Set yourself up for success by making some simple resolutions. I’ve listed my ideas below but yours could be absolutely anything! Once piece of advice would be to make sure they’re realistic and don’t commit to too many; you’re more likely to stick to them if the effort required is sustainable.
1. I will try to be more organised
The key to an ordered mind is an ordered life, but with deadlines, exams, schoolwork, and tonnes of revision, tasks have a tendency to tangle. The newest tried and tested method for organisation is a bullet journal. This is a mixture between a to-do list, a sketchbook, a notebook, a diary, and a calendar. With everything written in quick, concise, and easy bullet point lists. There are loads of websites for bullet journal inspiration and, depending on how much effort you want to put into it, some can be true works of art. With such a pretty planner, who can resist a dash of organisation?
2. I will try to plan ahead
Alongside organisation comes forward planning. The old philosophy is to live in the moment but, at this stage in your life, you need to start thinking about the next step. If you’re at primary school, 2018 may be the year to look into secondary schools and 11+ exams; for lower years at secondary school, it’s time to pick GCSE subjects; GCSE students, get clued up about sixth form options and A-Level subjects; for sixth formers, start researching university Open Days. 2018 will move you along just as quickly as any other year, so slow down the tide of time by planning ahead.
3. I will try to consolidate a current skill
Practice and perfect a current skill. Iron the creases out of your French accent, increase the strength of your tennis serve, collect new vocabulary to pour into your poetry, straighten the wobbly lines of your watercolour paintings. 2018 is not the year of teaching old dogs new tricks, but letting dogs renew old tricks. So sweep the dust off a previously shelved talent and reclaim it as your own.
4. I will try to become more aware of the world
When your own personal life is full to the brim with deadlines and downtime, the world at large blurs into the background. Readjust the focus this year by picking up a newspaper or magazine more often, watching the news, or simply prioritizing sites like the BBC on your Facebook feed. Keeping up with national and international news will not only broaden your mind but also your academic horizons. A knowledge of current events, and how they relate to your chosen subjects, will add a richness and depth to your studies.
5. I will try to help the environment
This is a well-worn resolution, but is often quickly discarded because it seems an overwhelmingly large task to take on. However, every little helps, and one environmental effort being encouraged in 2018 is to avoid buying single use plastic bottles. Whilst Mayor Sadiq Khan installs water fountains in London so people do not have to buy bottled water in shops, you can contribute by swapping disposable bottles for reusable sports bottles and beakers. Try the two litre Bonke that comes in a range of cool colours with filters for flavoured water, and do your bit to help the planet.
6. I will try and spend less time on social media
This resolution will be met with groans from students and the cheers from parents, but it’s true that spending less time scrolling through social media is one of the best ways to succeed in exams this year. Being ensnared by the tempting distraction of social media will decrease your likelihood of absorbing information. Consequently, doubling the time you actually need to revise. Using the website Forest is a fun way to stay focused. The longer you resist clicking on blacklisted social media sites, the more your virtual tree grows. Every tree that grows to adulthood contributes to planting an actual tree in Namibia or India.
By Florianne H.