Getting Off to a Good Start

Two weeks in and the new school term is well underway, but how prepared are you?

Haven’t those weeks gone by fast! Get used to it. . . 6th year is going to be the fastest school year yet. It’s not even a year, in only nine short months you will be sitting the Leaving Certificate exam. I don’t want to put the frighteners up you but it is a good idea to get to work straight away to make the most of this year.

So where do you begin? Firstly look at your mindset. Try to be positive and embrace the challenge you face. See this year as an opportunity to lay the foundations of your career or further education.

Set yourself an end goal. For most students this is a course they want to do. It is early in the year and you are probably undecided about what course you would like but start exploring course options. When you have a goal in sight you will have something to work towards and you will feel more motivated.  Set yourself realistic targets to reach your goal. Targets should be reviewed regularly and when you reach targets you should reward yourself. A simple reward will acknowledge the achievement and spur you on to keep going and set new targets.

Get into a routine. Create a study timetable and stick to it. Be realistic with regard to how much study you can do in a week. During quieter times you can always ramp up the study hours to catch up on work.

Find a balance. It is futile studying when you are tired. It will take you longer to process the information and it is less likely that you will retain it. Use this time to catch up on your Zzzz’s instead. Getting a good night’s sleep, eating well and exercising are all essential in order to support your health this year and keep you in top form. When well rested and well fed you are more likely to maintain higher levels of concentration which means the quality of your study will be better.

Many students are tempted to sacrifice all extra-curricular in 6th year to make more time for study. Some students even ditch their friends. This is a big mistake. Maintain friendships – you will need companions to support you and socialising is a great distraction from the stresses of school. If you are heavily involved in sport and extra-curricular it might be a good idea to reduce rather than remove all commitments. The benefits of extra-curricular far outreach any negatives. If you simply reduce your commitment you will still have plenty of time for study.

I will leave you by wishing you luck in this new school year and encouraging you to be proactive. Why put off until tomorrow if you can do it today!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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