Resolving to have Better Year: 10 Academic Resolutions for 2021
We made it to 2021! The last twelve months have been probably some of the most challenging times many of us have ever lived through. The last year overwhelmed us with a global pandemic, a presidential election, loaves and loaves of sourdough bread, and online learning that never really seemed to work.
Despite it all, here we are at the start of 2021 and with hopes for a far better year than the one we’re leaving behind. But most importantly, winter break is the perfect time for students to start making some academic resolutions for themselves.
Many educational professionals are concerned about the potential “Covid Slide” many students will experience from spending practically an entire year out of the classroom. When students are back in the classroom, teachers and professionals will begin to assess the academic damage.
And now that vaccines are slowly rolling out all over the world, students will need to get back into an academic mindset. The bad habits students may have developed because they were stuck learning from home will need to be erased. The new year is a great time to also resolve to create new habits and goals to make sure the school year is a successful one.
10 Resolutions for All Students
Stop Procrastinating - Procrastination is probably the biggest achilles heel for everyone hoping to end their bad habits. Whether you’re resolving to lose weight, study more, or watch less TV, if you can’t get control of your procrastination, none of the goals you ever set for yourself will ever get done.
The first step is to recognize that procrastination is just a fancy word for being lazy. If your first thought when you know you have to get something done is to put it off for another 10 minutes or another day, you’re already procrastinating. When the thoughts of putting something off hits you, ask yourself: Would I prefer the feeling of having extra time for myself or the feeling of panic or failure because I didn’t get something done when I had time?
Make Better Sleep Habits - Hey, I did it in my teens. I stayed up until two or three in the morning watching movies, talking to friends, or playing video games. Or some days, I didn’t bother going to bed at all, sleeping the next day away and ruining my sleep pattern.
You’ll very likely be back in the classroom soon and you’re going to hate running on two hours of sleep if you don’t start getting to bed early. Plus, a lack of sleep can lead to a whole bunch of medical issues you don’t want. Take it from someone older than you: sleep is awesome. When you get older, there never seems enough time for it. Get your eight hours of sleep and you’ll feel amazing.
Be Social Away from Social Media - If you were addicted to social media before the pandemic, chances are 2020 yas made it even worse. Social media has been the only way we’ve been able to communicate with friends and family safely. But for many young people, social media has been a source of depression and anxiety for years.
If you have FOMO, or the fear of missing out, it’s time to get off your social media pages and start living a life. And while there is still going to be a period of time when we can’t get together, there’s plenty of safe things you can on your own. Go hiking, go on a road trip, start volunteering in your community. Don’t worry about what some celebrity is doing today. Go find an adventure and live your own life.
Get Your Life Organized - If your bedroom looks like a warzone, if your backpack looks like something could be living in it, then it’s time to start getting organized. Organization and academic success go hand in hand.
Grab yourself some folders, binders, and sticky notes. Put all your important papers together. Start using a calendar to organize your daily activities like school, extra curricular activities, or social events. Stop missing important deadlines or losing important papers by using simple steps to get control of your life.
Speak Up - If you ever felt too embarrassed to raise your hand in class because you didn’t understand something, it’s time to put that fear aside. It’s a teacher’s job to help you understand what they’re teaching and answering your questions is part of that.
Furthermore, if you’re the type who never volunteers to answer questions, resolve to be a bit more confident and participate more. Taking small risks like that will help you take larger ones later.
Study, Study, Study - Look, I get it. After a long day of school, the last thing you want to do is open a book and start prepping for a test or exam. But if you’ve had a horrible habit of waiting until the last minute (procrastinating) to study for something important, you’ll always feel like you could have done better if you could have just studied more.
If you’re staying organized and know when an exam is coming up, you can schedule an hour or two a day to get ready. That way you’re not trying to stuff months worth of notes into your brain all in one night. Better yet, you can schedule study groups with friends (virtually for now) so you can help each other.
Get that Homework Done - No one enjoys homework. In fact, I always felt homework was a teacher’s way of ruining a perfectly good weekend. But no matter how much you hate it, it has to get done. Homework actually is a big part of your overall grade in a class so it’s important to get those assignments done.
Again, don’t procrastinate about them. If it’ll only take an hour of your time when you get home, take the hour to get it done. You might hate it, but at least you won’t be trying to get it done when you’d rather be sleeping or doing anything else.
Apply for Scholarships ASAP - This is massively important for high school seniors and juniors. Your counselors and teachers aren’t lying when they tell you funding runs out. If you take too long to submit your applications, you may be out of luck. Remember there are millions of kids just like you hoping to find free money to pay for college and it’s a massive competition to see who will get the millions of dollars that are only available for a short period of time.
Take Online Classes Seriously - For a little while longer, lots of kids may still be learning from home. And while virtual learning may not be the same as being in the classroom, it’s no excuse for not trying your best. Whether you’re studying from your bedroom, the kitchen table, or a library, have respect for your teacher and for yourself to make the best of a bad situation.
Furthermore, turn in your assignments on time and don’t make your teacher chase you around so you can get them done. If you think they won’t fail you because of a pandemic, think again. And if you have aspirations to go to college, a year of bad marks on your transcript can ruin everything.
Care More about Your Mental Health - You’ll never be at your best if you’re trying to solve a million problems at once. Between school, friends, family, and all the other stresses of life you’re bound to have days or weeks where you feel like the world is on your shoulders. No one is asking you to be a superhero and solve it all on your own.
While you’re organizing your life, make sure you’re scheduling time for your mental health. Schedule time that has nothing to do with school, social media, or anything else that causes you stress or anxiety. Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries. You’ll find that when you schedule time to enjoy life, you can tackle more than you think you can.