5 ways to be more prepared for the school year

The beginning of the school year is a good time to set your academic goals and plan on how you’re going to achieve them. Preparing early on can help you ease the stress and anxiety of your studies and allow you to work smart. Here’s more.

Set your goals

Take a look at all your subjects and set a realistic goal for each term. Be specific on how much you’d like to score in each subject so that you’ll know what you’re working towards. This will help you keep track of your progress at the end of each term, and finally, at the end of the year, you’ll know if you reached your goals.

Have a study plan

It’s never too early to create a study plan. In fact, the sooner you start going through your work, the better. Once you have your study plan, it will encourage you to start learning and by the time exams approach, you’ll have a study routine and have a good grasp of most of your school work.

Prepare your study area

Choose a spot at home where you can study with little or no disruption. This doesn’t have to be fancy or large – it can be a little corner at home where you can put a desk (if one is available to you). Studying in the same place every day can help you concentrate better.

Organise your stationery

Being as organised as possible for the upcoming school year will help you deal with back to school stress better. Getting the small (but important) things out of the way will help you focus on your studies more. That’s why I encourage you to try your best to get your stationery for the year as soon as you can.

Mind your mental health

To ensure that you function at your best this year, you need to make sure that your mental health is taken care of. Especially because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, which can be stressful. Be aware of your feelings and if you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can contact me if you need someone to talk to, or you can contact one of these helplines.

The year can go by very quickly and soon enough you’ll find yourself sitting for your final exams. Make sure that you’re ready to give it your all from the beginning, so that you can reap your rewards at the end of the year.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)

5 reasons why Grade 11 is important

I’m sure you’ve heard teachers stress the importance of grade 11 quite often, Well, guess what? They’re right! Grade 11 is an important year for every high school student, here’s why: 

Prepares you for Grade 12 

You can look at Grade 11 as a trial run for your Matric year because most of the work covered in the syllabus will prepare you for Matric. Doing well in Grade 11 will definitely boost your confidence for your last year in high school, and that is why you should take it seriously.

University applications

Did you know that you don’t have to wait for your Matric results in order to apply for university? That’s right Choma, you can use your Grade 11 report to apply for university.  Another thing you should keep in mind is that space is limited in varsity, so it’s better to apply early to increase your chances of being accepted, because universities temporarily accept your application based on your Grade 11 results. 

Bursaries applications

Tertiary education is expensive and unfortunately, not everyone can afford it. There are companies that offer bursaries and they don’t only look at your Grade 12 results. They also consider your Grade 11 marks. If you don’t know where to apply for bursaries, check out the following resources; CellCgirl, Bursaries Portal, Bursaries South Africa and Puff and Pass. 

You can evaluate your post-Matric options  

Your Grade 11 results and overall performance empowers you to make better decisions about the direction you’d like to take when you finish high school, such as the options that are available to you, what courses to apply for and where you’d want to apply. 

Opportunity to implement a study plan

Keeping track of how long it takes you to finish your school work can help you implement an accurate study plan for your Grade 12 because you will need to manage your time well for your final exams – so that you can answer all the questions (exams are very long). 

A lot of people think Matric is that bridge you cross when you get there, but the truth is; you have to start preparing for it in Grade 11. If you start applying your mind in Grade 11, you will be able to deliver your absolute best and increase your chances of being able to follow your dreams when you finish high school. 

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657). 

5 Ways to Cope with Grade Repetition Stress

So, Choma, a new school/college year has started and all your friends around you are excited about passing, but you feel like your world is crashing down on you because you have to repeat a school/college year. Repeating a grade or year at school or college can be stressful and discouraging but it’s important to stay focused and stay positive. Here are tips to get you through the year.

Remember, you’re not a failure

I understand that failing at something can make you feel depressed about it, or like you’re worthless. Yes, failure happens to everyone at some point in life Choma, but one moment of failure doesn’t define your whole life. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Just like Oprah Winfrey says, “A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

Reach out for help

Just like with anything else that’s hard to deal with in life, it’s usually the people you love and trust around you that will help you through it. However, I understand that feeling embarrassed over having to repeat a grade can hold you back from asking for help. Whether it’s from teachers, family or friends, you should look at the people you have around you and find out how they can help you. For example, one of your teachers will probably be willing to help you with extra lessons on a subject after school, and someone in your family or one of your friends might be able to help you with putting together a study schedule so you can balance your school life and social life a bit better. Or they could just be there to hear how you’re feeling, so that you’re not going through this alone Choma. People that care about you will always be willing to help you, as long as you reach out to them for help. Here are two great helplines that offer counselling if you need it:

SADAG Mental Health Line – 011 234 4837

Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students – 0800 41 42 43

Look at it as a second chance

Sometimes, your educator might recognise that you could be doing a whole lot better in a specific subject and wants to give you the opportunity to try again and get the results that you can get when you’re giving it your all. Looking at this as a second chance means that you’re able to look back on all the things that might have distracted you from doing your best before. Was it your friends? Was it your life at home? Was there just a lot on your mind?

