You’re definitely not the first person to feel burned out towards the end of the school year, and you would probably be hard-pressed to find somebody in their final year of school who isn’t stressed out. That being said, it’s hard to relax even when you accept that your peers are in the same boat as you. Some people claim to be revising endlessly, and some claim to not be revising at all. Some appear to ace every essay, and others seem to be disinterested in the entire education experience. It’s important not to focus too much on what other students are saying or doing. They’re all struggling in the same way as you, but they might be putting on a brave face. The important thing is to focus on your own success. If you’re struggling in that regard then here’s some advice on staying focused as you approach the end of school.
Listen in lessons.
This is something you’ve been told since your very first day in a classroom, but it’s easy to get distracted as you get older. You might spend most of your time thinking about friends, love interests, family, upcoming assignments, the future, or any other important aspect of your life. We’ll talk about preparing for the future later in this article, but let’s focus simply on concentrating in lessons first. A good technique is to write down things in your own words. If you write everything the teacher says verbatim then you might convince yourself that you’re listening, but it’s easy to end up absent-mindedly copying down information. To ensure that you’re actually paying attention to what is being said, force yourself to write down information in your own words. That way, you’ll have to actually think about the things you’re being taught during lessons. In addition, force yourself to put your hand up and ask questions if you’re confused by something.
Concentrate outside of classrooms.
Of course, the problems start outside of classrooms for some students. You might stay focused during lessons because you don’t want to get in trouble for ignoring your teacher or get caught out if you’re asked a question. However, it’s hard to practice the same level of discipline outside of classrooms. When you only have to answer to yourself, it’s easy to end up playing video games or hanging out with friends than it is to sit down at your desk and study. But you need to learn to be self-disciplined if you want to do well. At school, your teachers might nag you endlessly to submit your assignments or revise for exams, but this won’t be the case at college or your future job. Once you gain independence, you become responsible for your own success. There will be no nagging teachers forcing you to do your work. You’ll have to nag yourself.
And it’s good to develop this habit now. Start by scheduling time for revision or general studying at home. Even if you just do this for a couple of hours after getting in from school, it’ll make all the difference. It’s not just about getting better grades on your exams – it’s about gaining a life skill. If you can learn to be disciplined academically then you’ll be able to study independently at college (which is necessary because lecturers won’t force you to do it) and work harder at your job (which might lead to promotions or bonuses). Of course, as for how you can stay focused outside of classrooms, you just need to create the right environment. Avoid distractions. If you’re using your laptop then don’t open Facebook or any sort of messaging app. Turn off your phone whilst you study. Put your TV remote in another room.
Take the business-as-usual approach.
As the final days of assignments and exams arrive, it’s understandable that you’ll be a little stressed. Plenty of students panic and try to switch up their approach to learning or revising. However, it’s better not to overhaul your tried and tested formula at this late stage in the game (unless that formula involves doing no work at all). The stress of starting from scratch will overwhelm you. Take the business-as-usual approach to your studies. You’ll find that the waves of doubt and stress come and go, but the smartest move is to keep working as you always have. Don’t overload your brain with a new way of studying when there are so many things happening in your life right now. Keep it simple, and take it easy. That’s difficult, of course, but you can try.
Give yourself a reward at the end.
It might help you to stay focused as you approach the end of school if you plan some kind of reward for yourself. Your parents or other family members might already be looking into arranging some kind of party. This could be a great way to motivate yourself to work hard. You’ll know that you’ve got something fun waiting for you on the horizon. A gathering could be a great way to celebrate. Maybe you could even do a joint celebration with close friends of yours who are graduating. You might want to look into graduation party favors to get for the event so as to give you and your buddies a reward that encourages you to work harder. It’s really important to have something to look forward to at the end of your exams.
Don’t fear college.
A lot of kids struggle to concentrate towards the end of school because they’re thinking about the next step in their lives. Some of your classmates might be planning to leave the education system and get a job, but many of your classmates will be going to college. If you’re doing the same then you might be worrying about this huge change in your life. You might be leaving home and saying goodbye to friends and family. But the important thing is not to fear college. It can be a scary experience because this is a massive transitional period, but it’s a positive thing. At college, you’ll gain your independence, make new friends, learn new things, and have the freedom to become whoever you want to be. You’ll have your first taste of being a real adult, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the luxury of spending time with your peers, partying, relaxing, and learning. It’s all the good parts of the adult world rolled into one. And it’s definitely important to remember that you’ll do well if you simply turn up to lectures and work hard, in much the same way as you’ve done at school. That’s all there is to it.
For now, focus on your school work. College is still on the horizon, but it should be a reward that excites you. It’s much more freeing than school. You’ll have the freedom to reinvent yourself or let your true self shine through, depending on how you’ve presented yourself up until this point. As we mentioned in the previous point, giving yourself things to look forward to is important if you want to stay focused. Rather than distracting yourself with negative thoughts about the future, you can start to tell yourself that good things lie in wait. All you have to do in the meantime is work hard to get the grades you want at school. This is the last stretch. You don’t have many more hurdles to get over now. Soon, you’ll be setting off on the next exciting adventure of your life.
Don’t worry about the future.
Continuing from the previous point, it’s understandable that you might be burned out because school is coming to an end and your life is changing, but you don’t need to be afraid. If you have no idea what you want to be or what you want to do when you grow up then it sounds like you’re a completely normal kid. In fact, that sounds like most adults. This statement isn’t supposed to shock or scare you. On the contrary, the point is that nobody ever has their life entirely mapped out because life is unpredictable. And that’s a good thing. It means you never have to be forced down a single path. You can always change your mind and pursue new avenues as you grow, learn, and change. Rather than worrying about choosing a career that’ll suit you for the rest of your life, focus on getting your qualifications and enjoying the experience of college or whatever career path you pursue. Nothing has to be permanent, so you should simply strive to learn whatever you can from every stage in your life. That applies to your final weeks at school too. Make the most of the time you have left.
Most importantly, if you’re going to college then see it as an opportunity to gain independence, make new friends, and learn things about the world. As you do, you’ll start to learn more about yourself. You might start forming ideas about what you want to do with your life. But you don’t have to decide on the thing you want to do forever, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You have a lot to experience yet. Enjoy the journey, and work on improving yourself as an individual. Even when you’ve finished college and you’re finished with education, you still have room to grow and develop as a person. You might choose a job and change careers a few years down the line when you discover something you enjoy more. That’s why you should avoid worrying about the future – especially before you’ve even finished school. Just focus on your studies, your friends, and your wellbeing for now.