With just under two weeks of high school left, I thought it would be apt to reflect on the past school year. It definitely did not go as I thought it would. There were many twists and turns along the way. But hopefully I can help some of you younger students so that you know what to expect, and therefore avoid some of the mistakes that I made.
Winter break is not the end
When I finished my first semester finals and began winter break, I felt as exhausted and triumphant as if I had just finished running a marathon. My college applications were submitted and I thought that second semester grades wouldn’t matter, so I was basically done caring about school.
Unfortunately, I could not have been more wrong. Getting to winter break does not mean that all of the stress is over. It absolutely continues into second semester. Most college decisions come out in the spring, and most seniors don’t stop working hard until they receive an acceptance. So, surprisingly, the atmosphere in my class was almost as stressful as it had been first semester.
The harder you work second semester, the less stressed you’ll be
Since I was accepted early decision, I lost a lot of motivation to do well in my classes. I put in about 60% of the effort that I would usually put in. But my nonchalance actually backfired and created more work for me. I had to do essay revisions, work extra outside of school with teachers, and study harder for tests in order to make up for my bad grades. That’s way more work than I ever would have had to do if I had just put in the effort in the first place.
It’s easy to fall behind! But you have to realize that there will be consequences.
College decisions are pretty shocking
Unless your high school has a ranking system, you can never assume to know how well other students are doing in class. And what you don’t know may surprise you. Lots of people are private about how high or low their grades and scores are. And even if a student has perfect grades, that doesn’t mean that they will be accepted at any college. So when you find out where everyone is going to college, you’ll probably be at least a little shocked.