Make your school work a priority

You need to know what’s important in life, Choma, and this means you’ll have to make some tough choices. Friends are great to have around us often but when they are getting in the way of school it definitely becomes a big problem. Have a conversation with them about how you want to prioritise your studies and if they really are your friends, they will understand and support you through your studies. Prioritising your school work could also mean making small changes to your daily plan that allow you to focus better. Like getting more sleep, eating healthier, and even getting some exercise.

Focus on the future

Now that you know what was in your way last year, you can set goals and manage your time a whole lot better so you can avoid those roadblocks. Even though you can’t control everything in life, you can control how you deal with things and how you respond, and the best way to do that begins with a positive attitude.

Choma, the secret ingredient to success and hard work is firstly believing that you can achieve what you want. This doesn’t mean that everything will suddenly become easy, but it means that no matter what, you’ll always work your best to achieve what you want because you believe in yourself. You’re smarter than you think. I hope this helps you or a friend who might be going through this.

Remember Choma, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)

Choma Loves: Back to School Ideas

It’s ‘back to school, back to reality’ time again Choma. It might feel like a drag after spending so much time on holiday but there are so many helpful and fun ideas out there that can make preparing for school something to look forward to. Here are some of my favourites.

Vision boards

Source: evettedionne.com

A vision board is like a collage of images and words that represent the goals you’ve set for yourself and can help you put things into perspective. It’s really easy and fun to create one, especially if you have a few magazines and newspapers lying around. Just find some images and words to cut out that represent each of your goals, paste them onto a board that you can stick up on a wall or a page to keep in a folder

More info: How to create a vision board

Daily & weekly planners

Source: creativemarket.com

Planning your days and weeks is a habit that you should get into now, if you haven’t already. And no, it doesn’t mean that everything will always go according to plan – life can be unpredictable, but knowing what you need to get done will keep your head in the game. You can use the calendar app on your phone or simply use a notebook as your planner.

More info: How to make your own daily planner

Bullet journaling

Source: www.theodysseyonline.com

A bullet journal is a combination of a general planner, a diary and a to-do list which lets you keep track of what you need to do in future, but also how you spent your day. It’s very useful if you want to keep track of your goals and changes in your habits. You can really make it work for you by using different symbols for things like events, budgeting, studying/learning, things to get done, notes about your day etc.

Video: How to create a Bullet Journal

Free Study Resources

The SA Homeschoolers website has a great variety of free educational resources you can use for different subjects like maths, science and technology, or English and Afrikaans – as well as options for primary school or university students.

WhatsApp study groups

If you love socialising on your phone and using WhatsApp, why not put your social media habit to good use? Being part of a WhatsApp group dedicated to helping each other study can open you up to get help from classmates, and it also gives you the chance to learn more by helping others. Just remember, even though it’s normal to share funny things from time to time, it’s important to keep the chats focused on your studies.

Do you have any more ideas you want to share? Feel free to comment below.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)

Preparing your mind for the school year

The new year always seems to come too quickly doesn’t it? Just when you can’t get enough of the holidays, and spending time with all your friends and family, BAM, it’s time to go back to school! Don’t worry chomas, we got your back. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips on how to get your mind back into study-mode.

Get Organised

We know, the thought of preparing for school can seem like such a mission. But trust us, being organised is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Just think about how good it would feel come Monday mornings and you know where your school shoes, pencil case and books are. Think about how ready you would feel if all your books are covered and labeled for the year ahead. Getting organised can make you feel like you’re getting ready to kick some serious butt this year! So go ahead and get all your things in order. You’re smart. You’re prepared. You’re passing!

Set Goals

Forget about the past and focus on your future achievements. What do you want to achieve this year? You don’t have to tell everyone about it, you could just make a promise to yourself. Setting goals will give your year a greater purpose. Your goals could be around anything: Making good new friends, building a better relationship with your family, getting straight A’s, learning a new language. Setting goals and working to achieve them will remind you that no matter what anyone says, you have the ability to do great things!

Hang out with people who want the same things

Believe it or not, sometimes what holds you back is hanging out with people who don’t want to move forward. It’s always good to surround yourself with people who want to achieve similar things to you and who are just as determined as you are. Find positive influences and just being with them will put you in a good mental space. If one of your goals is to study hard, hit the library or go to study groups because that’s more likely where you will find people who want to achieve the same thing.

Stay Positive

The best way to get ready for a new year is to be positive about it. Don’t listen to all the negative talk about you, your school, your family or your circumstances. Focus on the things that you can change. If you allow yourself to believe that positive change is possible, and that you are the person who can bring about that positive change, chances are that it’s exactly what you will do choma. Don’t let yourself be pulled back by negativity and small talk. This year is all about big things. Remember that no matter how small everything around you seems, you have a big a mind and with that you can do great things.

We’re wishing you a fantastic year chomas! Remember that we are with you all the way, so always check back here for your daily dose of positivity, and don’t be shy to ask questions or ask for advice, I’m always here to help a sista out!