School Is Taking Over My Mind

Welcome back everyone!

Right now, my mind is consumed with everything school related. If you saw my last post about my study plans for AP tests, you’d already know how stressed I am about AP testing coming up. Beyond the couple weeks of studying still ahead of me, school is consuming a large portion of my thoughts in general. This might seem odd considering we’re all in quarantine, school is online, and it’s almost the end of the academic year, but those are precisely the reasons why my mind is scattered in a million places, most of them somewhat related to school.

Since the end of the school year is nearing, that means I will officially be done with sophomore year and be going into junior year. My joking aspirations about college and talking about plans for the future with my parents and counselor a few times a year will turn into actually touring schools I’m interested in, building a college list, and determining where I actually want to apply come senior year. All the “you have time”s and “you don’t have to think about this yet”s turn into “you should be getting started” and “you should be thinking about this.” I’ll have to start studying for the ACT/SAT (and decide which one I want to take, or if I want to try both) and do all that standardized testing junk. I’ll be taking my hardest course load in school so far, and continuing with my activities.

I’ve always been someone that’s looked forward to going to college and leaving home, but it’s still scary to have to start this process and make big decisions. Not to mention in order to hopefully get into whatever schools I apply to, I have to continue working hard and keeping up everything inside and outside of school that I’m already doing. There’s so many things that go into this process at the end of high school, and it’s crazy to think I’ll be getting started in mere months. I don’t know what colleges I’ll be able to visit and which ones I’ll like, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to discern if I genuinely like a school or not. As you can tell by the nature of these worries, I am an over-thinker and someone who plans ahead, so I have done some preliminary research and list-making, but it’s still based off of very limited knowledge in the grand scheme of things.

Another reason school is occupying so much space in my mind is because I miss it. I miss my teachers, and I had such wonderful teachers this year that I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to actually finish out the year with them and I won’t really get to say an in-person thank you and goodbye. I miss clubs and the business of a school week, and I miss being productive in that school hustle way. It’s weird to think how much time will pass before I’ll return to school, and daunting since when I do, it will be junior year and things will be so different/crazy in that way.

Since it’s nearing the end of the year, that also means finals are coming up! Honestly, my teachers haven’t said anything about finals, so I’m assuming we’re not actually having them. My school district switched our grading system so that our work is graded but our grades can only go up, and can’t drop from what they were pre-quarantine and online school. My grades were in a really good place before all this happened, so that was a pleasant surprise for me- I don’t have to stress about maintaining grades and studying for finals. That being said, things still always tend to get busy before the end of the year, especially with AP testing, so I’m still anticipating a bunch of work coming my way.

And, as I mentioned at the beginning, AP testing is stressful. With the new format of the tests and the fact that it’s up to me to study at home by myself, reviewing a year’s worth of material became so much more daunting. I put off studying for a little bit because of how uncertain everything was with testing, but in the past couple weeks I sprung into study mode, and I’m really hoping it pays off. Big tests always stress me out, and it’s consuming my mind right now since I’m at home and technically can be studying all the time; this makes me feel like I should be studying all the time to put myself in the best position possible before test day. I definitely want to be in the best position and headspace possible on test day, but I also don’t want to stress myself out too much.

Preparing for AP testing is also making me more conscious of all the testing I’ll be doing next year. Last year I took one AP test, and at the beginning of this year I took the PSAT, but other than that and my two APs coming up right now, I haven’t had to deal with standardized testing much. Next year, I will have five APs, taking the PSAT again, taking the SAT/ACT, and possibly taking SAT II Subject Tests at the end of the year if I end up planning to take those at that time. I guess so far I’ve done decently well in my standardized testing endeavors, but they do tend to stress me out and consume my mind while they’re looming- I have to get that stress under control before next year since I’ll have way more tests, and I don’t want my brain to constantly be focused on that.

With finishing up my sophomore year and realizing that I’m halfway done with high school, there’s a lot of reasons for school to be on the brain. Especially with being home in quarantine, I’ve had plenty of time to marinate my thoughts on these topics. That being said, I’m trying my best to reduce stress and stick it out, since summer is just around the corner and will hopefully be a lot more stress-free! Good luck to you all on finishing up your school year and taking AP tests 🙂

Brooke

Why Your Attitude in School Matters

Hello everyone!

As we’re getting deeper into the new semester, I figured it was time for another school-related post. I’ve talked a little bit about having a positive attitude towards school and learning in general before, but never in detail or as an isolated post topic. I’ve tried to be really positive going into this semester, and I would definitely say it’s paid off so far. If you want to know how changing your attitude can make all the difference in your classes, keep on reading.

First of all, I want to make a reference to the Law of Attraction since it can easily explain why a shift in attitude regarding any topic can completely change that area of your life. If you’re giving out positive ideas and energy, the universe will reflect that in the energy you receive and the events that occur in your life. If you want to know more about the Law of Attraction, watch the documentary The Secret on Netflix, or look it up on YouTube to see people’s simpler explanations of it. If you’re aware of the Law of Attraction, I highly recommend you try your best to utilize it, especially in the area of schoolwork. It completely changes your perspective on everything if you make it work.

If you shift your attitude towards learning to be more positive, your classes will usually become so much more interesting! You’ll find learning new things exciting, and you will be grateful for the educational opportunities you have at school. If you focus on the stress and workload of school, it will never seem fun; think of the reasoning behind why we go to school. You’re gaining valuable knowledge, eventually going to graduate and go to college/out into the world if you’re already in college, and do exciting things using that knowledge you now have.

I’ve always been a super curious person who loves to learn about all sorts of things. It amazes me how many different subjects there are in the world that are interesting, and there’s so much to learn about each one (and so many levels of deeper understanding and detail). I like to think of myself as a sponge at school, trying to absorb everything so I can learn even more things in the future- I also think of high school as a stepping stone to my future. I’ve been excited for college since forever (and I’ll probably go to some form of grad school) and high school is a major stepping stone to get into college.

Thinking positive doesn’t just alter your mood while at school- it can also make an impact on your grades and other results. If you’re excited about the content you’re learning in class and being an active participant, you’re more likely to remember the content and be motivated to study it so you can do well. It’s a lot easier to learn when you’re immersing yourself in the knowledge and genuinely trying your best to be interested in it. Tests and other assignments will still be stressful, but looking at them as a chance to test your knowledge and prove to yourself that you’ve been working hard helps a little. You have to want to do well and put the work in, but once you do, there’s no stopping you with the right attitude!

I think being positive also helps a lot when you’re studying. If you’re trying to cram and getting discouraged because you feel like you don’t know anything and you’re going to fail, your mental state will only get worse and you probably won’t do too well. If you remain calm, tell yourself you know this stuff, and study effectively with a clear head, it’ll be much easier to remember the material on test day. Remember mind over matter- it actually does make a huge difference. When you’re well-rested and feeling good going into a test, you’re less likely to blank or make stupid mistakes.

I hope this post inspires you to shift the way you talk about and approach school and learning in a school setting. Let me know if it ends up making a difference- I’ll continue updating you guys on my journey with positivity 🙂

Brooke