Hello there, I hope these final days of 2012 are treating you nicely :) School is starting in a few days, and I will officially be a Form 5 student! *fanfare + confetti*. My high school experience so far has been quite enjoyable, with a dash of 'I hate this' here and there. But hey, it's school, what do you expect? I went to 3 different high schools (still am attending one of them for one more year), and each school have been different from the others, in it's own way. First I was in a Sekolah Agama (Islamic school), then I went to a regular school, and finally enrolled in a fully residential science school.
Having just one more year of this, and still being alive and sane (I think) I think I am eligible to give out tips on surviving high school. These are just very general tips that I think can be used by students of all school types. Oh well, at least it helped me. Hope these will help!
1. Make friends
Friends are very important. They play a big part in our lives. They're the people we share our laughter and tears with. As we are prone to be influenced by the people we spend time with, it is very important that we have good friends. Friends that stay through think and thin, and help us improve ourselves. It's best to keep away from peers that constantly get into trouble, and persuade you to break the rules, etc. It's good that if you have your own group of friends, or clique, but be friends with everyone. Different people will have different effects on your life. Plus, the more the merrier! Keep in mind that quality beats quantity. Don't worry in you're not popular in school. Be grateful for the great friends you have, because some people may have a hard time trying to find true friends. Being popular is not important.
2. Be organized
It's easier if you have your things organized. Then, you wont lose important papers, books, stationery, and so on. Ever lost homework you worked had on, and had to re-do it? It's really frustrating! What I do is I regularly re-organize my desk and locker (face it, I'm not the most neat person) whenever I feel it's getting untidy. Having a clutter-free workspace helps while doing homework and studying. Another example of being organized is writing down all homework and assignments, so that you don't forget any. What I did was put sticky-notes in my workbooks/textbooks with a list of homework. I know a friend who has a little notebook specifically to keep track of homework. If you're active in co-curricular activities, it'll help if you have a planner so that you'll have a clearer view of the time you actually have. Another important thing is to be punctual. Try to be early or on time to all your classes and meetings. It shows discipline and you won't miss anything. When you are late, apologise for your tardiness and try your best that it won't happen again.
3. Work hard, play hard
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Being balanced is a key to having a great high school experience. You don't want to be a robot, but at the same time you don't want to be the kid who just plays until all the grades goes flying out the window. Playing sports and exercising increases endorphins which makes you feel happier and healthier. Computer games, or hobby like drawing, painting, chess, can help in decreasing stress. This may vary from one person to the next, because we all have different preferences and interests. But we have to know when to stop playing and start working, or even when to close the exercise books and start doing something fun.
4. Do homework
I admit, I have trouble with this one sometimes, but at least I do try to complete my work. Homework helps you to understand lessons and master skills. If you have trouble, ask your friends. When you still don't get it, consult your teacher. Besides, we all can spare the lecture and punishment.
Can I be more obvious? If you want excellent results, you have to work for it. I know studying can be such a drag sometimes, but seriously, here's a straw, suck it up. Hahaha just kidding. Find ways to make studying fun. Study groups are really good, but make sure that there is actual studying going on. Please guys, don't cheat in exams. You may get good grades because of it, but think about it, it wasn't you who did well in that exam. If you keep depending on other people, you will never unleash your own capabilities. What a shame.
6. Don't over-think
Over-thinking. I do this all the time, especially during exams. You see, whenever I feel like I am incapable of doing something I have to, my confidence drops really low. This year, I ended up over-thinking, and crying over upcoming exams two times. And to think I'll have to face more exams next year. Urgh. When we over-think, we tend to expect a negative outcome while in reality, it isn't that bad at all. When you are over-thinking, just stop for a second, take a deep breath,
7. Avoid people you dislike
Trust me. If you don't like somebody, avoid them. Don't spread hate about them, don't talk about them behind their backs and don't spread rumours about them. Think of it this way, if you don't like cats, you wouldn't be hanging around them, right? It keeps you away from being annoyed.
