You’ve been given a new locker, met a bunch of new teachers, and have most likely received the lesson outlines for all of your subjects. You’ve skimmed through the list of topics that will be covered, and are already dreading the ones that sound super difficult. You may have even been given your first lot of homework, and completely underestimated how long it was going to take to complete it, resulting in already being behind in sleep. It’s the start of a new school year, and all you can think of is how long it will take to get to the end. Well, if you keep thinking like that, it’s going to be the longest year of your life.
It sounds like an impossible task, but it really is important to remain positive throughout your VCE schooling. A positive mind is a motivated mind, and it is this motivation that will keep you performing at your best. And though it sounds daunting, your best is what is expected of you through VCE. It doesn’t have to be the best, but you want to walk away knowing you worked as hard as you possibly could. That way, no matter what that final number is, you know you could not have possibly performed any better.
But in order to remain positive, you need to start positive. This will be a different task for each individual, because we all have different ways to motivate ourselves. But I believe there are a couple of fool-proof tricks that can help you get on your way.
Firstly, attempt your homework the day you receive it, at least for the first few weeks. You need to figure out how long it takes to complete work for your subjects, and that’s not a problem you want to be figuring out at 2am the morning in which five different things are due. Once you know how long things take, you can afford to spread them out a little more. Initially, however, it’s good practice – and less stressful – to complete homework as soon as possible. Also, if you start the year by immediately procrastinating, it’s going to be hard to turn off that procrastination when things start to become more intense.
Secondly, make sure you have an afterschool activity that you can look forward to throughout the week. Personally, I left my dance team during year 12 because I found it too much of a commitment, but I still did cycling classes 2-3 times a week. These breaks were so beneficial to my studying, because it allowed me to switch my mind out of school mode for a short period of time. You might prefer having an entire evening free, where you do recreational activities for five or six hours. That’s ok, whatever works for you, but again, it’s good to figure out that balance early on.
I guess that’s the secret; finding balance. And you want to start the year determined to find that balance. Don’t put off self-preparation along with every other task you’re being given. Don’t dread the end before you’ve even tried to begin. Dreading something only leads to procrastination… which leads to lack of time management… which leads to stress… which can lead to giving up. Don’t get me wrong, there may be times when you feel as though you’re heading down this downward spiral; that’s just part of the hard work. But this shouldn’t be happening a week into the year.
Good luck with your studies, everyone!