Your time in school is special. Because it’s your phase of growing into a creative thinker, or a talented learner with a head full of dreams. Every new academic year at school gives you a chance to get closer to being your best self. So, make this year count! Take this year as a fresh start with a new approach, and work towards your overall development in the following ways:
1) Reflect on the past year
Your past experience can be your best teacher. Spend some time reflecting on areas that lacked focus and effort in the past year. And list those areas that you would like to improve on.
- Identify areas that you would like to drive your efforts to this year.
- Find what motivates and inspires you to work better, and include them in your routine.
- Understand your interest and aptitude through psychometric tests.
- Design ways through which your interests are developed through academics and extracurricular activities.
2) Set personal and academic goals
The one thing that can add meaning to your efforts is ‘goals’. It gives you a sense of direction – your efforts make up the journey and your goal becomes the destination. The key is to strike a balance between your personal and academic development. So make sure you include your personal passions as goals too.
- Note down realistic goals for yourself that will contribute to your growth.
- Set academic targets with deadlines and push yourself to achieve them.
For instance, if you struggled with your algebra last year, let one of your goals be – ‘Conquer Algebra’.
Liam Neeson’s Henri Ducard says in Batman Begins – “You traveled the world… Now you must journey inwards… to what you really fear… it’s inside you… there is no turning back.” Taking a cue from this quote, once you convince yourself that you can improve in a certain area, then you will be able to systematically practice, take up exercises and perform to your best ability. Put down goals to feed your passion.
- Decide which talents you would like to develop this year, or which extra-curricular activities in school you will concentrate more on.
For example: If you want to explore your love for music, set aside hours/days of the week where you will only focus on music. If you want to dive into football, dedicate a few hours every week to unleash your sportsmanship, get better at it, and play the game to your heart’s content.
3) Spend time on the course and college planning
High school is when the big question arises – what about my future?
Course and college planning doesn’t have to be something you rush into. Take your time, approach your guidance counsellors, and slowly work your way towards deciding your journey from school to college.
- Start understanding your career options based on your key interests. The results from your psychometric test could be extremely useful here.
- Connect with a career guidance counsellor and list down courses/colleges you would like to explore.
- Identify entrance exams (if any) that would be applicable to you and add them to your goals.
- Get in touch with your alumni, shoot all your questions at them and take guidance and inspiration from their experiences.
4) Put together a ‘Personal Growth’ chart
Whatever you take up this year, see how it can add to your growth. A chart to track your progress can help you identify gaps. This helps you plan better for your next cycle of goals and be better prepared.
Don’t see the chart as your enemy. It’s created to make you efficient in self-management and make you more organized in school. And it can be a great tool for a successful academic year.
- Put together a comprehensive study plan that shows you the portions you need to cover daily.
- List down tasks that you need to complete per week, and these will act as the steps that lead to growth.
- Involve your teachers, parents, and Career counsellors in the growth process. Ask them periodically for feedback based on their observations; understand whether they are able to notice a change in you.