8. Avoid drama
Drama, drama, drama. So cliché. Being surrounded by drama is a distraction. It can annoy you, it can mess up your emotions, and before you know it, everything is just all over the place. This goes out especially to the girls. Why must girls make mountains out of molehills? Urgh. You know what annoys me, when people make unnecessary drama about petty things. Talk about attention thirsty. Don't even get me started about boy-drama. Just let me advise you this, don't forget why you're in school the first place. You're there to get an education, to build a better future for yourself. Don't blow it off.
Relax from time to time. Indulge yourself in what makes you feel good. Sit back and smell the roses. Lay down, and listen to music. Read a good book and drink a cup of your favourite tea. Do nothing. "Il dolce far niente" - the sweetness of doing nothing. Occasional relaxing time can be very refreshing and you'll be ever prepared to continue doing other things. Manage stress wisely. You don't want to end up depressed. Believe me, I've been there.
10. Look your best
When you look good, you feel good. Dress neatly. Dress for success. Personal hygiene is a must. :)b
If you're being bullied, get help. Bullying can happen in many forms, physically and verbally. Please don't bully other people. Instead, stand up against it and help others who are experiencing the same thing. If you're doing nothing wrong, and there are people who are unhappy about it (haters talking behind your back), ignore them. Soon enough they'll get bored. When somebody tries to bring you down, remember that they're doing that because you are already above them. Talking bad about other people won't make you any better.
Smile, everyday. It's sunnah! It's easy and it's free. It lifts up your mood, and it can even brighten someone else's day. Smile, even to people you don't know. Just be careful about what smile you are giving. You don't want to give people the wrong message. Hahaha. Smile, it's charity. :)
13. Get your priorities straight
Sometimes you get carried away with other things, like sports and competitions, and then your grades slip. I'm not saying that you shouldn't engage in co-curricular activities, but always make sure that you're doing well in class. I remember the words my dad said when I was in primary school; Even if you have many certificates, you won't get into good schools with bad grades. Even if you have other stuff going on, try your best to not miss class.
14. Stay on your teacher's good side
Being in the teacher's good books really help. Just be a good student. Be early for classes, pay attention, respect the teacher, finish the homework, etc. When the teachers like you, classes are better. Even if you're not getting good grades, the teacher will be more than happy to help you. Being a kiss-up is unnecessary, and your classmates will probably hate you for it. Believe me, when the teacher dislikes you, classes can be hell! If you did something wrong like offend your teacher or something, apologize. It's better than going mental.
15. Manage grades
Keep track on how you're doing in exams, and try your best. Know where your strong and weak points are. Good grades will help you when you're applying for college or university, and it also has satisfaction that comes with it. When you are excelling, don't get cocky, because things can change. Just try your best in exams. It'll do you a lot of good.
16. Have goals
In exams, or any other activity that you're involved in, make goals for yourself. Goals can be short-term, and long-term. It is advisable to have both. Write them down in you notebook, stick it on your desk, or bedroom wall, anywhere that you see often, so that you feel constantly motivated to reach it.
17. Engage in activities
Try new things! Spice up you life a little. For me, I try to engage in other activities and competitions because it can change the boring daily routine. I can't stand doing the same thing repeatedly day after day. Participating in other activities can be really fun, and you can learn and gain new experience at the same time. Who knows, you might even make some new friends. Sometimes school is boring because you don't try to make it fun. Spending time with friends strengthens friendships and make good memories.
18. Take care of yourself
Take care of your health. I know sometimes we students like to miss school, but missing a whole day can mean missing a lot. Being sick itself is a bummer, school or no school. Everyone know the numbness of returning to school after missing it, even for a day. You don't know what's going on, what happened, you're behind on lessons, etc. When you miss school or class, ask a friend to write down the work for you, and teach you what you've missed. Taking care of your health is essential not just because of school, but simply, health is wealth. Even going to school with a case of the sniffles or cough can be really annoying.
This is very important. It is important that you have a good relationship with God. Pray for yourself, pray for others. Allah is Almighty, and we are weak. Pray that He eases our lives, and bestows His blessing upon us. Face it, everything happens with His will. So, keep calm, and pray. Insya Allah :)
So I guess that's it.High school will end. Some people say it's the best years of their lives, some people say the complete opposite. While you're there, might as make the best out of it. Try your best, and I wish you the best!