High School is your stepping stone to college. Your record from high school represents you. That means your high school grades are important! Not only are your grades important, but teachers who see you doing good work can write the much-needed college recommendations. Also, when you do well in high school, you tend to do better on your SAT and ACT scores, another part of your college application package.
So what do you do if your grades begin to slip?
Do Some Practical Things like…
- Put homework first. Set a time to do your homework for a couple hours each night, and do it before you do anything else. You may have to reduce friend time, work time, or sports time.
- Manage your time. Use your weekends for winding down and for fun, not school days. Reduce TV time and computer time throughout your week.
- Find a good place to concentrate. If you need quiet, go to a quiet room, and if that’s not possible at your house, go to the local library or to a friend’s. If you like background noise, use soft music and keep away from TV because TVs are more distracting than background sound.
It takes a village to do well in school and prepare for college, so get help from others: teachers, guidance conselors, and tutors!
You should begin by talking to your teachers. A teacher might be able to see how you are possibly approaching your work in the wrong way and turn you around. Talking with your teachers can also lead to extra credit work or extra time for catch up if you need it. Finally, teachers can give you extra help outside the classroom.
You also need to speak with your guidance counselor, RIGHT AWAY. Your counselor needs to know if you are having any kind of problem. She or he might be able to realign your schedule. If you are a morning person, it might be best to change your worse classes to that time of day, for example. Your counselor might also assess whether you need a level or teacher change to help you do better.
Maybe you need a tutor. Tutors can help. They are good for catching up on things you have lost or have not understood in the past. They also give you one-on-one help, so you and your problem get more attention. Many schools offer tutoring services, through the guidance counselor or through peer services in the student body. There are also private tutors you can hire in the community, but you and your parents will have to work out how to pay for their services. You can find local tutors through WyzAnt and Sittercity.
Whatever you do or in whatever combination you do it, just do something. Don’t let your grades slip. That becomes a ball rolling down hill getting bigger and bigger and harder and harder to push back up on the tracks. It’s best to stay focused on your homework and use either self-help or help from others before it’s too late.