Hello, Senior Year
WELL. Senior year has commenced for me. It’s the final year of high school and I can’t tell you how fast that went. Elementary and middle school seemed like they took years to finish. But I still remember being a 9th Grader and our counselors telling us that high school will indeed zoom by fast.
I think I know why it went by so fast for me and so many others; all we ever thought about were grades and doing well in school. Every day was the same. Do this and that homework, this project, study for that test, prepare your presentation, and so on. But for me, I’m okay with that. I hope all my hard work can result into something that makes me happy and feel satisfied.
This blogpost is going to be all over the place but, I hope it can give you insights on how the beginning of senior year of high school can look. So, come and experience my thought processes and experiences as I end my school years and enter university.
I said “every day felt the same with school work” but, instead of it being a burden or bad memory, I’ve always been someone who enjoyed learning. I found happiness in little things like writing papers, solving problems, reading about different topics, studying and more. Yes, it’s stressful because I worry about how good exactly is my work, what grade will I get on it but enjoying the process and finally finishing a paper or understanding a concept is a big achievement for me.
The other day, I was doing some AP Calculus homework. Let me tell you, I couldn’t understand a lot of it but, after trial and error and thinking over the problem, I finally solved it. At that moment, I stopped and said to myself, “Wow, I CAN do this.”
As I write this, only two weeks of school has ended but it’s already really busy for everyone. Tests, quizzes, presentations, homework, and projects. We go home sometimes stressed, sometimes tired. But I hope that you give yourself time to reconnect with yourself. Let yourself take a break because doing work immediately after school can sometimes be bad. This is because you’ll be doing your work while you’re not in your best mood.
Little Happy Things
For me, I run to journaling. At some point of the night while doing my work, I start getting sleepy and stressed and that’s when I know I either need to switch which class I’m doing work for or take a break with doing something that makes me happy. I take out my agenda and all my journaling materials and start to decorate and write.
Something that also has been a big help to relieving my stress is…well…cue the cringe but K-pop, K-dramas, and K-shows. And I am here to tell you that no, the things you love don’t have to be a distraction unless you make it to be. There is no need to completely throw away the time you spend by relaxing and watching an episode or video to spend it all on studying and studying.
Like I said earlier, use it as an energy source, a battery to recharge you when you feel stressed or tired. It doesn’t hurt to give yourself time to smile, laugh, or be creative when studying. Really, you NEED to recharge. Doing work while you’re feeling lost, stressed, and tired doesn’t help you do the best you can.
Another strategy to keep you motivated to do your work is change the subject! Maybe you were doing some math, switch to English or whatever other classes you have. This gives you some time to refresh your mind and a chance to do something new.
Throughout high school, we learn to manage our time. It’s a whole process and to you who actually have good time management early, you’re so lucky. When there is just so many things piled up in your mental to-do list, it gets frustrating. You don’t know what is important to do first, how much time to spend on something, and etc.
So time manage! I probably have said this plenty of times throughout this blog BUT use some kind of agenda or journal! To mentally have a to-do list is confusing and makes keeps you thinking about it in your head. Write it down. This way, you can visually know what you need to do and what you want to be doing.
Now, I know this may seem weird but, listing what you want to do/what you’re doing on your break can be helpful, too. For example, if you have an episode of your favorite drama to watch, schedule it into your to-do list! This makes your list not only filled with work, work, and more work. Add a little fun to it.
Be smart about when you do things. Say you’ll be eating dinner or lunch after school, use that time to destress and watch the episode that you wanted to watch. Just a tip! After all, it’s pretty hard to be doing your chemistry homework while eating your meal.
Let Yourself Be Happy
Let yourself be happy. This took me until the middle of 11th Grade to do and I mean it. Yes, I love to learn and study and that’s why I stayed in the library during lunch all the time until the end of 11th Grade. I would spend sleepless nights to finish homework that wasn’t even due until days later. Hours were spent on the same subject of me putting myself down for not understanding the concepts. But there were times too, where I as so lost in just finishing work. Sometimes, I wouldn’t sleep or eat at all.
I was obsessed with always staying on top in school. Nothing else mattered. Not myself, nothing. The outcome? My grades were where I wanted them to be but, I was unhappy.
There was a point in 11th Grade when I questioned myself. Why was I still so unhappy, so unsatisfied? For what reason was I missing all these family trips? Why was I always declining invitations to meet my best friends? And why was I throwing away all the small things that make me the happiest? For what?
And there two different ways I could have reacted to this; give up on school and just play around or change my ways for the better. I’m glad I had the mindset of the second reaction because education and mental health are both important to me. I didn’t blame the work I had but, I blamed how I did them.
Giving time for yourself is no problem, you don’t have to feel guilty just don’t take that right for granted. It’s not work hard to be happy instead, it’s work hard while being happy.
As 11th Grade was ending, there were many tests to take and that was a time when I really needed to work on both my knowledge and mental health. Not separately but, together.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Just as the sub-title says, please take care of your mental health and state. Education is important yes it is but, there is no use if you’re not doing it with your heart sincerely. Even if it takes you a few years to finally understand how to schedule your days to maximize your learning and keep yourself happy, small steps are okay. You’ll get there.
I’m a 12th Grader now, a senior in high school. I’m letting myself be happy this year and for the next years incoming, I want to be happy. I will be happy.
And I hope you let yourself be happy, too.
Well…wasn’t that quite a ride? I warned that it would be all-over the place. For now, these are the thoughts I have about finally reaching senior year of high school. To those who come to this point, I hope you found something useful or inspiring. Maybe? But whatever you obtain from reading this, one thing I want you to leave with is…be happy.
Because whatever it is you’re going through, wherever you are in life, you deserve to be happy even when stress seems to be the only thing you feel.
So, what are the little things in (your) life that make you happy?
P.S. If you haven’t seen my vlog of the first day of senior year, go check it out on my YouTube channel!