Dealing With Classes You Struggle With
By Vanessa Oxales
You might be one of those students who says they will finish all their homework the day they get it. Then you end up doing it all the night before or maybe the day of because you get too stressed and don’t understand how to do it. Most of the time you can’t drop out of a class, but there are ways you can get help if you’re struggling.
It may be helpful to write out what you think you know and everything you’re struggling with a subject. That way you can compile a list to find out what you really need help with and have a clear focused goal when you study.
There are an extensive amount of free resources available at Edmonds-Woodway and online. Our school has an EWHS tutoring site where you can contact upperclassmen tutors as well as find lists of resources for subjects. Most upperclassmen have taken the classes you’re in right now and may have study guides, Quizlets, and can genuinely give you helpful advice. So don’t be afraid to ask them for help. The EWHS library site has many listed resources for research that can help you out too. You can also make a Google Doc or a chat and share it with other people in your class. That way you and your classmates can compile ideas, notes, and sites to help each other out. Try to take advantage of teacher office hours as well. Everything is on Zoom, so you can most likely find a time that suits your needs. If you reach out to a teacher but it doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged, and ask other teachers, a counselor, or other students. Utilize your resources as they can help ease your workload.
Teachers are trying their best to adapt to online school while supporting their students. They aren’t dealing with everything high schoolers have to, but they most likely have to take care of their family, housing, bills, taxes, and other issues along with their mental health. Not every teacher’s learning style will work best with you and sometimes the workload will feel like too much. You’re going to have to find different ways you can learn the content and manage your time differently. Test out different learning styles to figure out which one is best for you and see if you can learn your class’ content that way.
Procrastination, the rival of homework.
It’s stressful to memorize heaps of content all finish all of the homework on your to-do list in one day. The more you add to your day, the more you may want to procrastinate. If you find you aren’t spending enough time on a subject figure out how much you can study it and be realistic. Try making a weekly agenda and spread out your study sessions, homework, or parts of an assignment to certain days instead of planning to finish it all in one day. Some apps that can help you with making an agenda are Notion, Google Keep, or Google Calendar. Physical planners work well too. Do your best to not overload yourself.
If it’s difficult for you to study for a long period of time you can aim to break down your studying into multiple sessions. Explore different methods like the Pomodoro Technique, in which you would break down a task into intervals or “Pomodoros”. During a Pomodoro 25 minutes is spent on completing one task on your to-do list. A 5-minute break is followed afterward. After 4 Pomodoros it’s recommended to take a longer break around 15 to 30 minutes. When you’re studying, eat snacks and try listening to music to make your session less stressful. If you’re feeling burned out, pause doing activities that drain your energy. Take the time to recoup your stamina by sleeping, eating, or drinking water. Talk to people that make you happy or spend time doing hobbies. Do what you can and take one step at a time.
If you’re handling too much by yourself please reach out to someone. Putting too much pressure on yourself could push you too close to your limit and cause you to handle stress in an unhealthy manner. Please talk to people you can trust until you find the support you need.
Keep learning through trial and error. Try new things and figure out what works best for you. Sometimes you will differ from expectations and certain parts of your school life won’t work out the way you want them to. Nevertheless, it won’t mean all your paths will close and that it’s a mistake that you diverged. Work hard for yourself, but remember that managing your health will always be consequential. Taking care of your well-being right now is just as important as it would be in any part of your life.