This can feel daunting for a lot of students because if you’re starting somewhere new, you worry about what to expect. However, if you’re continuing your education then you usually worry about whether you did ‘enough’ the previous year.
As the school year ends, whether you are finishing high school, university, or starting an apprenticeship, it is a significant milestone worth celebrating.
There is something refreshing about the beginning of a new school year, it’s a chance to reset your motivation and approach it with a newer mindset.
It is a great time to reflect on the year, thinking about both ways you have developed, and identify ways to develop for the following year. You could start by looking at any feedback you have received from the beginning of the year till now and reflecting – have you taken on board the points? If not, now would be the perfect time to do so.
Self-reflection is a great skill to have that can benefit you in various aspects of life such as in the workplace, education, and your personal life. By taking note of the positive aspects, you can give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. This helps combat imposter syndrome, that a lot of us feel, by boosting your confidence.
Additionally, consider looking at the constructive criticism you have received so you can also think about areas you can grow. By taking onboard the feedback and making adjustments, you’ll be better for the following year.
Identifying areas for improvement allows you to set goals and setting goals is an effective way to focus your efforts and strive for continuous improvement. If you have a paper diary or just using the notes on your phone, set yourself a few goals for the year. Think of a couple that are manageable and something that you can look back on at the end of the year. I find that using the SMART method is helpful for this. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. For example, if there is a certain topic area you are struggling with, set a SMART goal for your next academic year.
For many students, the next year means potentially studying new subjects or, an increasing emphasis on independent studying so setting a goal for revision would be ideal. This could be ensuring you set yourself a study plan for each week for the next term and trying to stick to it. You could include different methods of revision to be specific with your studying and keep it engaging. Experimenting with different strategies also means you can work out what works best for you.
Remember your goals can be adaptable, and they should be if they are going to be achievable. Be flexible and break them down into smaller sub-goals to achieve, this way you can celebrate each step and stay motivated.
Also, after finishing the school year you should take time to take care of yourself and pursue things outside of work/education. If that is going on holiday, spending time with friends, or family then there is no better way to feel rested and refreshed ready for the next year.