Itís a new year, it should be a new you. It doesnít matter if you were the best and the brightest student in your class last year, you have the opportunity to claim that title this year. Whether you want to be the star of the class or just one of the kids who takes care of business, the responsibilities of your success fall on you. Starting the year correctly can make a huge difference.
Make a School Area at Home
When youíre getting your school
supplies, go ahead and clear off a shelf or a drawer in your room or buy a cheap plastic crate to store your school supplies at home. Youíll want to have paper and pencils at your disposal. Buy all the supplies you need for school off the lists provided and then buy some supplies for home as well. If you have a desk in your room, it is the likely place for school materials as well, otherwise keep things in an mobile location, like the crate, and you can take it with you to the kitchen table to work.
Set Your Bedtime
Start the year on time by going to bed at a reasonable time the night before. Remember that teens need about nine hours of sleep per night Ė not eight the way full adults do. Plan to go to bed around nine-thirty to be up at six-thirty for an early school day. Thatís going to likely cut into your nightly social plans, but if you let your friends know that youíre not available after 9 on school nights, they will probably consider doing the same and all of you will be better rested and more productive during the day.
Use the Power of Control
You have control over your phone, your IM and your email. All you have to do is turn off your computer at the end of each day and no new IMs will pop up after your cut-off time. Put your phone on vibrate and you donít have to worry about other peopleís problems when youíre trying to get your beauty sleep. If you donít want to bother turning your computer on and off completely, you can always set it to hibernate and put all of your communication programs on Invisible or Away to send the appropriate message to friends and enemies desperate to talk to you at midnight.
Do Homework Early
Homework isnít fun for anyone unless you have a really cool project to work on. But dragging it out and procrastinating until the end of the day will only make it that much worse. Instead of sitting down to watch television when you get home, put in your ear buds and get started on the homework. With any luck, youíll have it wiped out hours before dinner time and can spend all of that glorious free time doing nothing but playing online
or talking to friends without the obligation of homework tickling the back of your mind all evening.
If youíre really good, you can carry your homework with you to other classes. When you wind up with five or ten minutes of dead time in a class, or especially in an advisory class that is dead by its very nature, pull out a worksheet or math problems and finish them up. If you get in a nice system, you can quite likely go home at the end of the day without any homework at all.