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I am not a perfect student. That is something which took time for me to understand, as I slowly watched my attendance drop and my confidence slack as the weeks progressed. It was a hard few weeks coming back for my final year of A-Levels. (I’m sure it is for a lot of students.) And now, I need to sit myself down and realise the mistakes I’ve made, and the early New Year’s resolutions I need to make in order to become the perfect student I wished I was at the start of my course.
Let me introduce my course, to give a little bit of context to some of my new goals. I am currently taking English Language, Spanish and an EPQ with a focus on Creative Writing. This means I have a lot of theory, vocab, and coursework. As these months go past, I’m noticing the grains of sand fall past my face. So without further ado—some tips to the other students within the community.
1. Coursework doesn’t complete itself. I promise, I’m not lying. I’ve been telling myself for weeks that I’ve done plenty of work for the time length I’ve had! I started the introduction. I wrote a to-do list. I watched some research YouTube videos. Hun, you did all those things weeks ago! Time to settle that Butt onto a desk and keep on grinding.
2. Posting a Snapchat saying “busy, n/r” does not mean you’ve actually done work! We all know you just switched to Instagram instead. Instead of letting people know you’re about to start working, why not just switch off the mobile device and read some texts from a page?
3. Free periods in college are no longer a sit-off. If you’re lucky enough to have the freedom of free periods, use them wisely. Sometimes the power gets the better of us and we end up slacking more so than usual. If you do have a free period between lessons, do some reading, revision, coursework, or literally ANYTHING EDUCATIONAL. No more watching Netflix off the school wi-fi!
4. Teachers are there to help, so ask them for help. Okay, I’ve actually been implementing this, and I have to admit, it helps! Believe it or not, teachers want you to understand what they teach you. Raise your hand, stay behind after class, ask for extra work—there ain’t nothing wrong in pestering for the best.
5. Languages are hard and may need extra effort. If you decided to take a language, I salute you. There is no in between to learning a language: You’re either amazing, or you most likely find it extremely hard. And if you’re the latter, like me, take the class seriously! Take notes and actually revise the vocab. The two most important things to pass a language are to learn the vocab and learn the conjugations. Everything else will fall into place, I’m sure.
6. Notes, notes, notes! Your notes are your holy grail, your bible, your handbook to life! Look after them and make them readable. There is no point in having notes if you can’t even translate them from your midnight dribble and the coffee stain from three months prior. Also, make them interesting: Use swear words! Slang! Doodle your notes! (As long as it makes sense!) Do whatever you need in order to memorise and learn.
7. Have a limit; have a minimum. Now, yes, I agree. Have a social life, make friends, and talk to people in college/sixth form. Go out on Saturday night and spend money on days out. Relax on a Sunday every now and again. However, you still need to reach a minimum of work each week. For example, you have a 9 AM to 2 PM timetable everyday. After college, revise two hours until 4 PM everyday. Boom, that’s 10 hours outside of college revising. Now, weekends are free for the taking, aye?
For now, these are all the pointers I need. I’m not saying these are the only things I’m doing wrong, but boy, we are going to have to take this slowly.
I do hope this helped in some ways, and maybe this can be applied to other aspects of life.