How to handle a tough class schedule this school year

Between strict teachers, hard classes and plentiful extracurriculars, every school year has its challenges. If you're taking classes in a new subject or you've piled on the honors classes, adjusting to a new class schedule can be especially tough. If you're ISO some inspo for conquering this year's classes, we've rounded up our fave tips and tricks 

Tip #1: Keep yourself organized

Staying organized seems like a no-brainer, but is especially helpful when you have a lot on your plate. Even something as simple as keeping a different folder for each class can help you keep track of those crucial study guides and class notes. 

Tip #2: Get to know your teachers

No, you don't have to become besties with your bio teacher, but even something as simple as saying "hi" to them every morning can help you stay on their good side, which can come in handy when you need help on an assignment or want extra credit. 

Tip #3: Work ahead

If your teacher gives you a semester syllabus, put future due dates in your calendar to help you get things done ahead of time. Not only will this help you complete assignments on time, but it will allow you to have a grace period in case you fall behind on your work. 

Tip #4: Form a study group

Studying is *always* more fun with friends and hard classes are no exception! If you're in the same honors chemistry class as your BFF, plan a time to meet at Starbucks before the big midterm to go over vocab. This will make the class more fun and aid in your studying efforts!

Tip #5: Lighten your load

While you might want to do *everything,* sometimes that isn't possible. If you're feeling really overloaded with homework, maybe look at your long list of extracurriculars and decide if you can free up any time. The school musical which you snagged the lead in? Keep that. The bake sale for book club that you only said yes to bc you were hungry at the time? Maybe pass that off to someone else. 

Tip #6: Don't be afraid to ask for help

Yes, everyone needs help sometimes! Whether you're struggling in pre-calc or French, a tutor can help you understand the concepts easier. Whether you go to your teacher for extra help or another student, you'll never know how helpful they can be until you try. 

Tip #7: Write *everything* down

With lots of deadlines in tough classes, you'll need a place to keep track of everything that's coming up. It can be a bullet journal, a planner, or even just a journal that you carry around with you, all it needs to do is hold all your upcoming tests and finals. 

Tip #8: Refine your study habits

While just skimming the textbook in other classes might have worked perfectly, hard classes usually require a bit more than that. Jump around to different studying habits—watching videos, taking notes or making charts—and figure out which one works best for you. 

Tip #9: Reward yourself

Life shouldn't just be all studying, all the time. If you finish a long essay or a tough set of math problems, take a break and go on a walk or meet up with a friend to get fro-yo. Not only will that prevent burnout, but it will also help your brain be refreshed and ready to go on your next project. 

Tip #10: Don't stress yourself out too much

Yes, hard classes are, well, hard. But that doesn't mean you should stay up until midnight cramming for a physics quiz or skip your bestie's birthday party because there's a history test the next day. Life is all about balance—and finding a balance between academics, extracurriculars and time to have fun is the most important thing to do with a tough schedule. 

Good luck with your classes this year! Click HERE for some of our fave study playlists for those last-minute cram sessions. 

Slider image via Samantha Hentosh on Unsplash | Images via @studyquill &  @studyquill | All GIFs via GIPHY


by Serena Sherwood | 10/6/2021