how to make your sophomore slump the comeback of the year
i don’t know if any of you are familiar with this fall out boy song but you can listen to it here because it’s a really fun tune
when i was in year 11 (my sophomore year of high school), i completely bottomed out. i won’t go into details but i was basically homeless for a while, struggled with massive anxiety and my motivation was just kaput - i’d been aiming for cambridge university before this point in time and it’s safe to say my gcse grades did not match up with this goal. i got mostly c’s and b’s with one a in art, and my self-confidence was shot.
my grades never recovered to where they were before, i’ve only started to truly study in these last few months which was already too late for my art exam results which sadly are very low and might even impact my chances of getting into my dream uni unless i turn it around…luckily, i plan to - having made the leap from a c grade at gcse english to a high-end a at as level, i’m more than confident that i can use the skills i’ve learnt this year to make my final grades for next year into something that’ll get me a place on my dream course
and here is what i recommend!
- at the start of the new term, make sure you have everything you could possibly need and more, i’m talking a decent notebook for each subject you’re taking, a device that’ll let you type up documents, a desk/study-space available for everyday use, pens that are good to write with, sticky notes, flashcards and highlighters (plus any course textbooks)
- get a damn bullet journal and use it! this things changed my fricking life, i have never been more organised
- plan your time. if you’re a procrastinator, print off a weekly or monthly planner (here are some good ones) and schedule exactly when all your extra curricular activities are, when you eat, when you sleep, when you’re at work, etc. colour code if you want, make sure any blank spaces are obvious and you can assign these blank spots times to study!
- start your homework/studying as soon as you get home. it gets harder for every minute you spend flopped on the sofa. get in, fix yourself a snack and drink, go to your study space and get your darn homework out
- if you don’t understand something, ask and ask and ask until you know it for sure! the teacher is there to teach, the only one who’s losing out from not nagging for answers is you!
- take messy notes at school, then come home and rewrite them/type them up in a format you can understand that’s neat and can be filed - this will help cement your memories of the subject
- get. a. study. buddy. find them in this community if you must, there’s directories everywhere i look (see here) and get them to help you, study with you, interact with you on a purely educational basis.
- getting bored? wash your face and go drink some water, put some handcream on or file your nails, then carry on until you’re at a point where you can stop for the day and not feel guilty that you didn’t get everything done
- PRACTICE TESTS ARE YOUR GOD. find the mark schemes and past papers online (ocr / edexcel / aqa) and go to frickin town
- write flash cards, learn them, bin them, rewrite them, learn again, repeat this process. constantly be creating the memory of writing it out, don’t just learn the sentence on the page. find new ways to rewrite what you mean.
- listen to white noise, asmr, or nature sounds when you study - not music. i know it psychs you up, but you listen to the music more than the actual work.
- make revision posters, stick them in inconvenient places and move them around all the time. don’t get used to them in the same place, put them under the loo seat lid, put them above your bed at night, put them on the fridge, on the washing machine door, on your mirror, EVERYWHERE.
- if your school offers after-school revision sessions, attend them. trust me. i didn’t and i hate myself for it.
- holidays are a great time to unwind but don’t just stop doing work altogether, engage in little projects you really enjoy so you don’t get adjusted to slobbing around doing nothing
and that’s it for now folks, please feel free to message me anytime for any advice ever - i can give you my personal email, find you more sources, show you my old notes, write a complete to-do list and stationary list for you, consider me your tool!
all the best and lots of love x