I never had a problem with getting good grades. In fact, I’d beat myself up if I ended up with a B in a class (up until senior year when I ended up having the least amount of sleep and developed a “screw-the-world-imma-become-a-stripper” attitude). As NO. 4 in my class (technically number 3 because there were two salutatorians), I figure I could at least spill the beans on how I did it.
How to Have a Productive School Year
1. Join Clubs
I love being busy. I love having things to do, people to see, food to eat. And I accomplished all of this by either joining clubs or forming clubs. My pride and glory was Asian Culture Club because I sculpted a mundane hangout of Chinese kung fu movies and anime to game nights and karaoke nights, and boy. That club kept me busy. I would try and finish up my work as swiftly yet efficiently as I can to do the fun work: engaging in my clubs. Not only did I become more productive by forcing myself to time manage, but I racked up on leadership opportunities for my resume, and volunteer hours for my school. I had so many hours, I was invited to this yummy, delicious banquet in honor of meeting the school’s requirement of community service. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone and stealing their food too!
2. Make Friends that Share…Food
Speaking of food, don’t be skipping breakfast because you’re late. Boy: when I was hongry, I wasn’t doing any type of work until my stomach was FED. If you’re constantly scraping your purse for some greens, try finding friends who share food! My homegirl always had some type of snack on her, and it’s actually best to snack on something when you just need a little brain boost or motivation (or distraction).
3. Remember: You Have No Free Time
If the bell rings for dismissal and you’re going home and you just finished eating your second lunch (because I can’t operate with only one lunch a day), and you think you don’t have anything to do, you’re wrong. Look for scholarships. Summer internships. Volunteer work over school breaks. Get your teeth cleaned. Do something you’re good at doing and make it better. Clean your room and sell what you don’t need on eBay. Grow fruits and veggies. Go study what you learned today. Study for the ACT/SAT. Your life is a product, therefore you must BE PRODUCTIVE!
4. Use Your Phone for Other Things!
I don’t advise this if you have a phone battery like Krillin, dying all the time like mine. But if you’re more fortuitous, use apps to help you study and organize your life.
- Get a to-do list app. I use Color Note for the Android (team no cracked phone, unlike many Apple users) and what’s beautiful about this app is not only can you write just simple notes, not only can you also make to-do lists, not only can you PIN the to-do list to your notification bar so it’s there like a voicemail notification that doesn’t go away until you delete the voicemails, BUT you can also change the colors of the notes! This app is extremely useful and it never goes away from my notification bar because I always have things to do.
- Use electronic flashcards. Y’all. Stop wasting trees. It’s 2015 now; make your flashcards digital! You can use StudyBlue, Quizlet, or any other free app and flash your cards during downtime, when you’re waiting for your ride, or when you’re on the bus. I prefer Studyblue over Quizlet because (I’m a hipster) on the desktop version, you can type in a word and it’ll suggest a gazillion definitions for you from many users. You can then take their definitions or combine all of them and paraphrase: that way you’ll have a better understanding of the word because you’ve seen the definition a gazillion times.
- Get a calendar app. I ditched that agenda years ago because I never looked at it. My calendar app that came with my Samsung phone is fine, and I’m always on my phone. I can make reminders on it and schedule my every-other-Tuesday meetings. It wasn’t broke so no need for fixin’.
Now, this list is in no order of importance, but I do think this one is essential:
I know I speak for everyone when I say that the main two things that make me not want to do anything are lack of food and not knowing how to do my work.
YOUR TEACHERS ARE TEACHERS FOR A REASON. LET THEM DO THEIR JOB. You don’t understand something? Ask them! Don’t be scared to get a good grade in a class, because that’s pretty much what you’re doing if you’re relying on Jesus or Buddha to ask the teacher a question. Yes, there is such a thing as a dumb question. Yes, you may feel like an idiot once you ask a question with the answer in the gosh-darn question. Yes, people may laugh or scoff or scold at you, but who will laugh when you turn out to be Numbah Five in your class?
And we all know when you don’t know how to do something, you have a “better reason for slacking off and not doing it.” You can also try Khan Academy (he talks too much for me so I read the transcripts on his website and find what I’m looking for a lot faster). I think coolmath.com is cool, StudyIsland.com works wonders, and Google is your best friend!
Any studying tips to share? What works for you?
Make smart friends
Take reward breaks (e.g if you study for an hour, take a 30-minute break and snack)
Use a sleep timer to calculate the best time to wake up and not feel grouchy: sleepyty.me
If you have to write a paper and need to have two windows open to do so, split screen by clicking on a window and then use windows key + LEFT arrow, and then select the other window and do windows key + RIGHT arrow.Try it now!
Thanks for reading!