It’s Monday again, and your mother (or father) has just pulled out “the schedule”—that dreaded spiral-bound notebook that comes with every fresh order of textbooks, the book in which your teacher writes the assignments you are charged with reading, finishing, writing, answering, and remembering each and every day.
As students, we’ve all been there. You’re a little behind in your work because of circumstances beyond your control.
Maybe you’re struggling with an assignment, have to balance a job with your schoolwork, or you’re like me, and there was a year or two where you couldn’t afford your textbooks on time.
You wake up in the morning only to wish you could crawl back under the covers, hide from the world, and simply will your schoolwork away.
I understand exactly how you feel. I’m 19 years old, and I’m still a Senior in high school. By the time I graduate, I will be nearly 20, and believe me, I’ve had more than my fair share of setbacks and days when I just feel done.
So today, I want to encourage you through my own experiences and share some tips on how to not always feel like you’re behind and failing.
1. Keep the Faith
First and foremost, having faith and trusting in God is vital to achieving whatever you want in life. It is very hard, especially in these days, to succeed in anything without the Grace of God behind you.
Even if you happen to succeed without His grace, you will still feel empty and incomplete. The only way we can hope to be one with God and work according to His Will is through prayer and reading His Word.
We must constantly look to Him for guidance, and praise and thank Him throughout our daily life, even when things don’t go our way.
St. Paul explains this beautifully in Romans 12:12 when he says: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.”
At the beginning of the day, I like to sit outside with my tea and Bible to wake both my body and spirit, and start the day off right with God.
2. Apply Yourself
I’m sure you’ve heard this one a million times – especially from your parents/teachers – but it’s true. You have to apply yourself.
Not to say you’re not working hard already, but maybe pick up that subject you’ve been struggling with, and just read an extra bit on the weekend. Even 20 minutes will help.
If you haven’t already, start developing good study habits, such as repeatedly reading, taking notes, and highlighting/outlining. Also, if you’re the type who learns better by hearing, record yourself (or your parent) reading the work, and play it back a few times.
Finally, if there’s a subject or two that you’re not really struggling with, maybe do an extra session or two here and there. This will help you get a bit ahead, and once you finish that course, you will have more time to devote to your other subjects.
3. Know When to Call It Quits
I know you want to get ahead and finish your work as soon as possible. So do I, especially with my graduation being so close. But you have to know when to call it a day.
Sometimes the urge to stay up an extra hour to read or work on a report that you may be very close to finishing can be overwhelming, but staying up until 2:00 AM and exhausting yourself will only make you more tired tomorrow, and the rest of your work will suffer for it. Stepping away from your work periodically to clear your head of study will help you return later with a fresher mind and ready to learn.
For me, there’s nothing better than settling in at the end of the day with a nice cup of tea and a Star Wars marathon. Distancing yourself from work for a while is necessary for a healthy balance. As long as I’m confident that I did a fair amount of work and study, I can rest easy at the end of the day.
Being homeschooled all my life, I’ve found these tips to be extremely helpful. They help my parents too.
We all have days when we’re tired of work, but it’s important that you remember that one goal we all have: to graduate with a thoroughly sound and Christian education. Going into the classroom and/or workplace with these ideas and methods at hand, we are better equipped to produce solid work that will be of benefit to us in the long run.
You can’t change your habits overnight. Start off slow and build towards better study habits, and you’ll see that you will succeed.
“May you be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, to exercise every kind of endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints in the Light.” Colossians 1:11-12