It’s getting warmer outside. Green grass is poking through the snow and the sun is staying out longer. In the afternoons, you may not even need your heavy winter coat. Spring is officially here. And with spring comes the end of the third quarter, spring break, and the looming promise of summer break right around the corner.

What also comes is the tired, worn-out, and slightly lazy zombie-monster that makes everyone walk around like zombies. You aren’t sleeping quite as well at night, your book bag and locker look like a bomb went off with all of the old tests, papers, notes, and whatever else might be growing in there.

How did you get to this point? When is school going to be over? Why won’t my parents, teachers, coaches, stop harping on me to “get it together”? Why am I so tired all the time??

These questions might be floating through your brain as your head hits the top of your desk in History, hoping to catch a few zzz’s before your next class. BUT, quarter four is going to hit you fast and hard. These next four weeks are going to be crammed with final tests, papers, at least one more project, end of year exams, standardized state exams, and then final exams. And if you’re an upper classman, you have to worry about graduation, college applications, college visits, prom, and family members hounding you on whether or not you got into that college you wanted.

That’s exhausting AND stressful.

How do you defeat this zombie-like state and survive the quarter four apocalypse? Glad you asked. Use this survival guide and you’ll come out the other side just fine – maybe a little bruised, a little worse for wear, but you will be able to say you survived!

Rule 1: GET SLEEP!

I know, I know – you’re laughing out loud right now because you’re running through the list in your head. “There is NO WAY I’ll be able to get to bed before 2 am every night!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.
Sleep is CRUCIALLY important. It keeps you happy, energized, and pretty – so you want to get sleep! According to an article published in April of 2019 at health.harvard.edu – they stated that a lack of sleep increases cortisol (a hormone produced by your adrenal gland) and promotes inflammation. So, without sleep – you’ll be puffy and emotional and with the large list of things you have to do, nobody’s got time for that!

Rule 2: HYDRATE

The importance of drinking liquids is so crucial that it cannot be stressed enough! Water is the preferred drink of choice because its healthier for you than soda, but ALL liquids throughout the day is important. Your body depends on adequate hydration to keep your body at a safe temperature, lubricate joints for easy movement, remove waste, maintain a healthy metabolism, and possibly manage weight (Shape Magazine). According to Dr. Douglas Casa, a kinesiology professor at the University of Connecticut stated that, “It’s so easy to get to 1 to 2 percent dehydration. We’re busy, we don’t have water with us, and we’re rushing around. That type of dehydration is very mild, almost imperceptible when it comes to feeling thirsty, but the things people would want functioning well for their general living – cognitive function, mood, and vigor – are negatively affected.” So drink up! Bring a water bottle to class, have one in your locker or book bag, take one with you to the gym – but drink water!

Rule 3: EAT

I know that eating and drinking may sound ridiculous because these are things that human beings just remember to do, right? Wrong. How many times did you skip lunch because you were cramming for that test in the next period? Or you didn’t eat dinner because you had too much homework to accomplish? You would be surprised how many people can forget to eat, but your body and brain needs fuel to keep moving forward. Eating will remind you to drink, and combining the two will allow your body and brain the function the way it needs to so that you can get your list of things done. Everyone’s body is different. Some may do better grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day. Other people may need 3 square meals – but whatever your body needs, listen. And EAT!

Rule 4: ORGANIZE AND MAXIMIZE

Organize yourself and maximize your time. Wondering how to do that or where to start?

  • At the start of each quarter or semester, clean out your locker, bookbag, or wherever you tend to throw most of your stuff. Get rid of old tests, old papers, notes you don’t need anymore. Rip out old notes and doodles in your notebooks and throw them away! Purge and de-clutter! You will feel lighter and it will be easier to face the next four weeks.
  • Keep a calendar of some sort (Paper calendar, Google calendar, whatever works). Write down all of your assignments. Write down all of your sporting events, after-school activities, tutoring sessions, tests, projects. WRITE IT DOWN.
  • Maximize your time by studying in small chunks throughout the day (if you have the ability to do that). Now, if you’re rushing from class to class and you actually want to eat lunch during lunch time – then make sure to maximize your time at home. List out the things that absolutely need to get accomplished that day. Cross them off as they get completed. Write down the things that aren’t due right away, so you know that if you don’t get something done immediately, its okay (Just don’t forget that it does need to get done!). If you have extra class time, utilize that time to get some homework done, study, or read that chapter you need to read. Breaking things up throughout the day will make everything seem more manageable and maybe you’ll be able to breath easier.

Rule 5: BE HONEST

Let’s face it, we’ve all crammed for a test the night before (or the hour before). We’ve all started that paper way too late knowing full well that it’s due the next day. We’ve all procrastinated – its human, it will happen. But, the biggest key is to be honest with yourself and those who are invested in your education.

  • Let mom and dad know of upcoming tests, projects, papers, etc. because they may be able to help remind you how things are going and what’s coming up.
  • If you have a tutor outside of school, share your calendar with your tutor so that they can help you get the things completed that need to get done.
  • If your teacher isn’t clear about a due date, simply ask them when its due.
  • Most teachers place grades in some electronic format as well as their homework assignments. Check these areas at minimum once a week. If you know what grade you have or what projects you have coming up, then there will be no surprises at the end of each quarter when grades come out. Or if you missed an assignment and you didn’t realize it – then you’ll be able to hopefully correct that mistake early on.
  • It’s going to happen, you’re going to make mistakes. As long as your honest with yourself, don’t blame others, and deal with the consequences (if there are any) – there will be much less frustration and stress at the end of each semester.

Plan, prepare, organize, sleep, and stay hydrated – will it solve ALL your problems? Nope, but hopefully it will help make the stress of school, homework, and end of year insanity feel a little less like a zombie-chasing apocalypse and hopefully a little more like a walk in the park.

For more information and to get the help you need go to: www.milessmarttutoring.com

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