Let’s be real, high school can really suck sometimes.
And it can especially suck if you’re not getting the grades that you know you’re capable of.
Are your grades and GPA falling short of where you’d like them to be? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to do better but nothing seems to work?
Perhaps you know that you’re capable of getting better grades but you can’t find the motivation to do the study you need to?
Well there are two pieces of good news.
One — you’re not alone. Thousands of high school students everywhere are having the same frustration and stress as you. We think it’s always a comfort to know we’re not the only one in the boat!
And two — we’ve got some tips that will hopefully help you get on the right track.
Chances are, you’re not getting the grades you’re capable of for one or more of the reasons below.
What’s driving you?
You know the ol’ cliché that you’ve got to have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings? Well this totally applies to high school.
If you don’t see the point in trying hard, why would you bother? If you think studying is a waste of time, you’re never going to find the motivation you need. And without any motivation, it’s going to be incredibly hard to study as much as you need to.
In order to do well at high school, you’re going to need at least one reason that motivates you.
Perhaps you’ve got your heart set on a particular College or University or course after high school?
Perhaps you just know that you could be doing better than you are right now, and you want to get the best grades that you possibly can.
Whatever your reasons are, now that you know WHY you want or need to do well at high school, you need to think about this every time you feel your motivation lacking. Hold the thought in your mind, and let it drive you to do your best.
Do you know how to study?
Ask yourself this question: Do you actually know HOW to study in a way that is effective for you?
What’s your honest answer?
If it’s ‘sort of’ or ‘not really’, or something along those lines, chances are you don’t really understand what study techniques to use in order to prepare for your tests and exams.
If you don’t know how to study in a way that works for you, it’s going to be really hard to get the grades you’re capable of.
And more than that, if you don’t understand how to study properly, this will suck any motivation you have right out of you, because it’s really demoralizing to know you need to study but not have the tools you need to actually do it.
When we sit down at our desks to study, we want to have a clear plan — a clear idea of what we are going to study and how we’re going to do it.
So, if you think you don’t actually know how to study in a way that best works for you, that’s where you need to start.
Basically, you need to figure out what your Study Formula is.
Your Study Formula is unique to you. It’s made up of all of the study techniques and methods that help you study efficiently, particularly when you’re preparing for exams.
To help you figure out what your Study Formula is, you need to set aside some time as soon as possible and do the following:
- Figure out what your Learning Style is (or styles — plural!), and have a go at using the study techniques associated with that Learning Style. (Take our Learning Styles Quiz to figure out what your style is!)
- Start being smart about your study. Don’t waste time using study techniques that you find boring or ineffective. Start making sure that you’re using techniques that help you UNDERSTAND what you’re studying, RETAIN information, and that you find enjoyable (at least as much as possible) using.
- Keep at it!!! You probably won’t figure out how to study like a straight-A student overnight. It will be a work in progress. But if you start being smarter about how you study, you should find that it starts to become easier, and that because of this, you start to enjoy it more.
Knowing what your Study Formula is the absolute KEY to unlocking your success at high school. It was knowing what our Study Formula was that helped us get the grades we did at high school and university, so don’t underestimate how important it is!
Accept that studying isn’t supposed to be fun all the time
Damn straight studying hard can be, well, hard.
Studying can be tough, and it’s certainly not always ‘fun’ (although it can be really satisfying when you find yourself making progress and ticking things off your list!).
There will be days, particularly when exams are close or an assignment is due, when you don’t feel like studying, but you have to do it.
But — this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s all about how you look at things.
You’ll find studying A LOT easier if you know and accept and anticipate that it’s not always going to be easy. This is because you’ll be ‘mentally prepared’ for what you have to do. Hard tasks are always easier when we’re ready for them.
(Also, make sure you check out this article on 5 ways to make studying more interesting.)
Hang in there
The other thing to remember and always bear in mind, is that high school isn’t forever.
You might still have a few years of it ahead of you, but in the scheme of things that time will go by in a flash, and every time you sit down to study, you’re doing something that is only going to help ‘future you’.
So hang in there, keep trying, and one way or another things will work out. They always do.
Are you a parent?
If you’re a parent, you can obviously help your teen figure navigate their way through the things discussed above, and of course you can continue to encourage and support them throughout. Remember, they key for you will be to encourage and support your teen in the RIGHT ways. More on this here and here.