
Tips for Starting Gate Success:
- Always be reading. Ideally, you’ve made a habit of summer reading; either way, pick up a book and get back in the zone. Brain calisthenics pay off.
- Get a good sleep schedule established before classes start. Benjamin Franklin was right about this one.
- Make sure you get plenty of physical activity, fresh air, and good nutrition.
- Never underestimate a positive mindset. Cheesy? Sure, but picking up that glass when it’s half full is a cliché with real mileage.
- Ask questions. This is a big one. If an assignment, directive, or received grade perplexes you, ask your teacher or instructor for clarification. This is an invaluable habit to form. Don’t passively sit back waiting to be told what to do or for things to just happen or explain themselves–take an active role. Be your own educational success advocate. Besides, teachers love the initiative.
- When it comes to learning, what’s at the end of your effort and hard-work rainbow? Maybe it’s making the honor roll. Or getting into a particular college. Or simply the acquisition of life-enriching knowledge. Keep your eye on the prize and let it be your motivation.
- Do assignments earlier rather than later. I know…easier said than done, but, especially with written assignments, it’s nice to have a buffer to accommodate inevitable revisions. And anyway, cramming the night before is rarely pleasant.
- Maintain balance. Just like work-life balance, I believe a solid school-life balance is critical to academic success and overall peace of mind. Give classwork your all, but redirect your all to friends, family, and favorite pastimes as schedule allows. Make the time.
- Own it. What I mean by that is, much like being your own educational success advocate, in great part you need to make stuff happen. Don’t wait on teachers, parents, or…ahem…your tutor to badger you into completing homework and advancing. At the end of the day, you advance you.
Starting off on the right academic foot sets a solid tone for the year. It can make or break your long-term performance and will bring peace of mind if done correctly and consistently. If you’re looking for support on that strong start for yourself or your child, contact me for more information and a strategy tailored to you.