Resolutely forward with 2024 school year


By Elana Kriel

Every new year, school or grade certainly brings challenges and uncertainties. However, I would like to invite you to create opportunities from the outset that will enable you to start the 2024 journey fresh, with determination and hope. After all, change offers you the opportunity to do things differently, and perhaps even better, than last time.

If you know where you are going, it is easier to stay on that path. This attitude will ensure that you will appreciate any development so that at the end of this leap year you will be able to look back with gratitude and satisfaction at what you have achieved.

Here are some practical tips that can come in handy on this year’s school trip:

Most schools already have information about correct school clothes and supplies made available on their websites or social media. Only stock up on what is needed and top it up as the year progresses. Specific requirements for some subjects are indispensable. Mark and organize your stationery and school books with a positive color, picture or icon for motivation throughout the school year. Organized school books and bags reduce time searching for books and also help with effective time management.

Identify a comfortable space at home and set it up to do homework there. Good lighting, the necessary stationery and resources, such as dictionaries, a computer and printer and covering material help you complete your tasks purposefully. direct you homework space with a positive slogan or inspirational quote for motivation. Feel free to spruce up this area with a potted plant that will remind you that success and growth are possible with continued work, care and attention. It should give you joy to see how even a potted plant thrives with attention, care and water.

Organize your previous schoolwork (if applicable) so you can easily review it if this year’s work builds on previous years’ work. Reviewing your own notes and preparing for exams can come in handy if you need to review previous work.

Sufficient sleep, conscientious homework, healthy, nutritious food and exercise are building blocks for a successful trip. Create an achievable routine so that your body gets used to the demands and expectations of the school year. Make sure you get enough sleep and rest so you can use your energy optimally. Establish a sleep routine so that you go to bed and get up at the same time.

Paste your school timetable in your homework space on the wall or table for effective time management – so you make sure you pack the right books for school. Use a monthly planner (digital or on a hard copy) to write down your school activities, tasks and assignments so that you can see what and how much of your time you spend on an activity. Use your smartphone to make you smart and use time effectively. Use apps for a daily programme, informative news events, an interest or hobby and maybe music that you can play softly when you do homework or study. Guard against time-consuming phone use and pointless conversations on your phone during focus time.

Think about you school and personal goals for 2024, for example planned subject achievement, extra classes in a subject where you need more support, sports participation, a new extracurricular activity or a hobby. Talk to your parents about the practical arrangements and implications, such as the cost, clothing or equipment for the activity, as well as transport. Set achievable goals and ask for your parents’ support and motivation in this regard. Give your full commitment to outdoor activities and let quality count more than quantity of activities. Participate in school activities so that you learn skills inside and outside the classroom.

Relaxation is more than just lying on the seam of your back or being busy on your mobile phone. It is deliberate time to positively relax, socialize and do something fun, on your own, with your family or with your friends. Your soul is nourished by hanging out with young people your own age outside the school hours and walls. Time outside, away from your phone, is essential for friendships and support and also helps to deal effectively with stress. Relaxation is necessary for good balance in a busy year. Make a choice about your faith life and attendance at activities to improve your spiritual well-being. Your faith helps you move forward with determination.

Every new school year, activity and even friends bring challenges and opportunities. These events often cause tension and stress – sometimes without us admitting it. Use the opportunities already in January to do everything every day with a grateful and positive attitude to tackle. Strengthen your inner resilience: learn new skills, build your self-confidence and even grow in your faith so that you can face any challenge with courage and hope.

Moving forward with determination is more than just marking dates on a calendar. Good planning and a positive attitude equip you better to tackle 2024 with confidence and enthusiasm. Plan your school road map for 2024, focus on direction indicators and take care of yourself that you have enough energy to move forward all year, even if it is step by step.

If you sometimes feel like you are standing still or perhaps moving backwards, ask for help from your family, teachers or peers so that they can support you on your way.

  • Elana Kriel is a lecturer attached to the faculty of education at Akademia.