Tips for Everyday School Life


Jenessa Smith

A student sends an email to their teacher asking about a homework problem

Jenessa Smith, Photo Editor

What helps you stay more focused during school?

  • taking breaks from lessons (50%, 4 Votes)
  • doodling (25%, 2 Votes)
  • tapping pens or pencils (25%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Getting through the day can be really stressful. With homework, jobs, and extracurricular activities, it may seem impossible to be able to get anything done. School is chaotic and full of things to do. So, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips and tricks for getting through your classes, doing homework, and even for taking tests.

When I get stressed out and feel like I have too much homework, I write everything out. This can be a good way to stay organized and to make sure you get everything done. Start out with writing each class you have and the assignments you have for them. After you do that, write extra things out. If you’re in a sport, write what time you have practice; if you have a job, write down if you work that day and when. Once you’ve written everything that you have to do down, you can make a schedule. Put top priority things first, followed by everything else, make sure that you include what time you’re going to do it. Never cram your day full of working on things, though, be sure you set some time aside to relax, play video games, or maybe just take a bath. 

That may help you with staying on track and getting things done after school, but how about sitting in class? If you’re anything like me then staying focused while in class can be tough. Our classes are about 40 minutes long, which isn’t terrible, but if you have a teacher who just talks for the whole time it can feel like forever. Over the years, I have discovered some things that help me, and others, stay focused during a lesson. Many people I’ve talked to twirl a pencil with their hand, tap their foot, or draw little doodles on a piece of paper. As long as you’re still listening to the lesson, you can do little things on the side. Try to keep your mind from wandering too off the topic of what you’re learning. Repeat things that you hear the teacher say in your head, make connections from the topic to things that have happened to you in your life. 

Once you get to doing homework,  look through it before you start doing it. If you’re working on an assignment in class find the questions or problems that you don’t get and ask the teacher for help. On the other hand, if you are working on an assignment at home, then do the problems that you know and mark the ones you don’t understand and go back later. When you finish the easy stuff return to the harder ones. If you really don’t get it then email your teacher and ask them for help, that’s what they’re there for! If you can’t email them, then go into their class in the morning before school and talk to them, teachers are always willing to help! I asked Ms. Cronk, a teacher here at St. James High School if she would prefer a student who asked for help with something they didn’t understand or do it themselves. She stated, “I would much rather you come and ask for help instead of you trying to do something you don’t understand and having you fail.” Don’t be hard on yourself for not knowing something, this is high school, everyone is learning things they didn’t know before. Even after high school, we’re still learning something new every day.

Now, for my least favorite school thing, ever. Tests. Some people are very good at taking tests, others, like me, are not. Just like homework, I always look through a test before I start. Do the ones you know first and mark the ones you don’t with a little star or dash. After you do the questions you know you can go back and do the marked ones. If there is a question that is worded weirdly, or you don’t know what it’s asking, then ask the teacher. They, of course, won’t give you the answer, but they can help you understand it better and lead you in the right direction. Also, take your time! Most teachers will let you finish a test during academy time, or before school, you just have to have a talk with them.

I really hope that these tips help you with getting through your day, doing homework, and taking tests. Take each day one at a time, high school is difficult, but that’s okay. Do great things! I know you can.