State Officer Blog: Surviving the School Year

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By: Evan Grove

With TSA events kicking back into full gear, homework piling up, and college application deadlines rapidly approaching, the school year tends to be just a bit (no sarcasm intended) overwhelming. To add to the stress of TSA and classes, most of us are involved with numerous other organizations. For myself included, it can seem impossible to manage everything at times, but for those of you who feel stuck in this same boat, here are some of my honest tips to make the school year the best it can possibly be.

Make connections with your teachers. That doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend, but make an effort to talk to them about things beyond the classroom. For juniors and seniors, the relationships you create with your teachers can be beneficial when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation. You want to show your teachers you’re more than a test taker, but also someone with a sense of humor and well-rounded personality. Not only will it help them learn about you more, but you can get to know their personality and teaching style to excel within the classroom.

It’s OK to expect a late night or two. This is different from averaging 4 hours of sleep every night. The truth is tests and deadlines don’t occur periodically and at times pile up on top of each other. I personally feel that teachers seem to purposefully schedule tests on the same date. I feel this same pressure when I forget to finish an event the night before regionals. On these nights, it’s fine to stay up later, but it’s important to make sure you don’t develop a regular habit. In the end, the less sleep you get, the worse your performance will be in the classroom.

Time management. Yeah, we’ve all heard this one before, but it’s vital to balancing our loaded schedules as high schoolers. While it is nice to think about what our lives would be like without that one class or assignment, it’s impossible to avoid the inevitable. Rather, make sure you are using those 24 hours in the day to the fullest. Have a long bus ride? Plan out the work you need to get done for the day or study a quizlet for an upcoming test. Maximizing these times that seem useless to ensure that you finish tasks on time and to the best of your ability.

Go to school events. This may seem like it contradicts the previous tip, but breaks are essential to productivity and your mental health. You’ve probably heard your parents say that these are the best years of your life, so make it that way. Attend school dances and Friday night football games. Being immersed in the school’s culture will not only provide relief from stressors, but it will also motivate you to put more effort into your grades and extracurriculars.

Get involved in organizations you enjoy. For many of us, this is TSA. Joining a club is a great way to make friends and develop leadership skills. It’s probably safe to say that most of us have met some of our best friends in TSA or grown closer with them through events and other activities. Whether or not this club is TSA, get involved in organizations you enjoy by taking on leadership roles. TSA offers countless ways to make an impact, whether that’s becoming a chapter or state officer or joining state committees. Either way, these clubs will help you become a better leader, improve your time management skills, and build a network of people around you that you can always count on.

I hope you found at least some of these tips helpful and can implement them in your daily life. It’s important to remember that high school is just four years of your life, but they’re four years that can set you up for a successful future, so make the most out of them. For those of you who attended, I hope you enjoyed the FLEX conference, and I can’t wait to see all of you at your regional conference or states!

Sincerely,

Evan Grove
2019-20 State Treasurer