New term resolutions

school-success

And just like that, the holidays are over. You’ve had weeks and weeks of freedom, long lies, Netflix marathons, days out with mates and maybe even a sunshine holiday if you’re lucky, and now, reality has hit. The new term is here.

Whether you’re gutted like a fish or absolutely cock-a-hoop at the prospect of donning your uniform and getting back to class, use the new year as a chance to make a difference. Just like on January 1, use the first day of term to make some resolutions, big changes you’ll make to give yourself a successful year of learning. Here’s a few to inspire you…

Use your diary

How many people get a planner or homework diary which they enthusiastically fill in on the first week and abandon thereafter? It’s the first step towards getting organised, though, and worth keeping up. Sure, you can put your deadlines in your iCal, but what if your phone crashes and all details of your advanced higher English assignment are lost the night before deadline? Total nightmare. Go old school and put pen to paper – you’ll not miss a hand-in date again.

Quit procrastinating

Your chemistry homework is sitting on your desk. And right next to it is the remote control. It’s a total no-brainer. Three episodes of OITNB, a break to pop to Costa for a hot chocolate the size of your head and a lengthy chat with your mum later, and the homework remains untouched. Procrastination is the curse of student life, but don’t let it get the better of you this year. Be strict with yourself, set up a study timetable and have some structure to your week, so that you get your homework done and still get time for TV binging.

Make a plan

The future is terrifying, there’s no doubt about that. But it is something you have to start thinking about. What are you going to do after exams in May? More education? Work? An apprenticeship? Now’s the time to start thinking about it, so start researching what’ll work with you. Make an appointment to see your careers adviser, get onto My World of Work or look through past issues of Source to get inspired, and then find out what you have to do to get there. Having a solid career plan and goals in mind will really motivate you to work hard this year.

Try something new

Growing up is all about self-discovery – and the best way to find out more about yourself, what you like and dislike, is to try different things. So go for that work experience slot, join that after-school club, talk to the new kid in your history class, ask the PE department about starting a pilates group, volunteer to help younger pupils with their reading or maths – you never know what you’ll get out of new experiences, and it could inspire you to pursue a certain career or pastime more seriously.

Listen more

Teachers might seem ancient and boring and totally past it, but honestly? They kind of know what they’re talking about. So listen. We’re not just talking about the stuff that’ll get you your Nat 5 in art – they have plenty of wisdom beyond academics. They generally have some pretty great advice, so take it on board. They only want the best for you.

Find a balance

Working hard is important if you want to do well or you have certain goals in mind, but don’t get to the point where you’re total frazzled. We’re all getting more and more stressed, which can make you really ill – and honestly, an A grade isn’t worth becoming unwell for. Likewise, joining every after-school group, volunteering at your local Scouts group and seeing your friends in the rest of your spare time isn’t going to help your grades. This year, figure out the balance between work and play.

Down with the negatives

This year, the words “I can’t” are banned. You can do whatever you set your mind to – and if it doesn’t come naturally, reach out and ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for a hand, and it’ll only benefit you.

So go forth, get planning and give yourself something to work towards this school year! Small changes like these could have a much bigger impact than you think…

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