New School Year, New Me?
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At the beginning of every year it is easy for students to make promises to themselves about how their habits are going to change this year. But soon enough they find themselves awake into the early hours of the morning writing that first English essay of the year. These promises are often hard to keep because work can pile up and become seemingly unmanageable. Here are some tips to help balance the busy schedules that all students have.
Don’t cut down on sleep: Sacrificing sleep to finish homework is only doing damage to the body. According to usnews.com students who become exhausted are more likely to develop more serious mental health issues, like depression, than those who sleep for an ample amount of time each night. The new school start time allows for a couple more minutes of sleep in the morning; however, this may not make a difference if students are only managing to get a few hours of sleep a night.
Nationwidechildrens.org says to avoid sleeping late on the weekend. It is more important to get an adequate amount of sleep throughout the week rather than trying to catch up on the weekends. “With Junior year being filled with honors and AP classes, the workload is definitely overwhelming at times. I try my best to get six hours each night, even if it means waking up with a copy of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ on top of me,” said Sophie Albimino, junior.
Find a balance: A lack of sleep can often be attributed to homework overloads. Finding a balance is hard to do but is very necessary. With Blacksburg High School’s block schedule students get the luxury of two nights to finish homework. The most important thing to do is focus on what is due tomorrow. When all of that is done, work ahead.
“I use my time as wisely as I can and get as much done as possible. I try to sleep a good amount every night, but sometimes I just have too much to get done,” said Anna Jenkins, junior. The weekend is a good time to work on homework that will be due throughout the week. Try and get as much as possible done without giving up important things such as spending time with friends and family. Utilize the extra time over the weekend to relieve some of the stress that could develop during the week.
Develop a do-able study plan: Trying to balance eight classes can be difficult. Developing a personal study plan that can be sustained throughout the year is crucial to maintaining a decent sleep schedule and finishing the piles of homework sitting on the desk in the corner. According to developgoodhabbits.com it is important to set goals for each semester and to add studying into each student’s daily routine. Taking notes on the study material and reading over those notes often are good tips to keep in mind when establishing a study schedule. “I made a schedule for myself and I follow it every day. I like to use flashcards for studying, but I also like to make visual things like mini posters to help me study. I make sure to always take breaks to collect myself and give myself a breather. The best advice I can give is to not cram, ” said Neha Hudait, junior.
These habits are all important to keep in mind as the new school year kicks off. Students should continue to evaluate how their habits are affecting them and make changes when necessary. However, the most important thing to remember throughout the year is to put the body first. Studying is not worth sacrificing physical and mental health.