For the Sake of Success

“Success is not final; Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston S. Churchhill

School. Wake up at 7:00 AM, get ready, brush your teeth, spend way two long choosing between two outfits, sit in traffic, sit in a brick building for the next eight hours, sit in more traffic, go home, sit at a desk for who knows how long doing homework, go to bed. Rinse. Repeat. Thinking about it, the days start to become repetitive as you will be spending the next 36 weeks performing the same activities. On top of that, being assigned multiple assignments due the following day, projects upon projects worth half of your grade, and at least one test every week? Is this really all in preparation for one’s success?

If you ask a hardworking student, “Why are you trying so hard in school?”

-“Oh, it’s to make my parents happy.”

-“I have strict parents that want me to get good grades.”

“I want to go to a good college.”

“I want to have a good job and be successful.”

Students tend to have the mindset that having a flawless report card is the only way to be successful in life. With that, they allow their mental health to slowly deteriorate in hopes of earning an ‘A’ in a class or on an assignment. Additionally, stress and pressure from family and friends influence the student into thinking, “I have to get a good grade on this assignment in order to not let them down.” All that stress and pressure will eventually build up, leading to breakdowns, anxiety, or even depression. Furthermore, different situations at home may affect performance. For instance, younger siblings require attention and care. Depending on their age, it is difficult to complete assignments and study for tests if your siblings are constantly calling you to give them attention. Moreover, obstacles at home and a class’s workload drain your energy. Staying up late in order to study for a test would only leave you tired the next day; and unable to process the information you just reviewed.

With all that being said, I am only talking from my own and my friend’s and family’s experiences. Which in turn leads me to the question, “How do I survive my current environment at home and at school?”

Throughout the years, I have learned that fixing the way I think about school and my work is an important factor. “Am I doing this for myself or am I doing this to please someone else?” You should never do something in order to make another person happy. Learning to respect yourself and your hard work leads you on the right path towards your own success and dreams; not someone else’s dream. With that, I have compiled a few ways I have been able to survive the environment at school and at home.

“We are in charge of the life we live…”

Some ways I was able to survive my environment at school

1. Time Management and Organization

Time management is an extremely important and useful skill to have. It helps you complete your workload for the day, possibly with extra time for yourself. You are also able to keep on top of all your assignments and still have some time to do the things you love. Organization is also an important factor in being successful. It helps you keep track of your daily tasks and goals. The best way I can organize my thoughts and tasks is by using a simple planner.

A planner like this one helps you jot down day-to-day assignments as well as leave personal notes for yourself!

2. Taking Breaks

Another way I have been able to survive my home and school environment was by taking breaks. Are you extremely stressed about an upcoming test? Are you tired from working on homework for the past three hours? Are you irritated from all the assignments you have to get done by 11:59 p.m? Never fear! Just relax and take a break! It is never good to work for hours upon hours straight without incorporating some time in your schedule for yourself. Furthermore, if your brain is tired, the work you are putting out is not your best. Take a break as a refresher and resume once you feel ready and energized!

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Anne Lamott

3. Study Management

Studying for multiple exams at once can be tough. I have found that studying in increments has worked the best for me. Luckily, there is a fun app that you could download to manage your study schedule. The app that I use while I study is called Flora-Green Focus.

In this app, you can set yourself different goals and tasks that you want to complete for the day. A tree will begin to grow in the span of the amount of time you inputted. However, if you pick up your device or open another application during the process, your tree will die. Additionally, there is a focus timer and a break timer in the app. This allows you to take breaks while studying. I found this app extremely helpful during long study periods.

As stated before, the days can get repetitive. Doing the same thing every day for multiple weeks can become tiring and draining. Daily tasks become routines and doing things that you have once loved doesn’t feel the same anymore. Eventually, you become exhausted and unmotivated. To combat this, friends and family have played a major role in helping me get through the week. Different activities that I enjoy also help me stay motivated to complete my school work.

Here are some things I do that help get me through the day and week!

1. Socializing

Socializing with friends and family helps you stay motivated and happy. Having someone to talk to in general just makes you feel better. Spending time to go hang out will not do you any harm. In fact, it will help take your mind off school and stress for a while. For example, going to the mall, the movie theater, the park, or even just going on a walk would be a fun activity to do.

2. Getting Fresh Air

To be honest, I can not stress this enough; getting fresh air is extremely important. No one likes being cramped in their room all day, every day for countless hours. Taking a couple of minutes to go outside and feel the cool breeze or the bright sun hitting your skin can help brighten your mood. It is also refreshing to look away from the screen, even if it’s just for two minutes.

3. Taking Naps

Taking naps helps me restart my brain and wake up feeling less tired. If I knew that I was going to stay up late in order to study for tests, I would most likely rest beforehand. I believe a thirty-minute nap or even an hour-long nap is enough to keep me focused while studying. Taking naps overall helps me stay energized.

4. Doing the Things You Love

Working on assignments and studying is one thing, but enjoying your passions and favorite activities is another. Activities like listening to music, watching a movie, drawing, or anything that you can think of help you take your mind off of stress. I recommend listening to Lana Del Rey; her music is quite calming and helps with relaxing after a long day.

5. Not Being so Harsh on Yourself

Did you take a test but not do as well as you hoped? Well, that’s okay! Succeeding is not always about winning. In order to succeed, you must experience trial and error. The mistakes you have made help mold you into a better person. It gives you more experience and ideas on how to succeed the next time. Being harsh and degrading to yourself will only lower your self-esteem and drag you down the wrong path. From my own experiences, I found that relaxing and keeping a leveled mind when in a period of worry and stress have helped.

Overall, to me, surviving my environment at school and at home is all about balance. Was I able to balance my workload? Was I able to take breaks in between in order to keep my sanity? Even though I know the many years ahead of me are filled with work, stress, and possibly even failure; I am able to keep going because of my determination. All the hard work that I put into my studying and assignments now, will eventually pay off in the future. I mean, everything we do in life is for the sake of success…right?

But in the end, if you were able to learn from your mistakes, did you really even fail?


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