How to Survive First Quarter

As the end of the first quarter suddenly approaches, many wonder how this quarter has gone by so fast. The 2015-16 school year introduced many changes, perhaps the most important being a stronger focus on the health and wellness of students and faculty alike. I think this is a very relevant theme as it helps with stress and time management—we high schoolers are all extremely busy! The first quarter can be very stressful as it is all about getting to know your teachers, the difficulty of your classes, and even who to sit with during lunch. All of this with extracurriculars is a lot to manage. “I thought that it was abnormally short,” said sophomore David Malkin when asked to give his thoughts on the first quarter. “Additionally, with fall sports going on it made it incredibly stressful as you didn’t have that many assessments that could count towards your quarter grade.” Many students feel just as David does. Since going back to school is a stressful time, here are a few tips on how to manage stress for the rest of the semester:

  1. When doing homework, do the hardest assignments first—whatever that may be! Obviously we all have different strengths and weaknesses so the “hardest assignment” is different for all of us. For me, I have to do my reading first. If it gets too late, I get way too tired and find myself falling asleep as I read. Over the years, I have found this to be a great strategy for completing homework thoroughly and efficiently.
  1. It is important to take breaks from your work. Over the years I have learned the hard way that taking these 5-10 minute breaks SHOULD NOT include the use of social media. Trust me, once you start you can’t stop. One night last year, I gave myself a “five minute break” while doing homework. I opened Facebook and was scrolling through my feed. When I originally went on my phone, It was 7:30, and when I got back to my studies it was 9:20. Procrastination Nation, they call it. Use the Facebook blocker on apple computers, shutdown your phone, whatever you need to do to keep yourself focused and on track. These breaks should include getting a snack, listening to your favorite song, or taking a hot shower to relax your muscles.
  1. My number one motto that I seriously cannot emphasize enough, is that sleep is almost always more important than staying up late to study! Yes, sometimes it is necessary to pull the all nighter cramming with your three cups of coffee and diet cokes along the way to help you through but this is usually not the case. Getting that 7-9 hours is crucial to doing well in school. Sophomore Amanda Green said,“The first quarter was really short and I had to make sure I was on top of everything and managing my homework as well as getting enough sleep so that I could actually function the next day.”
Don’t be afraid to email your teacher explaining why you have to take your test a day later or that you couldn’t finish the reading. Believe it or not, your teachers do want you to sleep and stay healthy! We are very lucky to have understanding teachers and faculty in our community. Hopefully these tips will help you out through the next three quarters and you will figure out the best ways for you to stay as stress-free as possible. Happy studying!]]>