Our Last Run

Hear that, grade twelves? This is our last semester of high school, our last semester before we start the next stepping stone of our lives. The first semester of 2015-2016 flew by almost without a trace, except for the trailing papers of our final ISUs, major assignments and exams. Before we begin thinking about graduating and leaving J Clarke Richardson in the back of our minds, we should ask ourselves this most important question: How should we make our last semester our most important one? I’m not only talking about making our prom the best experience ever or just planning even more school events to show our school spirit and make memories. We need to start looking for more ways to end our last semester with a bang!

If you guys can’t think of how we can achieve such a feat, look at it this way: from day one of grade nine to our first semester exams, most of us have gone on last-minute adventures to finish and hand in assignments that counts for most of our grade. We have also not learned to keep track of our homework and complete our tasks well before the deadline. Instead we have the tendency to leave them to the last minute and just before the approaching due date, run a marathon to get them done. Can’t say I have not indulged in such a rush of events myself because that would be a lie and I would not have found the inspiration to write this article.

As I should briefly mention, I have not written any news articles in the first semester as I had a heavy workload and could not find time to write anything. Now I am not talking about how much time I have used from not attending the JCR Eye on the Storm meetings. I’m telling you how much time I have wasted from not attending. What I mean by that is I, like others, have stressed way too much over not getting my assignments done well before my deadlines. I, too, had to rush to get my homework done at the last minute or review for an exam the day before. Let me just say that for some of my exams, studying the day before worked out for me, and for others, not so much. Really, the whole point of this article is to expand on the fact that as this is our last semester at JCR. It is time to redeem ourselves from this repetition of last-minute races and to learn brand-new study habits for our last set of exams, which will commence in the month of June. It will not only be for the good of our final semester but for the tests that may come later on. As soon as we leave the JCR building for the summer, we will not be looking forward to another year at Richardson. Instead, we will be entering the next chapter of our lives, whether you are planning on attending university, college, trade or work placement. Each pathway defines our future and along with it, our studying and time-management habits.

For the sake of this message, let us all assume we are commencing the next four years of post-secondary education. For the next four years, we will be in different classrooms – more different than the ones we are used to. We will have different teachers and will be calling them “Professor” instead of “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, or “Ms.”. But these changes are not the ones we should be worrying about. We should be worrying about how can we adapt to such a fast-paced environment, where self-teaching is mandatory and note taking is an essential skill to have in order to keep up with our lectures. If you guys are serious about pursuing a university or college education, all of you need to find ways to prepare ourselves for the upcoming future where the future itself is left for us to dictate.

What are some studying habits and time-management skills we should all consider for this semester and our upcoming years in post-secondary education? Good studying habits would include reviewing your notes every day or at least leaving some time off on the weekends to go over the material. Also, reviewing from time to time can better prepare you so you’re not cramming everything in the night before for a test, quiz or even worse, an exam. Coming to class prepared both physically and mentally is a great way to show you are serious about your work. Cutting classes or coming late should be avoided at all costs as doing so has a direct effect on your grades. Assignments play a significant role in classes as they require extra time and attention outside of school. With assignments, try to start them from day one, working a little bit every day, so that you will not feel overwhelmed.

And what about time management? Time management includes prioritizing your errands, social lives, jobs and school from most important to least important. Of course, we all know that school is our top priority, but we still need extra time for other things to keep ourselves sane. An average high school student has 30-35 hours of school a week, but an average post-secondary student has only about 25-20 hours of schooling a week, so the extra time we will have can be used for studying and reviewing notes. But make sure you spend time with friends and family, as they help us hold ourselves together.

The purpose of this article is to not to remind you guys that this is our last run, but to encourage better study habits and time management skills to ensure guaranteed success coming your way. Start off with spending less time on social media and other distractions. As much as social media has a significant impact on our society, it also has an effect on our attendance and concentration. Since social media has become predominant in our lifetime, we have to work even harder and defy the odds of becoming unsuccessful. We can achieve all of these things if we can adapt such needs right now so that way we are preparing ourselves for the near future, where the next four years of our lives will change us to the fullest.