7. Reach out for help
I struggled with this tip the most because, for the longest time, I was under the impression that asking for help when you don’t understand something in class made you seem like a slow learner. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest mistakes I’ve made. It was only until this year were asking for help was normalized for me. Asking your friends and teachers questions about what you’re learning is a great way to stay engaged. It also ensures that you understand the new material. A lot, if not all, of my friends who are already in university, have made a clear point of how difficult their first year is; they all emphasized how normal and great of a habit it is, to ask for help. Unlike listening to 6ix9ine’s music, there’s no shame in this habit.
8. My Study Strategy
There are a plethora of studying strategies you can find online. My go-to is one introduced to me by my grade 11 physics teacher (shouts to Pereira). If you want to ace tests, try re-doing: in-class problems, textbook questions, and key points from your notes. Study the aforementioned stuff the night before the test. NOTE: DON’T STUDY THE NIGHT BEFORE; RE-DO THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS THE NIGHT BEFORE. If you’re like me and you can’t bear reading pages and pages of books, I strongly suggest this video on how to absorb textbooks like a sponge. If you’re not a fan of study sessions, sometimes you just have to make embrace the fact that cracking open the books isn’t going to be fun, but it will be worth the while in the end.
9. Take Breaks
I’ve found that most friends can’t maintain a high level of focus for more than 45 minutes at a go. As such, I introduce to you: The Pomodoro Technique of Study.
Research has proven that working in shorter blocks of time is more effective for most students, rather than struggling to focus for a couple of hours straight. Another thing to remember is not to overwork yourself; take small walks in your neighborhood for even 20–30 minutes and catch some fresh air. I’m not a big fan of taking naps because you lose your grasp on the passage of time while you’re in R.E.M. sleep and end up napping for hours on end.
10. Try new things & Get Involved
I know this step is kinda useless during a COVID-19 remote learning school year, but when we do return to in-class, I suggest joining as many clubs as you possibly can. If you’re in gr 9 or 10, I don’t see why you haven’t already because, frankly speaking, the first 2 years of high school are quiescent. You should aim for at the very least 1 sports team and 2 school clubs each year. If your goal is only getting high marks, then let me put it in words you will understand: universities make it very clear time and time again that they value students with high EC (extracurricular) involvement because it reflects aspects of your personality that your grades and test scores can’t. In gr 9, I’d joined 4 sports teams, 4 clubs, and my school’s South Asian Student Association. Although this took a toll on my marks (average was like 82), I treasure the friendships I made in those clubs.
11. Be Prepared For a New Chapter
My parents made bare jokes throughout my grade 12 years about me moving out to Waterloo and Downtown Toronto for my first year and looking back now, I fear how it actually reflects a possible reality. I know I’m going to have to move out at some point but I just hate change. Change in my social life. Change in my personal life. Change in my academic life. Change in any aspect of my life makes me uncomfortable- perhaps because it exposes to me the idea that time is ever-changing and I’m getting older. If I ever said that to anyone over 30 (I consider that a turning point from young to old), they’d likely want to backhand me across my face. Nonetheless, be ready for new friends, new habits (good AND bad), new relationships, and most importantly: a new you. Experiences will change you. A wise friend once told me: “Let life happen to you, it’s for the better”. I’ve run with this quote as far as I possibly can.
In my opinion, this tip is the most important of them all. One tip to rule them all (Lotr reference). Live life- day in and day out as if it were your last! Grade 12 is a year jam-packed with crazy and exciting. Take a deep breath and enjoy it! There are so many events that take place during this year and it’ll be your last year to make the most of these opportunities with all of your friends. Make every day a memory that will last a lifetime. Although grade 12 is chaotic and challenging the journey through makes it all worthwhile. Also, be sure to take time to appreciate the people around you. Make sure you take some time to thank your family for being supportive through all of your highs and lows. Thank your guidance counselors and teachers at school for helping you prepare for life after high school. Thank your friends for all of the cafeteria conversations and late-night Timmies runs. These are the people you may not see when you’re in university.