Departing Advice

Some Thoughts for Those We Leave Behind

Shayla West, Staff Writer

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To those who will still be in high school next year – yes, you rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders –  I’m here to tell you that school can be stressful. Wait, you already know that. Now let me tell you about another important factor that goes along with all of this stress:  it’s all worth it. All those dreams of being a big CEO and having tons of money start with education.

With that being said here’s my version of Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.

The first step to being successful is actually coming to school. You can’t expect to pass if you’re always skipping to heal from your fake illness or need to take a day off. We all get those teachers at some point in our high school career who don’t let us make up work unless we have an excused absence, so make sure you are here.

The second step is, once you are in school pay attention. There is no point in being here if you’re not going to pay attention. Regardless of if you’re good at school or don’t feel like being here at all, school is important. That’s really the key thing to know. You don’t have to love it here, but pay attention when you are. It’s really not that hard to pass a class. Even if your grades aren’t the best, you should always focus on passing. One quick side note on this: an important part of getting good grades is doing your homework, so if you can manage to do all your homework, even if you bomb your test you can probably end up with at least a D.

The third step is getting close with your teachers. This is another big part in how to do well in school. What students fail to realize is that teachers pretty much determine your future. Teachers, quite frankly, have a lot of control. One example is that they have the final say in whether or not you pass a class due to an E3 situation. Even if you pass the class, those unexcused absences and tardies can add up and you can fail because the teacher denied the appeal. Trust me, I’ve experienced having my grade bumped because of a good relationship.  

My fourth and final piece of advice: TAKE NOTES and ASK QUESTIONS. You’re bound to get lost in class if you don’t ask your teachers questions. In fact, that is what teachers want you to do. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of the whole class, go in at lunch for a  one on one. If you still don’t understand, make friends in your class and ask your peers. Sometimes it’s easier to ask a peer for help rather than a teacher because they can speak your language. Again, the bottom line is you are here in school so you may as well figure out how to get the job done.

Another important part of this last piece of advice is having the necessary material. Make sure you have everything you need for the entire year. Coming to school without your materials is like going to battle with nothing. No one is interested in giving you a pencil or letting you “borrow” a sheet of paper everyday. In addition to having pencils and loose leaf paper make sure to have your class work. Also, don’t just throw every sheet of paper away at the end of a unit. Instead of throwing everything away, try keeping all your notes from each unit. Also, turn things in on time. Deadlines are closer than they may seem.

Ultimately, high school is a battle of stamina. If you know how to work hard and work smart, you can make it.


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Departing Advice