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LEARNING HACKS The senior year is the most important one for every high school student, because your school graduation is just around the corner. Stress is the order of the day, hobbies take a back seat. But can you successfully master the last grade and still have fun?
Note: I wrote this article before I got my Abitur in 2021. The tips and tricks still apply, of course 🙂
I am still in my senior year and know only too well what I mean when I say: I don’t see the world outside school. I hear from high school graduates that hobbies are simply put on the backburner – not exactly motivating either. And yet: This is the highlight of my school career. I want to enjoy this year and show my best. This is how I try to do master this school year and especially how I experience the 12th grade.
The big ones
Cool fact: We are now the “big ones”. Whereby: I am not particularly tall and many 8th graders outdo me in physical size. But it feels strange to be older than 7/8 of all students. 8 years ago it was different, I was one of the newcomers. Now we have a certain responsibility, are role models for younger students. I at least have always admired the “big ones”. But shouldn’t that spur us on? It is time to show what we have learned!
This also applies to our academic performance. According to the motto “collect points”, it only now occurs to many people that your graduation does not only consist of a few final exams. The last four semesters of the course are also an important part. Not everything is lost yet, because two good semesters of your senior year can raise your average enormously. The only question is: Do you really want to do that to yourself?
Getting your desired grades can be quite a challenge, but it’s not impossible. The trick is to set your goals not too high: Be ambitious, but stay within the realm of possibility! Of course you want to get the most out of yourself. But too much stress does not help you either. Try to find a good middle way that challenges and encourages you, but also allows some time after school.
Without a learning routine I would not have gotten through the weeks so far. When 5 tests come at once to the already extensive homework (which happens quite often during a senior year), you need a good time planning. For example, I like to study over the weekend for the whole of the next week. This creates less stress during the week so that you can concentrate on your lessons and homework. Studying one evening before work is out of the question anyway, so why not starting earlier? When it comes to using free time, however, it is important to find a pleasant mediocrity again. Learning is important, but some free time can’t hurt you either.
Hobbies are especially important during your senior year, because they remind you in the stressful phases that you still have something like a life after school. So you should try to do something for yourself whenever you get the chance. Whether reading, cycling or volleyball – anything that distracts you for a short time is good. Smaller things like the short workout can also be included in the learning routine (or as a break in between). Such things not only clear your head, but also motivate you for the rest of the day.
Tip: More information about the perfect learning break can be found here.
Enjoy your senior year
In the end, your senior year will pass more quickly than any other school year. Not only because the course semesters are much shorter than usual. This is a time that you perceive very intensely. Whether stress, fear or excitement about the future. Your last year as a student has begun, after that you will live a completely different lifestyle elsewhere. And this in a completely new circle of friends. Or are you lucky enough to live/study with someone else? Then congratulations! Either way, you only have about a year left to do everything you always wanted to do during your school years.
I already know exactly what I am going to do after my senior year at school: studying physics in Potsdam. Hardly anything stands in my way, because the course of studies is not only NC-free (no certain average for the final certificate required), but is also so dominated by men that I’m sure they’ll be happy to take me on, in order to increase the quota of women. Even one of my friends, who until recently did not have any plans for a future career, is now thinking about a concrete training.
Knowing where you want to go later can be incredibly motivating. But there is also hope for all those who are still unsure about it. Apart from Corona, which will probably also put a spanner in the works next year, there are many great opportunities for a gap year. And until then, we grit our teeth and take all the experiences with us that will remind us of our senior school year for a long time.