Getting The Most Out Of School
Now that you’re well into the second half of the school year and summer break is not too far off (though it seems that way!), do you feel you’re getting into a rut? Maybe it is time to step back and think about what you want and work out your own personal plan for getting the most out of school before the break.
On top of building study skills and getting serious about college, we recommend spending some time on simple ways to get the most out of your school year and the time spent with your peers – and having fun while you do that, too!
There’s no one-size-fits all high school experience; everyone is different. But there are some things every student can do to enrich that experience. The key is that each student should make their own plan and do it their way to get the maximum benefit – and enjoy the process!
Get the Most from Your Teachers
Is there one class you enjoy far beyond the rest? Perhaps it’s the subject matter that interests you, and you want to study it more in college. Chances are, you like that teacher too, as they’ve taken the time to make learning about the subject something you really care about.
Go beyond asking about homework and tests and really talk to some of your favorite teachers. They can be a source of helpful ideas on everything from which major may suit you best in college to which events you should attend to feed your passion, whether it is in drama or math. Of course they can help with your college or job recommendations too, but getting to know great teachers and staying in touch can be an enriching experience in your life.
Get extra from extracurriculars
You’d have heard it a zillion times by now “Take advantage of your school’s extracurricular activities to boost your college application and resume”. Sure, a better college application is one of the key benefits you get from participating in various clubs and sports.
But don’t do it just for padding your list of accomplishments. (And oh by the way, admissions officers can see through just-checking-off-a-box kind of engagement.) Get involved in what interests you and you would enjoy – whether it is for the fun peer group or the challenge and excitement of the activity itself.
At this point, you’re probably already in clubs and sports – if you’re not, go ahead and see if you can still join, it is better late than never! – so now’s a good time to check if you’re getting the most out of these activities. Are you learning new things that you’re excited about? Are you meeting the kind of people you want hang out with? If you feel that your experience has become routine and not so interesting, you still have time to make changes. See if you can get more by changing your role, getting more involved, or if need be, switching to something else.
Get more from your friendships
By now you might have a core set of friends at school. First, take the time to deepen the friendships you already have. Seek out the people you want to spend time with, and make it a point to go do some fun activities with them in between your study sessions. School is one of the few places where you’ll have the time and access to friends that you need to build great friendships that could stand the test of going off to different colleges/cities/careers in the future.
Apart from your core group, now’s also the time to get to know more of your peers. Build your network! It is not a cold, calculated move to help your future job prospects, but another way to enrich your life. The more people you know, the more diverse your experiences and the more you learn about the world we live in. If nothing else, you’re less likely to be bored!
Get more from your community
Actually, it is all about “get more from your community by giving more of yourself to it”!
Community involvement is also another favorite “must-do” to put in your college application. But, once again, it’s not just about the application, it’s what you get from it. Do you see a pattern here? Often, what you do to enrich your life and expand your horizons end up being good for your college applications and resumes!
Working for a cause you care about with a group of passionate, like-minded people is a joy into itself. And you don’t have to wait for any specific time to do it. There are opportunities throughout the year, to suit any particular interest and time availability. You can do anything from organize a beach or park cleanup to creating quilts or blankets for the homeless. Opportunities abound, and you get to pick what you like to make a difference!
Get more as a senior
If you’re a senior, you’re already counting down the weeks to graduation and seriously trying to keep off senioritis. Still, there’s plenty more you can get from the last few months of school!
As your high school life is winding down, now’s the time to get the most out of everything you can, and the list above works well for seniors too. Get to know the teachers you care about and make sure you can connect with them after school. Spend more time with friends who may be heading off in different directions, and connect with more people you’d like to stay in touch with (after all, that’s what social media is for). Have fun with your clubs and sports (and if you can’t, don’t waste too much time on them). And, make connections in your community too. If you’re volunteering in nonprofits, schools etc., get to know the leaders and staff there. You may want to work there during summers, or you could recommend others who might. If you care about something or someone, figure out a way to keep them in your life.
Schools are not just about academics. They offer so much for you to enjoy, and there are people for you to enjoy it with. Take the time to savor it all! And one final tip, smiling more helps!
What are your thoughts on how to get the most out of school? Leave a reply to share with us!