December Student Advice
By: Steele Parkerson
Wow, look at that. You have made it to the end of your first semester and halfway through this academic year! Pat yourself on the back for having the dedication and stamina to make it this far *cough cough* even in a pandemic! However, chances are that you still have a few more tasks/test/to-dos to check off before you can enjoy your winter break, so now is the time to finish strong. Remember how you studied the first week of school? Most people tend to start out the school year studying like crazy, finishing assignments early and being excited to do them, but as we move further into the school year, people’s enthusiasm diminishes. Mainly because we get tired, or maybe we have a bad week and feel as though we are behind; yet this December, you and I, we are going to get that excitement back and knock out our last to-dos for 2020!
Are you struggling with classes? This is the time to reach out to your teacher and ask for help. Since March, education has undergone such a large transition from what we were used to and your teachers know this. Try talking to your teacher about how you feel, what class content you’re struggling with, and asking for suggestions on how to help you get back on track. Another thing to keep in mind when you’re taking exams/tests this December are the study skills ACLP previously outlined for you here. While you're studying to crush your exams, think about which classes you enjoy studying for the most. No matter your grade, the classes you’ve taken this semester can help you narrow your idea of possible college or career paths that fit your interest. Speaking of college, since it is finally December you should be wrapping up your college applications soon as well. This time of the year it can be extremely hard to both find the motivation and the time to finish your applications. So try thinking about your essays, short responses and even check the box answers as a way to better get to know yourself. When you think about your opening applications as opening a self dialogue, who doesn’t want to spend a little more time on a college application or two?
Since it has become a little chillier outside, your morning cup of coffee or hot chocolate can be the perfect time to reflect on where you are personally and academically. The middle of the school year is a great time to take a minute to reflect on your year so far and how you are mentally. Take a seat with your preferred seasonal cup of cheer and think through these questions: what have you learned academically and personally since school started? Have you grown as a person, student, friend, or family member? How has Covid changed your high school experience? Has there been any silver lining in the transition? These questions are to help lead you through self-reflection, but the main point is to take a minute to check in with yourself. The 2020 year has been so many things, some positive, some negative, but what really matters is how you are handling the transition. You should be so PROUD to have done so well in making it halfway through the school year, and we, ACLP, believe you will do amazing on your final tests and papers. Good luck and Happy Holidays!
STEELE PARKERSON is the External Communications Liaison for the African Community Learning Program and a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. To support the African Community Learning Program’s work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or External@weareaclp.org.