7/09/2016

this school year


Hello, everyone reading this!
Yesterday was the last day of this school year, my 11th and almost last year at school. I want to take this as an occasion to review this school year. A review on my "year after Japan" will come very soon as well, now, however, I will focus my review on school and the time I spend there. But before, I will do a little rewind:

At some point in the first half year of 10th grade, I decided where and what I want to study at university. As I found out that a really high degree is needed to enter this university, I decided to do my very best from 11th grade on. Because only 11th and 12th grade influence the final degree, I was determined to get the very best marks possible at this time. Deciding this, I somehow thought of an utopia, because I was sure that I would just have to "learn" studying hard once to do it all the time perfectly.
With this intention in mind, I went on 10th grade where I did not really work that hard for school. It was okay. studying as hard as possible was also my intention when going to Japan and what should I say, I accomplished the mission. In Japan, especially at the beginning, I spend a lot of time studying Japanese, regardless of my niveau of tiredness, boredom or confusion. I also barely ever procrastinated due to the fact that I knew I had to do the thing anyway- sometimes in my time in Japan- and as my time was limited, I did things as quick and productive as possible. I think, one could say that I "learned" studying hard in Japan.

So, when I came back, I still was completely in this productive mood and started the school year motivated and hopeful. I directly turned my resolutions into reality and worked for school as hard as possible. I studied at school (in breaks and free periods), numerous hours at home after school and at the weekend. I got into the habit of studying learning content directly after I had learned it and not wait until the class test is close. Using tables and diagrams, I kept track on my own learning process.l I kept long vocabulary and foreign word registers and rewrote important content on external papers. I also used flashcards for studying languages and preparing presentations. A big part of my life was focused on school. This may sound stressful, tiring and onerous, but it wasn't. I was happy. I liked school and I liked studying, because my efforts were reviewed.
Simultaneously, however, I began to realize two things:
1.) I was not getting the perfect results, I expected. Although I had massively improved my grades, I still had not the average grades, I stroke for and still made mistakes.
2.) I was bored. I had free time but hesitated to use it to start any project in fear of this free time project maybe taking away valuable studying time.

So, I introduced two changes. It was not that I realized and changes my behaviour at one day, but it was a process slow enough to be not even recognize by me. To fix the first point, I started looking for studying gurus online. I got interested in tips on productivity and time management. I changed my habits in order to maintain a studying routine to study rather smart than hard. While investing less time into school, I improved my productivity and my grades. At first, I cut off all study devices, I had pointlessly used thinking them to improve my performance. I stopped writing endlessly long vocabulary list and rewriting any seemingly important fact in every subject. Then, I replaced time- intensive studying methods with those that focused on productivity. Simultaneously, I started engaging in more activities in my freetime and allowed myself to start maybe time- consuming projects in my spare time. The biggest project to start was doubtlessly this blog.
Although I had no diagram showing the number of hours I studied for school and worked on projects per day, I am sure that if I had one, it would have shown a slow, yet clear shift in the distribution.
To my own surprise, the changes worked. I had feared for my grades to drop if I invested less time into studying but the opposite was true: I got better marks to almost the point where I stroke my grades to be. And I was still happy. Don't get me wrong; I still invested a lot of hours on the day into working and studying for school. I was still studying very hard. But overall, it was less time used better.
As this progress went on, getting good marks was becoming easier. The last two class tests of this school year I had the feeling that really was not studying a lot for and always feared the grades to become worse, but I got As on almost all of them. This made me trust in my new techniques a lot more.

So, my expectation of me "learning" to study hard kind of became true. I still have struggles with learning content occasionally but generally speaking, it are no major problems and I am able to maintain good grades without having no projects in my free time.
The big reward, however, came when we got testimonies. When I calculated my average mark for the second half year of 11th grade, it was an average mark of 1.0 what is a GTA of 4.0 or an A. (Note: This does not mean that I had and A in every subject, but on average, the grade was an A). I could not believe it and I still can barely. I was just so surprised. I also noticed that, for the first time since 6th grade, I was better than a certain friend of mine, who always seemed to invest minimal time in school but get amazing grades all time. I know that grades do not lose or gain worth when comparing them to other people, but this was just another big surprise to me. I do not know if I got the best testimony at school, but I am pretty sure I am under the top 3.
So, my resolution and my plans have worked out. I fulfilled my goal of 10th grade. I am proud of myself. Apart from this amazing development, I also made myself more free time to invest in projects and fun. This school year was a success.
No matter if your school year also ended yesterday or at another point of time or if your are at school or not, I wish you an amazing next school year and a great time and (if you have) wonderful summer holidays.

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