A while back I wrote a post about studying, and how best to do that. Recently at school we had a presentation on how best to study and beat procrastination, and I thought that maybe I’d upload a new version of my Study to Success guide.
Then I had the week from hell.
A science test, a psychology SAC (which is my VCE subject, meaning it goes towards the score that will determine which university I get into in three years time), an English essay that ran over two periods and a humanities presentation due.
I mean, in relation to other people’s workloads and workloads I’ve had previously, it wasn’t even that much. The SAC, the English and the humanities all ran smoothly. I submitted early for the presentation, and I breezed through the essay and the test, coming out feeling fairly confident that I’ll receive a good mark. Everything was going well.
Until Friday, last period, when I had my science test.
In my first year of high school, we were taught techniques on how to calm ourselves if we start to panic during a test. I am now almost a quarter way through my fourth year of high school and during the test was only the second time I’ve had to use them. I sat there, breathing deep breathes and squeezing my rubber like a stress ball, trying to ward off tears, all the while thinking if I wasn’t panicking I wouldn’t be having to do these exercises and I would have more time to do the questions and so I wouldn’t be panicking!
See the problem?
When the test was over, in the way all nosy teenagers do, we started asking around. How do you think you went? Oh I don’t think I went well at all, I struggled. And I noticed that we all only started to feel better when we realized everyone else walked out feeling like they’d totally bombed that test too.
I started to realize something about my self; all my ideas of success are based entirely off of the ideas someone else has given me.
I mean, I’ve known this for a while. I’m not entirely unaware, but it was the first time I’d really seen it in action. Because I knew that even though 70% is a terrible mark for me, as long as everyone else got around that mark too, I wouldn’t mind.
And I realized that my friend who regularly gets marks in the high 90% range is the only one of us who doesn’t ask how others went.
So then I started rethinking my Study to Success guide. Because I followed all the steps in it. I worked hard, I listened to music without lyrics, I colour coded my notes. I did everything. But I still bombed that test, hard.
And I have come to the conclusion that there is no one way to study to success. Everyone studies differently. But there is a way to make sure you’re successful, and that’s to stop basing your success on others.
Focus on the three things you did well at rather then the one thing you didn’t. Stop asking how others did and start asking how you can do better.
That’s my new guide to success.
(This post was written before changes to my blog, when all posts where categorized by “sparks”. Any and all references to Katy/Everyday/Travelling/Life Sparks or Sparkszine are as a result of this)