With every new calendar year, billions of people are encouraged to make a New Year’s resolution, a goal they can strive for during the course of the year ahead. Needless to say, they usually fail, but that’s usually because they’re too unrealistic or just not all that feasible. Hey, it’s really stressful to aim to make an entire year–365 days–perfect. And I’m going to be honest: When I was a student, a new calendar year was never as significant for me as a new school year. A new school year was such a fresh start, full of new school supplies, new clothes, new classes, new teachers…it truly felt like a new beginning, one that I was actually enthusiastic to conquer. You might feel that same energy, right? So why not make resolutions for the school year instead?
It’s easy to fall into the same trappings as traditional resolutions: Aiming a little too high and giving up a little too easily. But check out these seven new school year resolutions you should actually follow. They’re not too pie in the sky but they’ll still push you to be a better student this year. Let’s do this, guys.
Don't Compare Yourself To Your FriendsAs someone who went to competitive school with a bunch of super overachievers, I know first hand that comparing your grades, exam results, test scores, university prospects, etc with your friends is a great way to feel absolutely miserable. Please, don't make your friends your competition and don't get caught up if you have a competitive friend who can't help themselves and always asks what your grades are looking like. Mind your business and focus on yourself, not how you compete with your BFF. Some Girls
Ask For Help In That Class You're Struggling With Early OnYo, that AP chemistry class isn't going to miraculously become easier to you, okay? Swallow some humble pie and admit that you need some help, even if you're in an advanced class. Asking for help--from a teacher, a tutor, etc--earlier on will help you get on the right course to kick that class's ass as the semester continues. Realizing that you're screwed a few weeks before the final when you're trying to get your grades up? Not the move. Pretty In Pink
Build Up A Good Rapport With Your TeachersPlease, talk to your effing teachers after class, especially if they're friendly or likable. I'm not saying you have to blatantly suck up, but building a good rapport with your teachers can really work wonders. You could get a better grade in class due to your participation (or just a slight bias...which teachers have because, uh, they're human). Plus, they could be a great resource when you're looking for teacher recommendations for your college applications. Plus, hey, your teacher could just be really cool and you'd have no idea unless you actually talked to them. Think about it. Clueless
Don't Let Teachers Get You DownOkay, I know I was just talking about the importance of making nice with your teachers, but let's be real: Some teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school officials just suck and don't believe in you. Unfortunately, this is especially true for students who go to schools that are considered low performing or schools that are perfectly good but simply don't believe that their students have an interest in seriously pursuing higher education. You might encounter teachers who don't take you seriously or aren't going to encourage you to apply to schools you're totally qualified to attend. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes you have to be your own best advocate. Please, stand up for yourself no matter what. Do not let your teachers decide what your future holds. Just Another Girl on the IRT
Tell A Teacher You Trust About Serious Problems You're Having With SchoolPersonal story: I didn't find out until I was a senior in college that I had undiagnosed ADD, which explained a lot of my problems in school ever since childhood. I was always smart--my teachers told me this all the time, wrote about it in every progress report--but I was bad at turning in my work on time, I never had enough time for tests, etc. While I wish a teacher noticed that this was the result of something more serious than just being a slacker, I also wish that I realized that my performance wasn't just me being me; something was wrong, and I wish I knew that something felt wrong. If you already know that something feels off--you never have enough time to complete your tasks, you have a hard time getting organized, you're constantly feeling overwhelmed--then please tell a teacher or counselor you trust ASAP. It could be part of a larger problem that you're not addressing. Freaks and Geeks
If You're Disorganized, Carve Out Time To Reorganize Once A WeekAs someone who is chronically disorganized, I wish I took this advice in school. You don't have to make a big deal of it, but it won't hurt to carve out a tiny bit of time--even just 15 minutes--to roughly reorganize your papers, binders, notebooks, etc. It's better to do this before you get overwhelmed by all your junk. And better yet, you might have less organizing to do than it seems; looks can be deceiving, so don't feel dwarfed by a task that might not be that big of a deal. And don't beat yourself up if you skip a week; just try to make yourself to do it ASAP. Daria
Don't Avoid Challenges Just Because You Fear You Won't SucceedThinking about taking an AP or honors class but aren't sure if you're cut out for it? Yo, try anyway. Considering trying out for the school play or the soccer team but you're convinced there are people way better than you? Give it a shot, regardless. Do not--I repeat, do not--sell yourself short. You could be missing out on a great opportunity. And if you try your best and don't succeed? Yeah, it's going to suck, but at least you effing tried, dude. That's life. Submarine
What’s your ultimate goal for the upcoming school year? Tell us in the comments!