Back to School from A to Z

Who says learning the alphabet is just for kids?
by Shiloah Matic   |  Jun 3, 2010
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Finding time
Take control of your time. Many a precious minute is wasted thinking about what you should be doing instead of actually doing something. Setting your phone alarm to tell you that you should be doing homework is a good way to prevent your social time from eating away your homework hours. If it seems like 24 hours a day are just not enough, hunt down and eliminate daily time wasters-deciding what to wear (1 hour), obsessing about your hair (30 minutes), looking for the phone number you wrote down on the back of a receipt that you're sure you placed right there (good luck!).

Goals
After you've worked out the grander goals, like owning a business by age 30 or graduating with honors, take time to make smaller, daily goals as well. Think of little life-enriching things you can commit to-like getting to know the janitorial and security staff by name so you can thank them personally, spending time with your sometimes pesky little brother, or writing a poem every day about your day. It's the little things you do that have big rewards-though you may not realize or reap them till later on.

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Helping others want to really master those facts and formulas? Pass them on. Explaining concepts to someone else tests whether you really understand the lesson and aren't just memorizing your notes. It may seem like it takes time away from hitting the books solo, but you'll be surprised at how much more you learn by sharing what you know with others. An added bonus: doesn't it feel good to help someone else make the grade? And after you've both rocked the exam, you can both go out and celebrate!

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Inventing excuses
You know you should be at school, but the new Harry Potter movie starts today, and they're giving out free posters to the first 100 who show up. Or you've got a pimple the size of Singapore, and there's no way you can be seen in public. Or you just don't want to go-so there. You could beg mom to invent a name for a rare viral disease to excuse you from class, or you could be grown-up about it and just go, even if you don't want to. The easy way out is almost never the best way out, and getting used to getting away with it only deprives you of the gifts of discipline, responsibility, and maturity.

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Juggling
The secret to juggling the 101 things on your to-do list is prioritizing- which tasks are important and which are urgent. Strengthening your friendships is important, but your five-page paper due tomorrow is urgent. Don't interchange the two and put off writing your urgent paper to spend four hours at the mall bonding with the gals. Get the must-do-nows out of the way, and you'll get to enjoy your other must-dos without worry.

Keeping sane
All work and no play makes Jane go, well, insane. It feels that way sometimes after hours of school and homework. In school, as in life, variety is key. Spice up study sessions with a quickie activity that lifts your spirits without fail. Eat a brownie (chocolate is the supreme mood-booster!) for every 200 words you write for your essay or grant yourself a 30-minute dance-fest in between math homework and English class readings. Your mind will welcome the break and reward you with a few more hours of productivity.

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Shiloah Matic
Contributing Writer
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