First Semester Roller Coaster: A Reflection on My First Year in Schuler

by Amanda Ruano, Waukegan High School, Class of 2016

"Sophomore year will be rough."

When I was a freshman, those were the words I kept hearing from my peers that frightened me before I began the roller coaster ride of my next year of high school. Now that I am a sophomore, I find those words to be somewhat true. This year has been a huge transition from last year because I have more challenging classes, but I’m motivated to succeed because of my family and support from Schuler. There are always ups and downs but I get through them with determination.

I want to be the first to graduate high school and college in my family. That means so much to me: to be able to state one day, "I made it." My parents motivate me to tackle all my work because I want to make them proud and thank them for everything they have provided for me. There have been a few stressful days but they were worth it. I not only learned new things but I also overcame challenges, and I'm a step closer to a brighter future.

I also feel that Schuler helped me out throughout the first half of the semester because it taught me to never give up and to give school my all. Schuler also helped me realize what methods to use in order to do well in school. It has helped me grow as a student and learn ways to focus and stay positive in anything I do. Throughout last semester, I was ready to face any challenge that was in front of me. I woke up every day with a great attitude and looked forward to whatever was in store.

Later on in the semester I found new ways to get through my week and juggle all my activities by staying organized, setting priorities, and getting enough sleep. Organization helped me during the semester in each of my classes. I wrote down all important due dates, assignments, and events to keep organized. It was hard to manage because of all the due dates and assignments thrown at me from time to time. Even through this struggle I learned to use all of my time wisely. Sometimes this kept me away from my social life, but I found that okay because I know my main priorities.

Setting my priorities straight helped me think about what was most important for me and how I need to spend my day. When setting up my schedule I always took Schuler and school work into consideration and always made them a part of my week. I set a time limit for all my homework so I wouldn't fall behind or feel like my brain was fried.

Sleep solved the problem of having a fried brain. I took an hourlong nap at times or even did all my homework earlier to go to bed earlier. This kept me from feeling sluggish during the school day. I couldn't go through my day half-asleep, so I made sure I had a good amount of rest.

I'm planning on keeping up with these good habits of keeping organized, setting my priorities, and getting enough sleep. I’m starting the next semester fresh and I can't wait to finish this ride and achieve my goal to finish sophomore year strong.


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