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Forums » Smalltalk » How to keep a level head and stay organised? (help

So, I'm going into my last year of highschool. (Year 11.) I want to get a job as soon as I turn 16 (5 months), and I'm going to have to start applying to my Sixth Form courses. This year would've been stressful enough already; I have my GCSE's which I need to ace to be able to get into the Sixth Form courses I want to do, and I panic over big tests anyways. But of course, for 2020, that wasn't enough pressure already.

Due to Covid-19, I've been out of school since March. That's almost six months since my last lesson in person. I did have the option of going in a month or so ago, but because my mom is classed as "vulnerable" (and I am too; since my health is unstable atm) we couldn't risk it; so I stayed home. I'm not good with non-face-to-face learning; so these online classes, while have kept me updated, haven't really been that useful. It's been difficult to learn new things and pick up on topics; so essentially, I've pretty much missed out on 6 months worth of crucial learning and that thought has me in a frenzy.

I know that this year I really need to buckle down on everything, and the government should help put something in place for the GCSE's. I'm a very unorganised and chaotic person as it is, with keeping notes, work, etc. I've never really been able to break the habit of being an absolute disaster, but I really need to now- I plan to take more notes, make sure all homework gets done, and that nothing gets lost. I have 6 months worth of work to learn, plus everything we were supposed to learn this year.

But does anybody have any tips to help do it?

the stress has really been getting to me this week- i cut my finger on my mom's wheelchair because I was rushing, and I somehow managed to cut my other finger on a cardboard box. nhh
Hi,

If I can give you a bit of a perspective from the other side as a teacher. We are not expecting our students to return and be at the level they were at before COVID. Some of my own students from last year came back, others had teaching online with another teacher. My school's own focus is to help the student reintegrate with their emotional and physical well being first, not where they are academically. Hopefully this will be your school's focus as well, at least for the first couple of months.

Try to find a work space that is uncluttered where you can do bit of work, whether at school or home. For the amount of time you are able to focus, even short periods, turn off and put away electronics, socio-media, etc. Soft music can help focus. Start back with the subjects you had an easier time with and those which you enjoyed. See if you can get help for subjects that were more challenging from a peer at school (our rules is that same class peers can work one meter away from each other with a mask. Maybe cheek with your own school.)

Keep a wall calendar with the due dates assignments and exams/test. Colour code it if it helps you and you are very visual. Keeping a colour coded agenda can help as well. If you are allowed take audio recordings in class as well as notes. This can help you go back over a lecture with less stress of always trying to keep up with what your teachers are saying and paying close attention. Also ask your teachers for help with visual aids, ask for notes ahead of time if they provide them. Mindful breathing (listening to relaxing music) and just walks can help relief stress.
nightmqre Topic Starter

Falyn wrote:
Hi,

If I can give you a bit of a perspective from the other side as a teacher. We are not expecting our students to return and be at the level they were at before COVID. Some of my own students from last year came back, others had teaching online with another teacher. My school's own focus is to help the student reintegrate with their emotional and physical well being first, not where they are academically. Hopefully this will be your school's focus as well, at least for the first couple of months.

Try to find a work space that is uncluttered where you can do bit of work, whether at school or home. For the amount of time you are able to focus, even short periods, turn off and put away electronics, socio-media, etc. Soft music can help focus. Start back with the subjects you had an easier time with and those which you enjoyed. See if you can get help for subjects that were more challenging from a peer at school (our rules is that same class peers can work one meter away from each other with a mask. Maybe cheek with your own school.)

Keep a wall calendar with the due dates assignments and exams/test. Colour code it if it helps you and you are very visual. Keeping a colour coded agenda can help as well. If you are allowed take audio recordings in class as well as notes. This can help you go back over a lecture with less stress of always trying to keep up with what your teachers are saying and paying close attention. Also ask your teachers for help with visual aids, ask for notes ahead of time if they provide them. Mindful breathing (listening to relaxing music) and just walks can help relief stress.

I honestly really do hope my school focuses on health first. My principal has made it clear in the past that he values academics more than he does mental health (which is really upsetting) and he has a tenancy to be a bit neglectful when it comes to that kind of stuff. Although the SSA's and the head of house of the school pay more attention to it, so I'm hoping they'll push the boundaries with him.

Ty for the advice, too. I'll have to look into getting a calendar when I can- I think that'll help a lot.
You're welcome and I really hope it goes well with less stress for you. :)
I'm not the best at organization myself, but I will say- keep it up! You can do it! I believe in yooou! :D :P :)
During a time when I really struggled to get organised, I found this real life goal-setting RPG really helped https://habitica.com/static/home
I know this is probably old info but I think hearing it again helps with moral support anyways so here-



Note taking: My best tip here is to focus less on the presentation, it won't be important. But make sure that the words are clear and notes are concise. Read and write down what you remember, instead of copying straight from the book. Summaries and bullet points will usually do. If you don't have the habit of taking notes, maybe focus more on doing past year questions and exercises instead. That worked for me at least idk

Past year papers saved my life, not gonna lie. Knowing the format, keywords and marking scheme cut down on a lot of time trying to learn everything.

