Setting Reasonable Expectations for the New School Year

The start of a new school year can be both exciting and daunting for many students. To relieve your feelings of stress, it is beneficial to establish realistic expectations and goals as the term begins for the upcoming year, so you can be prepared for what is to come.

Setting smart expectations for the school year will help you stay on track academically and minimize your stress. Here are a few steps to help you plan ahead.

  1. Reflect on the previous year.

A good place to start in setting expectations for the new school year is reflecting on the last year. Think about where you were academically at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year, and take note of any changes as the year progressed.

  • Did you experience any differences in your study methods or grades?
  • What was your workload like?
  • Were you able to balance your academics, extracurriculars, and social life?

As you contemplate, write down the important factors that made significant impacts on your life, but don’t get hung up on the details unless they hold value to your future success. Reflection like this can allow you to see academic and personal areas where you may have made mistakes, what you may have done differently in certain circumstances, and how you would like to take that lesson with you into the future. This first step can set you up for success and allow you to go into the new school year fully prepared.

2. List your strengths and weaknesses.

Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses can help you now and, in the future, as you learn more about yourself. Making a list can help you identify your weak and strong points to customize your goals and expectations by highlighting or working on them. Set your expectations based on what your strong areas are, then adjust them based on what you may need to improve. For example, if you believe there’s room for improvement in managing a higher workload in the coming year, you should consider strategizing ways to break down your tasks into smaller segments or modifying your schedule to allocate more time for focused study.

3. Form a detailed list.

After completing the first two steps, sit down and create an actual list of all the expectations you have for the school year. Whether it’s related to academics or extracurriculars, write down what you think is most important to consider throughout the year. As you form your points, remember your strengths and weaknesses, and find ways to incorporate them into your plan. Take into consideration your reflections as well. Incorporating all these aspects will give you a better overall picture of the year. For example, maybe your math class is set to be more challenging than the previous year, so it’s essential to commit additional study time. While math is a strength for you, you also understand the importance of not relying on that alone. Consequently, you choose to allocate a substantial amount of time to studying math, emphasizing a clear expectation and personal commitment.

Setting detailed and thoughtful expectations can significantly enhance your overall benefit. Allocating yourself time to create these expectations can prove valuable in maintaining focus throughout the year and planning for the future. Your proactive approach ensures better preparedness for upcoming challenges and reduces stress when faced with unexpected surprises.

to all you future Budding Leaders. May 2024 be a great year!!

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