Getting' in the Swing of School
by Jillian Bietz
As the school year is steadily progresses, you might find yourself with a lot less time on your hands. Sure you spent two hours deciding what to wear before the first day, but now for the life of you, you can't remember what class you have a test in, or if the essay is due tomorrow (or was it yesterday?) Though only a mere two months ago you were in school mode, it seems we have to start all over again. But with a few organizational tips, you'll return back to school in a big way!
- Purchase a planner. Write down all homework assignments as well as due dates, books you need to purchase, important email addresses, etc. That way, you won't have a late night panic when you realize a huge assignment is due tomorrow morning at 8:00 and you haven't started working on it yet.
- Keep a notepad or small journal with you at all times. Jot down ideas when they pop into your head. From the title of the book you've been meaning to check out at the library, to inspirational quotes to the errands you need to run after school- anything goes!
Once a month decrease the clutter. Clean out your locker, car, backpack, desk, or closet. While you might groan at the task, you can actually earn pocket change in doing so. Many recycling plants offer money for donated cans, bottles, paper goods, or electronic items. Check out http://earth911.org/ for more helpful tips plus where to find a recycling center near you.
- Buy folders, notebooks, pens, etc. in fun colors or patterns that appeal to you. You'll be more apt to file away your papers and do work if your school supplies perk you up!
- Create a "to do "list. Every night (or even once a week), jot down what you need to accomplish the next day (or following week). That way, you won't have things nagging in the back of your head. At the end of the day, you will know exactly what you need to do. And nothing feels better than crossing things off the list!
- Take good notes in class. Underline, bold, or highlight important areas. And make sure to keep it neat- if you are a perpetual "margin doodler" when it comes to taking notes in class, designate a scrap piece of paper for your drawings. You don't want your 3-D boxes and flowers to take up most of the page while those history facts are illegibly written in the corner. Also, make sure you write your name and date your notes. If you have time, type up your notes.
If spelling or grammar isn't your forte-or even if it is-invest in a pocket dictionary or a book like "1001 Commonly Misspelled Words: What Your Spell Checker Won't Tell You" by Robert Magnan and Mary Lou Santovec. Sure you can always google, but by the time you have signed online, you'll have forgotten all about you quest in determining if the "I" goes before the "E" and decide to check your email instead.
Visualize a goal. If you find your mind wandering when studying or doing homework, set a reward for yourself. For example, "when I'm done reading this chapter I can go to Starbucks" or "If I do well on this test I'll buy the bracelet I've been eyeing."
Getting back in the school swing doesn't need to be a drag!
Jillian Bietz, Teen columnist, enjoys reading, creative writing, acting and cooking.
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