A little everyday. Or if you are particularly desperate a couple of late nights probably won't hurt too much. Unless if you have 27 pages of further maths due in 7 hours then there is no helping it. In the end homework is just more revision for your final exam.

Overall, if wasting time online is an issue for you, just don't charge your phone as often. If it is out of battery, you wouldn't hear any notification bells to tell you someone replied to you. Your phone battery might not come out alive but hopefully your performance in school will.

Good luck ;-; trying to find a job while juggling a big exam, that's a lot take care of yourself as well ;-;
nightmqre Topic Starter

Ty to everyone who responded-

my principal has made it very clear that he values presentation over my learning. He made me miss out on two of my lessons just because he wanted the teachers in the school salon to remove the blue hairdye. I get that coloured hair is against the rules,bit jesus christ it was Friday, could it not wait a few damn hours? >:c
Hey there, I realize I'm a little late to this, but I figured I'd give my two cents. The world is crazier now than it has been this is true, but life has always been chaotic. The most important thing is how you handle the chaos you can control, and how to handle the stress of the chaos you cannot control. The thing you can control, are home life, and your thoughts on a daily basis for the most part. So take some deep breaths. There is a thing called Square Breathing that helps reduce stress a lot. Basically it's this:

Breath in for 4 seconds
Hold for 4 seconds
Breath out for 4 seconds
Hold for 4 seconds.
Repeat

It will help even out your heart rate and it's something you can do if you are confronted with stress like a test or something. However, feeling stressed and anxious is also natural. It's ok to feel that way, and it's valid to have worries about the state of the world. Just do your best not to obsess over them, or let them take over your daily life. Another technique for anxiety in particular is called Tense and Release:

Tense up your whole body. Make a fist. Tighten every muscle until you feel like your going to pop.
Hold for 10 seconds
Release

This tricks your brain into thinking that the "Danger" is over and helps process any adrenaline out of your body faster.

Something you can do with your family is "Cognitive Reframing" it's 4 simple questions you answer at the end of each day.

"What was the best part of your day?"
"What was the worst part of your day?
"What did you accomplish today?"
"What is your goal for tomorrow."

I've found that's particularly helpful to process through depression and other nasty thoughts that may come up from time to time.


Now as someone that has struggled with ADHD their entire life, I know that studying online can be... challenging. The best advice I can offer in this aspect is to find a single thing that you adore in whatever subject you are studying. Something you find super cool, or fascinating. Using that as a springboard you can tangentially learn a lot about the subject by trying to understand that concept. It can also help forge those connections in your brain that help you retain the information for later. I'll give some example that I used below.

You know what's cool in Chemistry? Explosions. How do they work? Why do they work? What makes the reaction happen? Does different levels of chemicals create different effects? Are they all exothermic? Why is pressure important? How explosive can x,y,z be under the right circumstances. Answering these questions taught me a lot about chemistry as a whole, and helped me understand other concepts that those questions did not teach me.

Here is a practical application of this kind of learning, that I used to help me understand Archeology.

You know what's cool? Mythology. I wonder what kind of lessons they were trying to teach with this story? Where did they pull these myths from there must be an origin. OH holy crap unicorns could 100% be rhino's described by someone who's never seen one to another person that's never seen one. "It's like .... uh... OK so you know a horse yeah? OK it's like that but ... bigger, and has like... this horn growing out of it's face. " unicorn...
How do I move a massive block like in the pyramids? Well levers work... pivots work, sea-saws are kind of universal knowledge I mean it's a stick on a log. So using stone pivots, levers, and gravity mechanics it's not too difficult to move heavy objects. Rope pulls and a human or even a wooden winch system would be powerful tools that don't take that much technology to craft.
What's the deal with the Epic of Gilgamesh? It's a story about a king, that teaches lessons that are important to the people at the time. Don't try to find immortality, what you do with the ones you love is more important. (Death of Enkidu). It's not the bonda that we are born with, but the bonds we make in life that are the most important (Enkidu and Gilgamesh's meeting and the fight against Humbaba). Don't be afraid to be vulnerable to those you trust. We all need someone to help us though the tough times, it's not weakness for reaching out. (Humbaba and the Cedar forest). Don't insult the gods, but also even if the most beautiful woman imaginable propositions you for sex and a relationship, if she is toxic say no. (Gilgamesh insulting Ishtar goddess of love, beauty, and war)

Anyway, that's just my two cents on the matter. I hope you find some of it helpful. Best of luck to you, you are stronger than you think you are. We as a species have survived worse, we will get through this just fine.

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