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Academic Advice For Grade 9 Students

Adya Dutt, Grade 12

There have been too many instances throughout my high school career where I've said "I wish I knew this in Grade 9!". Jumping right into high school felt overwhelming for me, especially the academic aspect. To help out any other overwhelmed freshmen, I've compiled a few tips for you to ace your classes.

1. Combat Procrastination

Start small: For upcoming big assignments, set aside time to work on the project every day. Whether it's for 15 minutes or a few hours, breaking down your tasks will overthrow any desires of procrastination. This applies to any upcoming assessments as well. Summarize and review what you learned each day, over the weeks leading up to any assessments. As a bonus, you can refer back to these summaries to prepare for Culminating or Exam season!

Use class time to the full extent: Another easy way to stay on top of your work is to make sure you're completing all the necessary notes, using your free time to finish homework, and asking your teacher for clarification on confusing topics.

2. Practice Effective Time Management

Tools to help: Use a planner or a calendar to keep track of all your responsibilities in one area, including daily homework, assignments, extracurriculars, meetings, personal goals, and breaks! Plan out your week before Monday mornings to space out your tasks. Make sure to write down every task you feel is important, and prioritize all tasks based on order.

(Source: https://www.erincondren.com/teacher-lesson-planner)

When looking at your to-do list, estimate the time it'll take to complete each task and break down your daily schedule from there. For instance, find a daily time interval where you can complete homework.

3. Test Out Different Study Spaces

One size does NOT fit all: Switching up where you study can help your brain in retaining information. Instead of using the same study space every day at home, try out the school library.

Eliminate any possible distractions: Loud sounds, possible interruptions, or technology can all be distracting when trying to study. Although finding a quiet spot is not always possible, it can be incredibly helpful in concentrating. If technology (ex. social media) is preventing you from working, try removing notifications or installing apps that help limit screen time.

4. Use the supports available to you

For a better understanding of your class content, homework help, or test preparations, try out these helpful BR resources:

  1. P2P (Peer-2-Peer)

  2. Math help

Another option includes talking to your teacher for more support; they are more than willing to help!

5. Run Study Sessions With Your Classmates

It's a good idea to get acquainted with the peers in your class, and what better way than working together to ace your classes? Meet up with your classmates to work on questions together or test each other on concepts. Virtual and in-school meetups are great ways to run these sessions.

6. Monitor Your Wellbeing (The Most Important Tip!)

Plan in a daily de-stressing period: Take at least 5-30 minutes each day to do something that will clear your mind. Meditating, journaling, or exercising are all great ways to engage in something other than academics.

(Source: https://www.myconcealeddepression.com/10-ways-i-am-de-stressing-the-holidays/)

"Off days" are OK: It is completely valid to feel unmotivated at times. Doing something fun during those days can lift you up and even inspire you!

Always remember to reach out to trusted individuals if you're having trouble managing your wellbeing.

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