It is that time of the year again when excitement and anxiety fill you up in equal measure. Excitement at heading back to a place where you get to spend a large part of the day with friends and anxiety at the expected workload that is going to come your way.
Yes, it is back-to-school time. The lazy carefree days of summer vacation are over and students across the country have to put on their uniform, pick up their bag and head off to school and bury their heads in books once again.
This transition is difficult, in fact very difficult. Getting into a routine after following none for a couple of months is the hardest part, and then as the classes in school pick up pace, homework, assignments and tests just leave one totally overwhelmed.
There are so many ways to get into the right mood and mindset to face a new academic year, overcome any difficulty one might face and achieve success. But before anything can work for you, you need to make the right choice. You need to choose to be positive, to be proactive, to work hard and give your best, to not let disappointments and hardships distract you from your goals and, most importantly, remember the faith your parents and family have in you and not let them down.
You have the power in you to make a success of your student life or just waste it away. Smart student make the right choices, so choose to follow these proactive and positive steps and you will have a successful academic year ahead.
Define your goals
The importance of setting goals has been stressed upon so many times. Unless you have goals — big ones, small ones, long-term and short-term — you will not make any worthwhile progress because you have no destination in sight. You need to know what you want to achieve, you need to wish for something and have an urge for it to be able to get something of real value.
Therefore, set goals for what you want to achieve in this new academic year, both short-term goals such as learning the day’s lessons when you get back home or completing an assignment to submit it on time, and also long-term goals such as getting top grades. This will give you something to aim for and work hard on. And when you reach any of your goals, it will give you the motivation to keep up your efforts and do even better.
Initially, getting back into the mood for studies and serious work is not easy. There will be days you will not want to get out of bed, or poor marks in a class test may leave you dejected.
Don’t stop and don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to face new challenges or try out new things. A child doesn’t start walking from the first day he tries to take a step, he stumbles and falls countless times, but he doesn’t give up and soon he is running around. You have done the same in childhood, and you can do the same to learn everything that first appears difficult, even impossible, to you.
When the going gets tough, get tougher
When you are unable to follow and understand a class lecture, when a topic seems too difficult to learn, or when your teacher scolds you in front of everyone in the class and you don’t have a best friend to hang out with during recess, it can seem as if the whole world is against you. You will feel lonely and depressed.
At this point, school may seem too tough for you to handle, but remember, you are tougher. This is just a tough time you are going through and it will pass. The pressure will lessen. You just need to stay firm and keep doing your best, only your confidence and self-belief will see you through.
Take the initiative
Everyone wants to do well in studies and school, so how can you become better than the rest, or at least stand out in the crowd?
You can do this by being proactive, taking your future in your own hands and shaping it the way you want by doing all that is required to get you to your goals.
Don’t wait for success to come your way, because it just won’t fall in your lap if you keep sitting where you are. You need to take the initiative, most likely baby steps at first, to do all it takes to get where you want to see yourself. Plan how much you need to study, as you best know your weaknesses and strengths, to get good grades and how you will overcome the difficulties you are facing.
There is always a way, you just need to find it. And there should always be a plan B to fall on to, in case your first plan doesn’t work. For instance, you cannot understand a certain topic in maths, ask the teacher. If even then you can’t get it, don’t worry, look for students who are good in maths and ask them for help. One of them is bound to make you overcome your difficulty.
Have an open mind
It is good to make plans but the problem with this can be that if your plans are not working out for any reason, you may want to just give up. Don’t.
With an open mind, look at the other options you have not considered, maybe something else may just work out fine and suit you. For instance, you wanted to become a doctor and gave it your best, but unluckily, you could not get admission in any medical college.
It’s not the end of the world. Don’t dwell on what has happened, look at the future, there are other fields related to medicine that may still be open for you and you will do just as well there too.
There is so much more that you can do when the school opens this month and you head back to a familiar, yet challenging, environment. But most importantly, live in the moment, enjoy what you have and one day these golden days will become sweet memories that you will long to relive. Have a great school year!
Published in Dawn, Young World, August 4th, 2018