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Winning the Academic game

Jacqueline Greenwald

Discover the myriad pathways available to high school students today, from dual enrollment to challenging coursework. Learn the key to success: effective time management. With a simple planner and strategic prioritization, students can excel in academics while embracing diverse opportunities.

Opportunities for students today have never been more versatile. High School students are able to be dual-enrolled at colleges and universities, take challenging courses such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate, and even attend multiple high schools in order to fulfill certain requirements or get ahead of the game.  


Students who choose these pathways are seeking new and unique avenues to gain academic success. So how do they do it? And if they can do it, how can you do it as well? 


The answer here is time management. If your time is properly organized, anything can be achieved, therefore, step one should be to buy or obtain a planner. It does not have to be anything fancy, only a book that has adequate space to write out your events. 


Step two is to take fill this book up with your “plans” and take it with you wherever you go; you never know when you will need it.  


While you are building your days, some overlapping conflicts are bound to appear. The only solution to this problem is the act of prioritization. To some people, prioritizing one event over another is unfair or incomprehensible; however, to succeed in this game, you have to make tough decisions.  


Here is a scenario where prioritization is key: your goal is to go to law school; you have an interview for an internship at one of your local law offices, and at the same time and day you have another meeting for an ASPCA fundraiser that you are helping plan. Both options are impressive and beneficial ways to spend your time, but attending that interview will probably be more useful in the long run. 


Keep in mind that calling the lower priority engagement to request rescheduling is always an option, but in doing so, you do not have to give the reasons for the conflict.  Treat the lower priority situation as though it is a priority; you just might need the opportunity  


Whatever scheduling conflict that you are facing, remember that your time is valuable, so fill it with plans that will help you reach your goals.  


Overall, if you can figure out how to get the best use out of your planner, you will be much more comfortable and likely to succeed in this academic lifestyle.  


Being a high school student today may come with many choices, but with so many options come excessive amounts of pressure - to thrive in any situation, to challenge yourself, and even keep up with your friends.  


If you decide to be one of the kids who put themselves onto this pathway, make sure that you either want to do it or want the outcome. These are the two key aspects of success here - time management and willpower. 


So go, explore your interests, and utilize the possibilities that you are given: there is no reason you cannot be successful in all your endeavors and win at every academic game you play. 

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