By Casey Choung
At South High, time is a luxury, and stress is a given. The changes one must undergo in order to become a better student require a great amount of commitment and an even greater deal of precision. Because some students believe that undertaking such a metamorphosis would compromise their ability to operate, these students seek out small advantages that help them thrive in the competitive academic environment at South. Student life is hard but making it marginally better is easy.
Studying can be tedious, especially with the pressure of a test looming overhead. Oftentimes, students may find themselves failing to stay focused and even falling asleep. Additional distractions, such as white noise and clutter, also contribute to a poor study session. To solve this problem, students should think not only about how they study but also where they study. Many students choose to study in their rooms, which has its advantages; however, sometimes being secluded is not the best way to focus. Not only are students more prone to being off task, but students may also find themselves falling asleep. The ideal study environment is one with a good balance of artificial and natural light, and one that is comfortable but not too comfortable. Students may find that changing where they study positively affects their motivation. Studying with friends may be counter-intuitive, but students who band together will find themselves on task and laser-focused.
Paying attention in class can be more beneficial than having to study at home. However, for students on limited sleep and with limited attention spans, it can be very difficult to stay focused during class. One thing students can do to stay locked in is play games in their head. For example, while listening to another grueling lecture, students can try to count how many times their teacher says a certain word, as many have their own sayings. By doing this, students force themselves to listen to everything that is coming out of a teacher’s mouth. This is just one example of the many ways to stay engaged during class.
Lockers are often looked down upon as useless hunks of metal. Many students choose to leave their lockers unlocked and empty rather than locked and stocked. Yet the uses for lockers go as far as the imagination. For example, most students have one period, at most, to eat. Snacks are located at the far ends of the school, and while they could also be brought from home, why not have a constant source to draw from in the school? Keeping a jar of trail mix or a bag of dried fruit in one’s locker can reduce hunger going from class to class. Students should make sure to keep their snacks in sealed containers, so as to prevent the attraction of rodents and bugs.
Students are always striving to fit everything in, but in doing so they should maintain their moral compasses. Cheating and plagiarism are tempting evils, but that’s the lazy way out, and those practices only bring trouble. Not only will students face punishment, but they will fall behind in their courses. Ultimately, there will always be those who use unethical practices, and these people must accept the consequences. The best practice for students so they can stay on top of things is to pay attention during class, and get work done before it is too late. Yet, when things get very rough, students can utilize some of these gimmicky tactics to stumble their way through the school day. Better yet, they can come up with their own simple solutions to the complex problems of South.