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Abra Stalker
Picture from Pintrest user @anouk shows a photo of a neat study session

The new school year offers a clean slate for students in their academic, social, and extracurricular careers. Sometimes it can be overwhelming for students to make the transition as they face new and often more difficult classes, along with a change in priorities and expectations. Performance pressure and keeping up with academic standards can be overwhelming for students old and new, so it’s important to maintain a welcoming and supportive campus here at Seminole High School (SHS). By fostering an inclusive and friendly atmosphere, we can create a space where each student can thrive both academically and personally.

Some of the best ways students can create this type of uplifting environment is by working together and sharing some of the insight they’ve learned over the years. IB senior Shawn Vazhappilly says: “Avoid getting burnt out by keeping a rigorous schedule and [try to] develop interest in your classes.” Time blocking definitely helps with balancing school and personal life, so scheduling when certain things need to be done greatly contributes to your success. Taking classes or electives you’re interested in can also help with pursuing your passions or deciding what you may want to do in the future.

Divya Thumma, also a senior in IB, says: “Take breaks and make sure to relax. This school year will definitely be stressful but if you allow yourself room to breathe and socialize, you’ll easily be able to get through it.” Divya highlights an important aspect of both school and life– the power of building relationships. Be sure not to undermine your friendships because as Noles, we are a family. Make sure to look out for one another as genuine friends always tend to make things more enjoyable. Taking breaks is also just as important as school work and extracurriculars themselves. Taking time for yourself to relax or spend time with your loved ones can easily reduce stress and get you back to the right headspace to continue your studies.

Shreyes Gagganapally and Ethan Adamus have a more humorous but equally true approach to the school year. They say to “never back down, never give up.” Although this saying was intended for comedic purposes, they’ve still got the right idea.

Speaking from my personal experience, some general advice I’d like to share with you all is to be kind and enjoy high school for what it is. These four years of your lives aren’t the end all be all, they are simply a chapter in your greater narrative. While it is always important to focus on your academics, make sure what you are doing is making you happy. Recognize that time is a valuable resource and direct your efforts and energy towards something you are passionate about. School, although a necessity, can sometimes hinder passions and creativity but it is ultimately your decision to determine what you can do about it. Find a balance between academics and hobbies. It may take some trial and error but that’s okay; learn from your mistakes and learn from others’ mistakes. While it may seem as if the future and adulthood is a long way from now, they are closer than we expect them to be. Set clear goals that you can consistently work towards and never be afraid to reach out to your teachers for help. Focus on the present but keep the future in mind. These four years– or however many years you have left—will fly by fast. With the beginning of this school year, we have a new chance for growth and discovery. So from one student to another, let’s make the most of it.

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    Shawn VazhappillyAug 24, 2023 at 10:36 PM