School is starting up. For me it is just on the horizon, but for some of you it has already started. To thee I say good luck and have a great year. Here are some tips for a potentially great school year. Some might not work for others, but I encourage you to try them out anyway.
One thing: I’m homeschooled, so I call all my school things ‘schoolwork’, because homework just doesn’t work. Just if you didn’t know that.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
This is one of the biggest tips I have for you because it is very important. Please don’t. For one thing, procrastination is a sin (YES. It falls under ‘sloth’ or ‘laziness’, one of the seven deadly sins.) and second of all procrastination tends to ruin one’s lives.
A few sub-tips for this: constantly remind yourself not to procrastinate. One way to do this is to set your mobile or desktop wallpaper to something effective, like those “YOU SHOULD BE DOING YOUR HOMEWORK!” wallpapers with celebrities or what-have-you on them. Loki is especially popular. My own wallpaper is a simple one that has ‘Procrastination is a sin. Be smart. Don’t procrastinate.’ on it in stark black Trajan Pro on a plain white background. It is effective.
The second sub-tip: stick post-it notes with important to-do things everywhere. Maybe literally. You can also set reminders on your phone. Stick post-it notes on your electronic devices saying things like “do schoolwork/homework first”. You might just need it.
Third sub-tip: Have an accountability partner. You can have a friend (or sibling) pester you about homework (or schoolwork, or whatever) while you have the rights to annoy them back.
First things first. This is pretty basic, but it’s very important, so do it. Try writing down a list of all the things you have to do or all the commitments you have, and then on another piece of paper (or another section on the piece of paper or whatever you’re using) list them again, but from the most important/most urgent to least important/least urgent and then do them in that order.
Now, this might work for some people, and this also might not work for others. But try it out anyway if you haven’t found out if schedules work for you or not. At least set up a guideline to follow, maybe?
Focus on your homework or schoolwork when it is in progress. Don’t be on social media, email, chat, and other distracting things while you’re doing it. Remember to take breaks, but homework and non-research Internet don’t mix, so please don’t do them at the same time. There are productivity apps where social media and other websites are blocked for a certain amount of time or until everything you need to do is done. They exist, and if you need them, you should probably get them.
Yes, my friends, this is an important part of your life. Please pray and keep up with your prayers, even if it’s just three Hail Marys a day or what-have-you. As long as you keep praying at least once everyday (try not to make it thoughtless or heartless), you’re fine, but you can probably do better than that. Talk to Our Lord, ask for help. And the saints are there too, you know. There’s a saint invoked to cure procrastination, St. Expeditus; there’s also St. Thomas Aquinas (aka the Dumb Ox, which is by far the most ironic nickname in the history of ever); St. Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Writers, et cetera.
I mentioned this one earlier. Taking breaks is actually important. I hope you know that. Just make sure they don’t get extensions. Taking breaks is important because first of all, you can’t plow through schoolwork half-dead. Second, you need time to let the information sink in. Third, you need to clear your mind every now and then. And finally, having the right amount of fun is healthy. Do that. But make sure it’s proportionate with the time that you do the work, and it doesn’t get extended.
And lastly — HAVE FUN
Yes I know, school is death and blah blah blah for some of you but try to make it fun, or at least don’t make it death. Your attitude affects everything. Everything. Think about it, why do you have fun with certain activities but not others? Your attitude about it. Try to be optimistic (this is kind of hard for me, to tell you the truth). There are two sides to every coin, so choose the right one.
That’s all I have for the most part – I hope you excuse my informality, but this is teen-to-teen, right? Anyway, hope these help you with your year. Good luck with it, may God bless you. Most importantly, SURVIVE. The world needs you and your amazing boatload of potential and talent.