How to Beat the End of the School Year Blahs
The end of the school year is almost upon us; summer is so close you can feel the sun on your skin and taste the ice cream on your tongue. Except, you have 2 projects, 3 chapters in your English book to read, and 4 tests to study for. Facing your planner has become a massive chore. One you just don’t feel like doing anymore. So, you close it and turn on the TV instead.
I GET it. The last few weeks of school are rough for everyone! When I was teaching, I had a habit. My mother knew every May I would call her and announce, “I hate kids. I cannot wait for school to end.” That’s right – teachers want the school year to end as badly, if not more, than their students.
As tempting as it is to act like a high school senior, skip out of class, and get a frothy drink at Starbucks with your friends, sit back down in your chair. There are a few reasons why the end of the year is so important:
GRADES! Assignments at the end of the year still count. Don’t be the kid who ruins a perfectly good grade by checking out the last month of school!
Also, do you still have late or missing work? If your teachers will still accept it, this could be your chance to increase your grade. And don’t even start me on the final exam. In every school I have taught in, the final exam counted for a large percentage (think 20%) of the final grade.Don’t be the kid who ruins a perfectly good grade at the very end!Click To Tweet
Behaviors linger into next year. You are creating habits even at the end of the school year. Slack off, stop using your planner, skip homework, and stop studying now and all those behaviors are easier to keep following in the fall. You want to go out on a strong note to set yourself up for next fall.
There will always be times in your life when you don’t feel motivated, but you have to buckle down and complete something – cleaning your house, completing a project for work, grading those.last.few.research papers. (The last few are always the hardest!) The earlier you figure out how to motivate yourself, the better you will respond in the future.
Tips to Beat the End of the School Year Blahs
Change up your studying
You created that lovely little study space earlier in the school year and it’s worked great. Until it didn’t. Bust out of your rut by finding new places to study.Bust out of your rut by finding new places to study.Click To Tweet
It could be another room in your house, sitting in the sun in your backyard or local park, going to the public library, or finding a sweet table at the local coffee shop. The new location can make your studying more interesting for you – or at least more tolerable.
Create a study plan to provide structure
The end of the year and studying for finals is overwhelming; you react by shutting down. You need a study plan! Gather your planner and any final exam study guides you have been given; in about 30 minutes you can make a specific study plan to provide some structure and keep you on track. (Psst – my post even has a free worksheet! Seriously, check it out.)
Build in small rewards to keep you motivated
You’ve been a champ at studying all year, but you just don’t have the same drive anymore. Build in some small rewards as personal motivation. Completed all your homework for the week? Ice cream time! Created a study plan (see above) and actually followed it? A movie with your BFF! The rewards should be inexpensive, fairly immediate, and something that has value to you! If you’re lactose intolerant and hate movie theaters, think of something you do enjoy.
Get an accountability buddy
One of the most important tips for changing your behavior is to make your goal public. You don’t need to put a giant banner across your school (“Jake is going to study the Cold War for 30 minutes tonight!”), but you need to tell SOMEONE.
Ask a friend or (gasp!) a parent to be your accountability buddy. Share your study plan and planned rewards with your buddy. Stay honest with your buddy and tell them when you have, and haven’t, met your goals. Celebrate your successes and get some motivations to stay the course!