Last Updated: Jan 30, 2018
Eleventh grade has often been called the most difficult and important year of a person’s education. It’s your last chance to show colleges and universities your absolute best, so use these study tips to make junior year your best ever.
Sticky notes are your friends
Post-It Notes are a must have for staying organized, and I find that they’re a more realistic choice than using a huge planner. Personally, I know I’d always forget to write in mine. So, instead, if I have any assignment, upcoming test, teacher to talk to, or even just a thought I want to remember, I whip out my handy stack of sticky notes. You can rip them, fold them, put them on laptops, notebooks, and walls—anything your heart desires. I even sometimes write myself notes that just say “Go back to sleep” and stick them all over my bedroom for when I get home from school. Of course, these are better in addition to a more formal calendar; the more you write out the things you need to do, the better you’ll remember them.
Read out loud
If you’re not a person who has ever enjoyed reading out loud in class, this might not seem like a helpful option, but it can make a world of difference. For longer reading assignments that are putting you to sleep, stand up and walk around while reading it out loud. Pretend you’re campaigning for president, or on a Broadway stage, or accepting a Nobel Prize. If you’re focusing on speaking the words, you’ll be less likely to skim over an important passage. Even better, read your notes to a friend who isn’t in that class. Tell them to ask questions too, because you can learn a topic better by teaching somebody else.
Go on adventures with your homework
Sometimes we need a change in environment, to get outside of our dark bedrooms where we know all the distractions. I’ve had teachers specifically tell me to take my reading assignments to Starbucks so I’ll feel smart reading 18th-century French philosophy in a public setting. Or, if you need some more privacy for studying, explore your local library and find a quiet corner there. (Another tip: Get to know the librarians. If you have time, ask if you can volunteer in the library. It looks great for college, and you might end up spending a lot of time there.) When the weather is nicer, taking your schoolwork outside is a great way to keep your mind fresh too. Even take a trip to a nearby park if you feel you need some fresh air while working.
In this final year before we start seriously looking at colleges, keep focusing on your schoolwork. A few extra A’s this semester could end up making a world of a difference next school year. Keep powering through, high school juniors!