Study Help

Prepare for the new year at high school

by Melissa van Oordt

Melissa van Oordt is an Independent Support Learning Practitioner and owner of EduHelp.

People tend to assume that you, as teenagers, automatically know how to do things, and that when you reach a certain age, new skills are just suddenly obtained. This assumption could not be more wrong and creates dangerous expectations for you. Your parents, guardians and teachers may not realise that they have instinctively always directed you as a child (and this is expected). But as you get older they expect you to be more responsible, and this is often unrealistic since you have always followed their directions and relied on them for guidance.

As high school learners, this often comes as quite a shock. You are suddenly expected to be responsible, independent and organised. The key focus for you is the transition period between being directed and being independent.
These tips will help you to adjust effectively and be better prepared for the new high school year.

Be organised from the beginning of the year
Make sure that you know:

  • Where your class is
  • Who your class teacher is
  • What subjects you are taking
  • What you need for each subject (text books and writing books, stationery and any other materials)
  • Where your subject classrooms are
  • Who your subject teachers are
  • Your timetable.

Get the right tools

  • Have a diary and a notebook.
  • Your diary is your first step to great time management. Use it to plan your revision time, and for reminders about homework, tests, assignment due dates, and sport and school events.

Do plenty of revision

  • Create a list of your subjects from favourite to least favourite and rate them as easy (little work), medium (moderate work) and difficult (a lot of work).
  • You should plan to revise work on 5 or 6 days of each week. On each day, revise two or three subjects from different categories: easy, medium and difficult.
  • Remember to use your diary to plan your revision time and then use your notebook for lists, keywords and summaries of information.
  • Know your schedule and stick to it! This should be your objective, aim and goal!

Stick to the plan

  • The simplest way to stick to your new organised and responsible self is to stick to the plan - if you falter, return to the plan and try again.  Always return to the same plan but adjust it to suit your needs and to make sure that you don’t falter again.
  • Know that some personalities are just naturally ‘organised, disciplined and responsible’ and others are not. But remember that change is possible. It just takes work, time and patience!
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