Monday, 4 August 2014

10 Things I Realised in Upper Secondary School

Hi there!

  Quite a mounthfull that title I know. I couldn't come up with a better one without being misunderstood. Soo anyway, let's get to today's blog post, shall we?

  My school starts in a week. I was so excited last week because I was doing back to school shopping. Now that I've done that all the excitement is gone and has turned into stress and anxiety. Oh, I think it's worth mentioning that I'll go to the second grade of Upper Secondary School (or High School or College, whatever you call it in your country :D). I'll do one of my matriculation examination this school year. I'm also a Tutor. No pressure at all.

  Last year was a very stressfull and maybe not the best year of school I've ever had. I've been thinking about it a lot this summer and I came up with 10 things  realised in my first year and this summer and I'll try to keep these in mind now that school starts again and I will hopefully have a better year.

  What a long intro...



1. It's not like Lower Secondary School so don't expect it to be
  That's pretty much it. I'll give you an example: In Upper Secondary School school work requires more than just reading a chapter through which would have been more than enough in Lower Secondary. Tests are different and most likely more difficult so you have to read during the school periods and not just the evening before in order to really learn something. The school year goes by in a different rythmn.

2. Go to class and follow your school work
  You fall behind so easily if you're not at school. In my school we have 75 minute long lessons so in class we usually get a lot done. And then we get homework which take time too. If you're gone a lot it will be hard to catch up. However I will not advice anyone to go to school while being ill. Health is number one priority. So if you happen to get ill during a school year (happens to me too) first get better and then think of school and work. 

3. Focus on the subjects you're interested in (and the subjects you need in the future)
  I suck at chemistry and physics. I won't need those in the future so I don't really care for those subjects. I prefer to focus on English and German because in the future I know I will want to study languages and I will hopefully have a job where I can use languages in a daily basics. Find the subjects that interest you and study those well. This way you learn things that are important to you and your work-amount is bearable.

4. Make plans on how and when to study
  I keep a calendar with me all year long and I write a lot of stuff in there. So I also make plans on how to study. Before our test week I'll plan my reading so that I don't have a huge amount of pages to learn in one day. This way I know when to read and what subject to read. Planning also works in big assignments. You can divide the work how you want to: one day you can search for information, one day you go through the information, then you can write something and so on. Then you'll be ready to give the work to your teacher in time and you'll be more happy while doing it. 

5. Balance your work and play
  This is possible when you plan your time. After all that studying you deserve to sit in front of your computer, open your computer and listen to music, watch films or just do whatever you like. Give some time to your friends too. Just call a friend and suggest a meet up and going to a coffee house. Or going to the movie theatre to watch a new movie. Also remember to spend a family evening every now and then. 

6. Make notes that you understand
  There's no point in copying the teacher notes word to word if you don't understand it. I've done it before and it's a lot more work when you study to the exam because you have to look up the definition to a new word, for example. So better get it right the first time and make notes you understand later too. Use colourful pens and highlighters if they help you. I use colour-codes when studying words and stuff. And if they don't really help you then at least it's nicer to look at your notes when they are colourful. 

7. Write in your book
  I know text books are quite an investment and if you write in them you won't get as much money for them when you sell it if you write it. But think about it this way: why are you paying 35 euros to buy a book if you don't learn anything? So make underlines and write definitions or summary next to the texts. Interact with the text. You can use a pencil and erase it before selling the book. You might get a little less money back but it will be worth it. 

8. Ask questions
  There are no silly questions- just silly answers. So don't be afrait to ask something- there's nothign bad about it. The teacher is only human and he/she can't read your mind so they can't explain something to you if you don't ask. Most likely someone else was wondering the same thing but didn't ask it. If you don't want to ask your question in front of class, write the question down so you won't forget it and ask it after class.

9. Find the place for you to study
  Different people need a different environment for them to be able to concentrate. Some people like to be at home in their room and some people like the library more. I get distracted by noises (also music) and I can't study if I'm in a messy place. If I study in my room I need to clean it before studying. But I like to study there. I also like the library, preferably the second floor because it's more quiet there. Those are the two places I like to study. 

10. Grades do not define you as a person
  I used to think about my grades a lot. If I got bad grades I would see myself as a bad person. That's not how it is. I think that the constant stress of wanting to get good grades were the reason I didn't get the grades I wanted. Even though I still think about my grades and I still want good grades I'll try to focus more on the fact that I learn something. 

  There are probably more things I will realise and learn. This year I have decided to keep these in mind. I'll let you know how that's going. 

That's all this time. Have a great day!

Until next time! Take Care!
-Silvia

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