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5 Quick Tips to Make Your Semester a Successful One

Alyssa Flynn, Counseling Department Chair shares 5 helpful tips to make things easier for the upcoming semester. 

1. Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself and Others

We all feel badly when we do not reach our goal, obtainable or not. As you begin a new semester take a moment to put together realistic academic, personal, social and spiritual goals. Revisit those each week to make sure you are on target. If you are not, adjust. Use your resources when necessary and do not be afraid to let other know what your goals are…they can hold you accountable.

2. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

We cannot always foresee what is around the corner, but history does repeat itself sometimes. Use what you know to help yourself stay ahead of the game. Do not put off homework until the last minute, you know you won’t have time to complete it as well as you would like. Make sure you are organizing your time and using it wisely. If you find yourself staring at your phone for more than 5 minutes you probably are not being efficient! And when you do find yourself in reactive mode, take note on how to avoid it in the future.

3. Study Smarter, Not Harder

I often times hear students say they are staying up really late and putting in a lot of time on schoolwork yet the grades are not showing it and there is tension at home because of it. Take the time after each test to sit down with your teacher if you feel you did not do as well as you expected on the exam. Find out what you did wrong so you can correct it and use that information throughout the semester. Make sure you know how to take notes efficiently and effectively. If you feel you don’t know how to, see your counselor, we can help. Main take away here is figure out what is not working and adjust. No one should be staying up past midnight night after night.

4. Work On Your Voice

I often times find myself telling my own kids that I am not a mind-reader; that I do not always know what they need until they communicate. Doesn’t matter if you are 5 (like my daughter) or 15 learning to express yourself, advocating for your needs will go a long way. Talk to your teachers if you are stressed about missing class or if you are taking on an AP for the first time. Let your parents know if you feel like you have taken on too much and need help prioritizing. Don’t just assume you know what your best friend thinks and feels…talk about it and it will make everything better.

5. Use Your Resources

SM is surrounded with resources that are at your fingertips. Learn to use your resources. Whether it be teacher’s office hours, NHS tutoring, the SM Library, online lectures your teachers have directed you to, study groups or even your SM Counselors (we are here to help you with anything). No one wants you to fail and we are all here to help.

Best of luck as you continue through this semester and know that you are never alone.

Alyssa Flynn - Counseling Department Chair