Thacher Hacks: Academics

Photo Credit: Annie Everett ’17

Feeling stressed? With a few of these helpful tips, you can discover that school life—though trying at times—can be easier, less of a blur, and maybe even fun.

  1. Always check your email. This is crucial. Remember to check your email whenever you have a chance to make sure you are not missing any announcements or sudden class changes.
  2. Plan ahead. If you need to miss class for any reason, then tell your teachers BOTH verbally and in email. Ask for any classwork you will miss and the assigned homework. Get notes from your friends too!
  3. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Just don’t. Although everyone tends to do it, it is the easiest way to fall behind in your classes. By procrastinating, you are willingly throwing your grades away and setting hard-to-break bad habits for your junior and senior years.
  4. Prepare for class. Don’t be the kid who is always running back to the dorm for something he or she forgot. It is frustrating for your teacher and can hurt you due to the material you miss.
  5. Ask questions. If something does not make sense in class, don’t be afraid to ask. Thinking you will be judged and deciding not to ask will slow or even prevent you from grasping key concepts.
  6. Ask for help. If you are ever stuck on a homework assignment or paper, email your teacher or ask a classmate. The benefit of living on campus with teachers is that you can pop over to their house to ask for help. Use all the available resources you have.
  7. Ask for extra time. Though you should NOT use this as a get-out-of-jail-free card for procrastination, if you are falling behind on a project or just need a little more time to figure out your essay, ask your teacher for an extension. The teachers at Thacher are incredibly understanding about students learning to manage their time. Even if they say no, turning it in late for a small infraction is the second best path.
  8. Use both study halls wisely. Do not goof off during the daytime study hall. It is time for you to get ahead on homework, not time for Netflix or YouTube.
  9. Be social. Even if you are swamped with homework and tests and essays, remember to take a break. Hanging out with your friends can clear your head and give you fresh eyes to resume studying.
  10. Get sleep. Don’t stay up doing homework, or wake up at the crack of dawn to do it. Without sleep, classes can be a long, hazy blur.
  11. Eat breakfast. Even though there will be mornings when your alarm doesn’t go off or you forget to study for a first period test, make sure to grab some breakfast. It will fuel you until lunch.
  12. Get ahead. Though it rarely happens, if there is ever a moment when you are just waiting for time to pass, use it to get ahead on homework. Get a head start on that essay you were assigned or do some extra review for your language class.
  13. Organize. Do not just shove papers in your backpack or leave them in a pile on your desk. Organize your backpack. Use binders, tabs, and folders to separate assignments. This is a good way to prevent losing papers.

High school is meant to be challenging and at times, even oppressive. If you are ever feeling burned out and exhausted with strain, tell your advisor. The teachers at Thacher are dedicated to their students. The last thing they want is their students drowning in the work they have been given. Just remember that going to boarding school is a privilege, and you should use all the opportunities and resources you are given.

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