People will tell you that school will be the least of your problems in the long run, and while that may be true, it doesn't reduce any of the maddening stress that can come with education. One easy solution to managing the chaos is to compartmentalize your goals as a student.
1. Work on keeping a positive outlook!
Negativity is a slippery slope that is easy to find yourself falling down. It's easy to get into the habit of only seeing the bad parts of school — numerous deadlines, difficult homework, nerve-wrecking classroom speeches — anything that can really dampen our days. We often find ourselves overlooking the fact that we caught lunch with friends, got a good grade on a difficult project, or even just managed to get more than seven hours of sleep.
By no means am I trying to imply that anyone pretends just to be happy. Expressing your emotions is incredibly important to good mental health. It's a completely different matter to wallow in the bad aspects of one's day.
2. Set a standard for yourself!
Growing up my parents were heavily involved with my education and always pushed me to strive for the best grades possible. It's largely because of them that I care so much about making the Dean's List or keeping my GPA upwards of 3.5. This drive is something that they, nor myself, have given up even after I entered college. It's only after my first year of college that I realized how important it was to meet my own academic standard. I heard COUNTLESS students discuss, either seriously or jokingly, how "D's get degrees," or "I just need a C," and it quite honestly disheartened me.
Given that, in America at least, we've got to pay for our education in one way or another. It doesn't make sense to spend thousands of dollars on schooling or dual credit classes, and just go in to do the bare minimum or simply wing it.
When you set a goal for yourself, there are better odds that you'll make small efforts to make your goal. Maybe you pay more attention in class, work harder on assignments, etcetera, but odds are you won't make those changes until you've set a goal for yourself to reach or exceed. By no means should your goal be an A+ or 4.0, your goal should be tailored to you, your abilities, and be set to something that you can strive for without making yourself stressed out.
3. Try to join a new group!
Not all school-related goals have to be centered around letter grades or your GPA, it's important to try and improve all aspects of yourself in reasonable ways, and if you're anything like me then you could benefit from practicing simple socialization. Whether its a study group, student council, yearbook, or even just joining your college's own Odessey team, joining any one'sgroup can help you improve your people skills, public speaking, dedication to others, and plenty of other skills that are more closely linked to the group you plan on joining.
Furthermore, joining just about any group is something that's great to put on your resume or simply add some excitement into your afterschool life.
4. Get and Stay Organized!
This goal is extremely straightforward, and honestly, is the most attainable goal you could ever set. It could be your schoolwork or your dorm or bedroom. The latter is especially nice because then you don't have to feel like a doofus when your roommate brings over a friend and your side of the room looks like a hot mess — not that I'd know what that feels like!