Brunette female teen holding pink seeded watermelon wedge to mouth like a smile

How to Create Smart, Long-Lasting Habits in High School

It's important to develop good study skills and healthy habits that you can carry from high school to college. Read these tips and find what works best for you!

High school is an extremely significant transitory period in a student’s life. The best way to capitalize on it is to use it to your advantage and find what makes you happy, healthy, and successful. The sooner you discover these things, the more the future will have to offer. Establishing good study, time management, and health habits early on will benefit you throughout high school and into college. However, just because one strategy, system, or tool works for one person does not mean it will be the key for another. Ideally, you should take this advice and shape it into what works for you and your life!

Improving your study skills

Learning how to effectively study in high school is crucial to achieving higher-level success. Although we live in an era of infinite distractions via the internet, dozens of developers have created ingenious (and often fun) ways to eliminate them. The Forest app, for example, plants virtual trees after you set and stick to a time goal in which you may not check any other apps on your phone. Many other similar study timer apps and extensions exist with the same goal of helping you maximize your productivity. 

Eliminating distractions is just the first step in effective studying. Another great tool is one of the most basic: rewarding yourself! Sometimes intrinsic motivation just can’t get the job done, so supplying yourself with external rewards will incentivize hard work. It’s so crucial that you celebrate each win—whether it’s finishing a chapter or creating a flashcard deck—and carry that positivity toward whatever’s coming next. Rewards can range from a piece of candy to a fun mini–dance party! 

Related: 5 Simple Ways You Can Make Studying More Fun

Being more mindful

Contrary to what many people think, mental health is not a burden, and there are simple ways to jump those psychological hurdles that may be holding you back. Meditating is a great way to gain the self-awareness necessary to help you acknowledge what’s affecting you the most at any given moment. Meditation comes in infinite forms, so even those who find it hard to sit still or concentrate have options out there for them. Another great way to gain self-awareness is by journaling. Journaling helps relieve stress and anxious feelings by allowing the writer to sort through their thoughts in a tangible way. In addition, journaling is a great way to help you track and achieve your goals, which becomes increasingly important as you grow as a learner.

Taking care of your body

There are two main things when it comes to staying physically healthy: food and movement. Both of these involve habits that we’ve picked up over the course of our entire lives—some of which are better than others. Eating right is key to a good mood, substantial energy, and stable motivation. Foods that are high in processed and refined sugars are going to give you a small jolt of energy before a major crash, which will drastically impact your mood. On the other hand, whole foods such as berries and vegetables will supply your body with natural energy-boosting carbohydrates that break down much slower, giving your body and mind exactly what they need to keep you going throughout the day.

Purposeful movement is another fundamental to a healthy mind/body relationship. Using the term “purposeful movement” is what is best in this instance, as not everyone is going to find themselves with the consistent motivation to exercise. Taking just five minutes in the morning or before bed to gently stretch can be a fantastic way to release the tension built up in your body throughout the day, and giving personal meaning to this purposeful movement can help you get in touch with how you’re physically feeling. If you find yourself with a bit more motivation, doing cardio-intensive exercise is a great mood booster, and some gentle yoga will make your joints thank you. 

Related: How to Stay Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

All in all, taking care of your mind and body while focusing on your academics can be a tough feat to accomplish. Securing every opportunity you can during your high school years to further develop these mental and physical habits will benefit you greatly as you move on to college and adulthood. Once again, you know yourself best. Do what works for you, and without a doubt, you’ll find what makes you feel happy and healthy. 

Find more ways to improve your mental and physical well-being with our “student health” tag. 

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
high school academics high school students student health student life study habits

About Abigail Horwitz

Abigail Horwitz

Abigail Horwitz is a sophomore in high school. She is very passionate about learning, especially in the fields of history and mathematics, but she also loves to read and write. Outside of school, you can find her playing tennis or furthering her yoga practice.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

Samantha Fils-Aime

Samantha Fils-Aime

High School Class of 2019

I love that CollegeXpress has helped me find some scholarships to apply for but also helped me succeed in school with lots of tips. I also really like how they consistently email me about webinars that teach me a lot of things from the comfort of my home!

Keaun Brown

Keaun Brown

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2020

As I transition to furthering my education, I can say with certainty that it simply wouldn’t be possible without the help of generous organizations such as CollegeXpress. Those who initially founded CX had no idea their platform would give a plethora of information to a first-generation homeless kid native to the ghettos of over half a dozen states. Everyone at CX and Carnegie Dartlet gave me a chance at a future when the statistics said I had none. And for that, I thank them.

College Matches