These 6 Habits Will Get you Ahead in High School
8th graders are getting ready to wrap up the year and move on to the challenge of high school. They should think about a few good habits they can pick up that will help them with the transition. One of the biggest things all 9th graders can work on is organization. Transitioning to high school should also focus on excellent note-taking skills and the appropriate use of supplemental study materials. If students can pick up good habits sooner rather than later, they are more likely to enjoy both the academic challenge of starting high school and the social aspect of being older and more independent. High school can either be challenging yet fun or overwhelmingly stressful depending on a student’s introduction to this new phase of their life.
1. Note taking and annotation
One of the best habits students can develop is appropriate note taking and annotation skills. Many students breeze through a textbook without highlighting, underlining, or taking side notes. As a result, when they go back to study for the end of chapter quiz or to complete an assignment they don’t remember which information was relevant and which was not. This can add multiple hours on the clock every week and lead to frustration. Instead, students are encouraged to annotate on a computer document that they can’t lose quickly. Loose leaf paper can be lost just as soon as the notes are taken but a computer document aptly-named and labeled can easily be found later on.
2. General organization
General organization is also an excellent habit to develop. Students who are organized in each class will be aware of important dates and deadlines, know how much work they need to complete each day, and have a better grasp of the subject matter overall. Staying organized is a key to success throughout high school (READ: “5 Best Math Apps for High School Students”).
3. Supplemental study materials
When adjusting to high school, it’s important that students know how to utilize supplemental study materials appropriately. For example, SparkNotes or CliffsNotes are an excellent help to understanding a novel or story but should not be used as a shortcut. Study guides and outlines are also extremely helpful when it comes to test prep and assignment completion.
Healthy socialization is also a huge part of adjusting to the 9th grade. Students will be meeting new peers and will have the opportunity to choose friends with good study habits and goals for the future. Making new friends is an important part of the overall balance of being in high school but excessive socialization, especially during school hours, can potentially become a detriment to a student’s good standing and academic success. It’s important for students to find a suitable balance.
5. Stress management
New high school students will often be adjusting to a higher level of stress for the first time. By junior year, this stress can be entirely overwhelming if students haven’t learned a work-life balance. In some cases, a student may need a tutor to help conquer challenging assignments and concepts. Students can also join a study group or meet with their teacher on a regular basis. Additionally, it’s important to leave time for sports or other extracurricular activities that help manage stress over time (READ: “4 Differences Between High School and College”).
6. Open lines of communication with teachers
Many students feel intimidated by their teachers as they enter high school. However, teachers are the best resource when it comes to understanding classroom assignments and general concepts. It’s a good idea for students to get comfortable asking questions in class as well as emailing the teacher or visiting during office hours to clarify information that will help them be successful throughout the next four years.
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