back to school part two: how to survive freshman year (and beyond)

Have you been worrying about entering highschool for the first time or once again? Perhaps you’re wondering constantly, “How am I going to endure 6 classes with piles of homework and tests almost every week? How did I even finish the last school year?” Well, for part two of my back to school series, I’m going to give and explain 5 easy tips on how I survived my freshman year with all A’s. I started using these methods in middle school. Of course, I’ve still stressed about homework and tests, but I guess you can say that the tips that I’m about to share with you has made it all easier for me. Hopefully you’ll find them as useful as I do!

1. Stay Organized
Staying organized is so, so, so vital in highschool! The last thing you want is to lose papers, essays, or your homework. My suggestion is to invest in a portfolio. All you have to do is open it up and stick your papers in. There’s no need to hole punch anything. I never had to carry multiple binders around for different classes. It was just my portfolio in my backpack. Since there were a lot of pockets in my portfolio, I designated 2 for each class. One pocket was for new/unfinished handouts, homework, and things that were due in class. The second pocket was for the old work and tests that had been graded. Here’s an example of how I will label the tabs of my portfolio once I get my class schedule: Pocket 1: English; 2: English Back; 3: French; 4: French Back etc…

2. Stay Planned
I believe that every highschool student MUST own a planner. Not just any planner, though. Your planner should have lots of space to write down the homework for each day and any upcoming tests or occasions. Here’s my planner from last year:

Notice how I set each day up. 
  1. List all of your classes
  2. Draw a box to the left of the class
  3. To the right, write your homework
  4. Fill in the box once you complete your homework
  5. Any tests? Write it at the top on the day it will be held with bright ink

3. Stay Focused
Ahhh… Here’s the hard part. How many times have we really tried to focus, but that voice in our head kept whispering “Facebook… Instagram… Tumblr… PINTEREST…” We’ve all been there! Here’s how I usually stay focused.

  1. Study/do homework in a bright, quiet environment with a desk, if possible
  2. Studying while listening to classical music has ALWAYS helped me, especially during finals. Here’s a link to the music I listen to.
  3. It’s okay to take breaks! Not too long though! Perhaps after working for 30 minutes, take a 5-10 minute break.
  4. Avoid distractions. Put away your phone and exit social media pages.
  5. Eat healthy food like nuts and fruits while studying. You can even use them as incentives. Once you finish some part of your homework, you get to eat few pieces of, I don’t know, cranberries.
  6. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!! Last year, I had a teacher who gave a bunch of handouts that were always due on test day. Instead of working on all of the handouts last minute, I tried to finish them as soon as possible. This gave me more time to study for the test.

4. Stay Resourceful
In this day and age, students are so lucky. There are countless practice tests, flashcards, and study websites floating in the internet. Take advantage of them! My favorite websites are Quizlet, Schmoop, and Sparknotes. You should also visit the course site of your textbook. The course site really helped me for my French and Geometry tests because of the practice quizzes that were provided.

5. Stay Positive
Last but not least, stay positive! If you are constantly thinking, “What’s the point of studying? I’m just going to fail the test! What’s the point of going to school?”, chances are, you are not going to study as hard, and you won’t be as successful. Surround yourself with positive thoughts, notes, and people. Hang up quotes in your study environment. Think about that A+ on your test and report card! Think positive, and positive things will happen.
I hope that you acquired at least one tip that you will practice during the upcoming school year! Do you have any tips on how to survive highschool? Let us know below! 
♡Blaze Ann