Spring is here! The weather is beautiful and some students are even returning to school in person. It’s an exciting time! It’s also an exceptional time…it’s been exactly a year since the Texas education system was faced with the biggest change, well, ever. But we’re going to tell you why this is the BEST and most important part of the school year!
Depending on where and what level of school you’re in, it’s likely the last grading cycle of the entire 2020-2021 academic year! If it’s not, you’ll be there soon. Can you believe we made it this far against all the odds? You’ve been learning and growing your skills while faced with challenges that literally no students have ever faced before. Speaking of grading cycles… let’s talk grades! This is the best time of the year because no matter where you are on the grading spectrum, this is your chance. If you’re happy with your grades, this is the time to finish strong! If you’re not happy, you still have time to salvage your grade! You just have to sprint this last little bit of school and give it your all. This last bit of the year could be the difference between passing and failing. You’re almost at that finish line and breaking through it is going to feel great! You’ll be so happy when you’re finished, and then you’ll have the entire summer to catch up on all the fun things you’d rather be doing than studying!
I know what you’re thinking… “I can’t! It’s too hard. It’s too much work.” But that is where you are wrong, dear friend. It is March of 2021 NOT 2020!!! You’re still here and you’ve survived all the changes that have been thrown your way in the last year. That’s no small feat! Many of us feel that we have not learned how to bring our academic skills to the level that we had hoped for. That can be really frustrating and discouraging. However, collectively, we have all learned infinitely more soft skills than ever before. That’s how I know that you can do this, no matter who you are. Because you are made of tougher stuff. In this last year, you have learned about resilience in the face of major (and often unpleasant) change. Your strength has increased. Your ability to be resilient in the face of adversity is so much stronger. That’s no small thing because resiliency is not something that can be taught out of a book. There are no required prerequisites for building resiliency. No laws exist to teach the very important skill of resiliency. And yet resiliency is exactly what a person needs to get through the hard parts of life, and the exciting thing is that the same resiliency applies to schoolwork! This last year has made each of us so much tougher than we were before. If there was ever a time to make the academic equivalent of a “Hail Mary”, it’s Spring 2021! You’ve been prepared for this by the school of LIFE. You’ve been working on these skills for 365 days, without a break. That’s some pretty intense studying. Even the least talented person will learn new skills and strengthen existing skills with that kind of dedication.
Never before have we discussed self-care in as public of a way as we are currently discussing it. We’ve never had to work this hard to connect socially with our loved ones. We’ve never been here before.
So humor me for a minute. Think back to this time last year… we were all burnt out of our overly busy lives and then out of seemingly nowhere, our entire society changed overnight. Remember back to how it felt… the weird sensation of existential fear for ourselves and others combined with guilty relief to finally have a break for once. It was a massive adjustment for all of us. Things changed. And they’ve continued ever since. We learned how to adapt, not because we wanted to or it sounded fun but because we had to as a means of survival. We learned to be more flexible because so many things were changing that we no longer had the luxury of pickiness. We learned patience because we all thought this whole thing would be over in a mere Fortnite and I don’t have to remind you that we’re still evolving. Our values changed because we realized who in our society was essential–to society as a whole and to ourselves.
Each of these skills alone is incredibly important, not just in school but in all areas of life. All of these skills can take entire lifetimes and still not be learned proficiently. And here you are, on the other side of the weirdest year ever and you’ve conquered it all. You’re still here! These skills can be applied to your academic career. That perseverance will serve you well now as you enter the last inning of the 2020-2021 “game”. You’ve learned how to reassess and adapt, and to do so much more quickly! This is just another opportunity for you to reassess your study habits and adapt them to finish the school year in the way you want. You know how to be flexible now. That means you can reschedule and reprioritize things around your academic needs. That patience you developed will help you not give up. Be patient, you’re almost there! And the people who are essential to us? Studying is the perfect excuse to reach out and connect. Having an accountability buddy is one strategy that many students find motivating. Speaking with someone in your support system can help you handle the emotional side of school. If you need someone to study with you or make sure you wake up for your alarm, those essential people are the perfect ones to ask for help. If nothing else, we’ve learned how important compassion and being there for each other is this past year. If you don’t have someone to reach out to for any of the above or if you could use some help, there’s still time to connect with a tutor who can help you make the most of your time. You have more skills than you had last year. If anyone can finish the academic year strong, it’s you. Keep going.