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Motivation is Key​

By: Marlo F., Grade 10 Student Reporter


Marlo Article.jpg
Ms. Caprara and Samantha prepare for the UNiTE ​Orange Shirt Campaign
 

It’s safe to say that the most stressful part about school is often the workload. Balancing school work and deadlines can be difficult ─ especially because Abbey students must take on six to eight courses in a non-semestered schedule. Nevertheless, here are some pieces of personal and professional advice to help improve your work ethic.

 

At the top of the list, you’ll find time management and being organized. If you decide to create your own planner, remember that you must use it regularly. Record important tasks or deadlines in a place that is easily viewable. 

 

When planning your schedule, keep the following in mind: limits, priorities, and staying balanced. If you know that your goals aren't realistic, don’t be afraid to change them! Also, break down larger tasks into smaller ones. You definitely won’t feel motivated to complete goals if they’re larger, because not only are they more intimidating, but doing all the work and then crossing off just one box won’t be as satisfying as, say, crossing off ten. Instead of writing “finish essay,” write “make outline, write intro and conclusion, write and edit rough copy, etc.” Ensure you prioritize what has to get done, whether it’s work that’s nearing its deadline or simply projects that take a lot to complete; large assignments like these can’t be done in one night.

 

We all wish we could finish all our school work in one sitting, but it’s nearly impossible. Working for hours without breaks will result in a rushed mess. Take time to relax or eat - it’s worth it! Even going out for a walk or to see a movie is fine - unless the work is due the next morning and you aren’t confident that you could finish it in the time left.

 

“The best habit to have in order to do well is to ask questions,” said Ms. Caprara, an AP English and math teacher. “If some knowledge is missing, the teacher will often only know if a student asks. Self-advocacy is very important, and having notes without knowledge won’t get you very far.”

 

When it came to studying, Ms. Caprara recommends “practicing, whether it be a math question or structuring a paragraph for English” rather than just “scanning through notes.”

 

But what about our students? What tips do they have about studying and completing work?

 

“I like writing lists to help visualize, and when I check things off, I feel motivated,” said Samantha Glionna, an Abbey Senior who has a schedule that is quite rigurous. “My agenda  helps out the most.”

 

Kathleen Britton, a freshman, had different advice. “Chocolate’s good,” she said. “I’ll have some chocolate while studying.” Kathleen also prefers to do her homework around her parents in order to keep her focused.

 

Since graduating grade eight, both students have changed their attitudes toward schoolwork in general and began to take school even more seriously.

 

When asked about inefficient study habits, Kathleen said that “listening to music distracts [her],” while Samantha said, “multitasking doesn’t work.” When asked what she would want to improve on by grade 12, Kathleen stated that she wants “to know which habits work for [her].” When asked what she would want to tell her grade 9 self, Samantha said that she would tell herself to take a break.

 

“Work hard, but don’t make it your life,” Samantha said. “Develop your work habits but don’t make it everything because it’s not a be all end all.”

 

Following these tips seems easy, but don’t forget to avoid some common pitfalls. First off, stick to your plan and don’t procrastinate. Obviously, this is easier said than done. Postponing work is a great relief, but having to make up for it isn’t. If this fails, don’t worry ─ there’s still hope. Make a plan B ─ a new schedule that includes the incomplete work and keeps other tasks prioritized at a reasonable pace. Ensure that you are still adhering to deadlines. Motivating yourself to stick to plans is definitely something that will help you accomplish those tasks.

 

Motivation also helps with apathy. No one’s going to want to do loads of work if they don’t like the subject. If you don’t like it, change your perspective so there’s an aspect that you enjoy. For example, when doing an Art/English project, brainstorm ideas and choose the one you feel most excited with as passion will fuel your work. For subjects like math or science, try making your notes or homework look nice and neat. If you like how your work looks, you’ll want to do more, because you’re proud of it.

 

All in all, motivation is what will get you far, and motivating yourself to do the work well goes hand in hand with motivating yourself to plan ahead. Knowing how to manage your work schedule along with knowing how to produce quality work in a given amount of time will reduce the amount of stress during the school year.​