How to start off well this semester


Hawk Eye Staff

The word “academics” welcomes students to said wing of the school.

Having just finished the second marking period and begun the third, we are just beyond the halfway point of the school year. As such, we start with a clean slate and a new opportunity to study hard and improve our grades.

These past few years have been very stressful for us all and it can be very difficult to stay motivated in the classroom when stress-levels are high. Here are a few tips on starting the new semester off right:

1.) Begin each week with a to-do list

Having a clear list of things that you must accomplish each week will help keep your mind focused and able to accomplish the tasks at hand. It will also help you time-manage as you will know the work-load of the week and how you will need to balance that work-load with extra-curricular activities.

2.) Study as you work through each unit

As you begin taking harder classes, you will learn that the units become much bigger. With this being said, it is very important to study as you work through each unit so you don’t get overloaded right before a big unit exam. The last thing you want to do is cram for any test, but especially in AP classes as the information is extensive and the exams are hard. Balancing out your study load over multiple days will not only decrease your stress levels, but it will also lead to better grades.

3.) Do not just memorize information, learn it

This was a lesson that I learned after I took my first AP class. When I would study, I would simply memorize the information being taught. I would not learn it. While this method may have gotten me good grades in easier classes, I was not helping myself because my knowledge was not being enhanced. Plus, this method got me in trouble when I had to take “applied-knowledge” exams, something that is not uncommon in AP classes. Actually learning the information may be more time-consuming, but it will lead to improved grades and will improve your overall education.

4.) Ask teachers for help

Teachers are there to help; they want their students to succeed. If you don’t understand something, it is crucial that you ask for help in order to prevent falling behind. Asking your teacher for help, to clarify something, or to check over your work may be the most important thing a student can do to ensure academic success. You’ll also build a stronger teacher-student relationship from speaking with your teacher and the increased knowledge that you receive from speaking with someone who has mastered that topic.

5.) “The dose makes the poison”

While it is very important to work hard in high school, it is also important to not over-work yourself and give yourself time to relax and recuperate. Finding the balance between school, extra-curricular activities, work, and your social life is one of the hardest things that every young student needs to figure out. It is important to not spend too much time in one area because it will hinder other aspects of your life. The dosage of time you choose to spend in each area, decides the poison!

Hopefully, you find these five tips useful and will use them to help start the last half of the school year off right. Good luck, Bethel Park, and study hard!