Ask Jane: Volume Three

Dear Jane,

I’m a senior gearing up to take midterms, but lately I just haven’t been feeling it. I’ve heard that your midterm grades don’t get sent out to colleges in your midyear report so why bother anyway, right? Do you have any tips for how I can motivate myself and do you think its even worth it?

Sincerely, Ready For This Year To Be Over

Dear “Ready For This Year To Be Over,”

I understand where you are coming from. As of late, many of my senior friends have been boasting about how they no longer need to study for midterms. I must start off by saying that it is worth it to put at least some effort in to studying for midterms. Mid-year reports are not the only way colleges can learn about your academic performance. If you fail your midterms or make it clear to your teacher that you have stopped trying in his/her class, your teacher does have the right to contact your guidance counselor or your prospective college about the matter. Even if you have already been admitted to a school you are not safe. I cannot think of a college that doesn’t reserve the right to retract their offer of acceptance if an incoming student shows that he/she is no longer participating academically.

That said, many teachers do acknowledge that students may not be trying as hard now that their high school career is coming to a close. A dip in a letter grade is okay and generally understandable. So, if you’d like to spend a little less time studying and a little more time relaxing, then that is fine. You’ve worked hard for almost four years, you can ease up a little.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is pride and your priorities. If your high school grades are something you are proud of and you want to end high school on a high note then here are some motivational tricks:

Try scheduling your evenings hour by hour so you can make sure you work efficiently and still end up with time to study.

Set goals for yourself. For instance, tell yourself that once you finish reading 10 pages of history notes, you will be able to watch an episode of your favorite TV show before getting back to work.

Don’t waste your Saturdays! Most students I know, including myself, view Saturday as a relaxing day and Sunday as a homework day. However, doing even a little work on Saturday can make Sunday much less stressful and allow you to focus on studying ahead rather than simply completing the work due on Monday.

If you are really set on doing well on midterms, try deactivating Facebook and Twitter until midterms are over. This is somewhat extreme, but it will definitely allow you to focus better.
Still, if grades are not that important to year for whatever reason then by all means focus on whatever is important to you. Only in America are students so focused on grades, and who says our way is best? Keep in mind what I said before about the importance of continuing to exert some effort, but you’re a senior! Do what makes you happiest.