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The 10 school year resolutions you need for 2021

It's that time of year again!

Time to make your New Years Resolutions!

Making resolutions for the new year is daunting, and often hard to stick to. So, this year, stick to making resolutions you *know* you'll be motivated to keep up: resolutions to help you with school! 

Think good thoughts

When in doubt, look for the bright side. If you're stressing over the SATs, self doubt will only further your worries. Negative thoughts will come into your mind; acknowledge, but don't encourage them. Let yourself find the good in every situation, and be kind to yourself. 

Speak up in class...or maybe step back

Some people are naturally outgoing, sociable and happy to be in the spotlight, Others prefer to be more behind the scenes. Both are great—we all need the balance in life. If you're more of an introvert, however, speaking out in online class can be intimidating, especially if you're speaking to a sea of black rectangles....yikes! This year, challange yourself to raise your (virtual) hand more often. Your teacher will definitely appreciate the participation (can you say grade bump?!) and you might end up liking it! Even if not, it's a good way to show yourself that you can do it. Conversely, if you're the girl who always has her hand raised, try taking a step back. Though it's *awesome* you're on your participation game, it's nice to give other people the chance to share their thoughts too. Challange yourself to use your outgoing nature to encourage your classmates to share what they think.

Get (and stay!) on top of schoolwork

With online school, it can be easy to push homework back awhile ("Hey, it's not due until tomorrow, I can totally do that in the morning before breakfast!") but soon, you have too many assignements and not enough time to do them! This year, invest in a pretty planner or calendar and make yourself stay on track. 

Communicate with your teachers

Have you ever had that moment where everything your teacher is saying just goes in one ear and out the other? Like, they might as well have been speaking Greek? Yeah, me too. If something is unclear to you, shoot your teacher a quick email—they'll be more than happy to help explain a tricky concept. And if there are outside forces that are making it hard for you to excel or stay on track, talk to your teachers! Most of the time, they're willing to work out a solution with you, but not if they don't know what's going on. 

Look for ways to learn outside of the classroom

Maybe you have a lifelong dream of being an heart surgeon or a fashion designer, or maybe you're still figuring out what you want to do in life. Whichever stage you're at, start looking for internships or job opportunities! One of the benefits of the world largely being remote right now is that the coding internship halfway across the world you've been dreaming about is suddently a possibility! And if you're unsure of where to start, talk to your school counselor: that's what they're there for! You can even start by taking cool classes through your local community college or rec center, as a way to introduce yourself to a potential career. College and careers are on the horizon—start preparing now!

Get a full 8 hours of sleep

It's easy to tell yourself "Okay, I'll go to sleep after I finish this last chapter," especially if that chapter is going to be on tomorrow's big chemistry test...eep! However, no studying is worth a good night's sleep. Put aside the textbook (or the Netflix—we're not judging) and dream about a big fat A on your test! Plus, more sleep will help give you smooth skin and a strong immune system. So, tomorrow night, set a gentle alarm at a reasonable time reminding you to start winding down. 

Don't take on too much

Multitasking is your middle name—when you aren't studying for your AP classes, you're finding volunteers for the soup kitchen, walking dogs for your elderly neighbor, organizing donations for the coat drive and practicing tennis to be on your A-game for the upcoming season...all while hanging out with your BFFs and helping around the house. You're always one to lend a helping hand, but make sure you're not spreading yourself too thin! It's okay to say no, or to take a lesser role in events and drives. Prioritize your education and your mental health—anything else is awesome, but an extra that you can participate in when you have the time and the extra energy.

Make a new friend—reach out to someone new!

Online school takes away the traditional ways of getting to know someone in school, but that doesn't mean you can't make it work! If you need an opener, you can always find common ground in schoolwork. Ask the girl in your history class who has some serious Hamilton knowledge if she wants to study together, or reach out to the boy who can solve equations in his head to see if he has any math tricks he could teach you. And who knows, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!

Find ways to relax

Whether it's yoga or journaling, find an outlet that works for y-o-u! With all the craziness of the schoolyear, it's hard to add another hobby to your plate, but trust us, it's worth it. Carve out some time throughout the week to set reality aside and just do your own thing. Not only will this bring you peace and calmness, these relaxation breaks will also help you be more focused on your work. 

Finish the books on your TBR (To be Read) list

After a long day of squinting at textbooks and deciphering Shakespeare, the thought of voluntarily reading might make you wary. However, reading can help grow vocabulary, develop creative thinking and improve concentration. Also, it's fun! Don't sweat it—read that cool graphic novel your brother was raving on and on about or your role model's memoir. If you're inspired, start a book club with fellow bookworms!

What's *your* school year resolution for 2021? Let us know @girlslifemag

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by Elina Graham | 1/1/2021
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