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How to Set Yourself Up for a Successful Year

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   Whether you’re a freshman just entering high school or a senior on the home stretch,  going back to school is always daunting and a struggle coming off of a relaxed summer break. As a senior myself, I’ve experienced the ups and downs throughout the year, whether it’s learning to manage a high school schedule, starting extracurriculars, taking AP classes for the first time, or preparing for standardized tests like the SAT. If you don’t set yourself up right, you can have an unpleasant, overwhelming year. The key is being prepared, learning to manage your time, and staying healthy so that you can set yourself up for a successful year. 

   An effective way to always be prepared, stay organized, and to reduce stress is to plan ahead. With towers of homework piling up on top of sports, clubs, family commitments, or work, deadlines can clash and it can be hard to find time to complete certain tasks with ample time. Last year I was involved with the school play, Dance Fusion, studying for the SAT and homework, and Student Senate. I always found myself worried I wasn’t going to be able to keep all my schedules and deadlines straight. After making a calendar on a whiteboard in my room, I was able to see a week or even a month at a glance and get a sense of what I should prioritize first. Making a calendar or keeping some sort of schedule that is easily accessible and easy to read is really beneficial when trying to balance out and prioritize assignments, events, and work.

   Prioritizing the work that is due first is helpful to meet deadlines, but priorities don’t solely apply to schoolwork. It’s important to prioritize mental, emotional, and physical health. Getting enough sleep is essential to having a successful and motivated year. I’ve suffered the consequences for staying up an extra hour or two after homework to watch my favorite show, feeling relaxed and fulfilled, but the next day I was a zombie and had no motivation to do any work. This creates a cycle that increases procrastination and stress while decreasing motivation. An urge to skip class due to exhaustion or illness from lack of sleep will only make a student fall behind. All this can be avoided by going to bed at a reasonable hour. If you get enough sleep, it makes the time you have to spend with friends and family more enjoyable, too. 

   Communicating with your teachers and peers is often vital for success in class. Most teachers at Morro Bay High School are willing to put in the time to help their students understand concepts in or outside of class. Additionally, tutors are available as well as peers who may be willing to help if you just ask. Communicating with peers and teachers when you’ll be missing class for sports, a blue slip, or a doctor’s appointment will give teachers a heads up so you can know what work you’ll be missing. This will decrease stress because you’ll be prepared for the next class and not fall behind. 

   Most important for your overall well being and a successful year is having fun. Save time for friends, family, and the things you love. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself so that you can have energy and motivation after a week filled with sports, classes, and homework to have fun. Whether that is surfing, hanging with friends, reading a book, going on a hike, you’re more likely to enjoy it if you feel balanced, organized and healthy. The key to a successful year is balance: balancing of health, organization, learning, motivation, and fun.

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