Use your 1st Semester reflection sheet to write a blog post on how you did last semester and how you plan to improve your academic performance this semester. Please refer to the attached rubric for basic standards and remember:
1. Any post below 500 words: automatic zero.
2. Any post without at least 3 examples of multimedia embedded: automatic zero.
3. Any post without at least 5 relevant and useful hyperlinks: automatic zero.
4. Submit a link to your academic journal POST, not the home page, here. Make sure your blog is not private.
The first semester was a time of many changes for me academically and personally. I did not expect such a major change between my freshman and sophomore year. This makes me very uneasy, considering the fact I am gradually approaching yet another major change, junior year.
Unlike anything before it, this first semester required a lot from me and made realize many flaws in the way I organize my time. Even though I was able to maintain my GPA, as well as participate in my usual extracurricular activities, this first stressful slice of 10th grade really took a lot from me, even affecting me in a psychological manner. I found myself working until very late hours and waking up completely exhausted and fatigued the following morning.
Another thing I was highly disappointed with this past semester was my lack of preparation for the PSAT/NMSQT. I ended up taking it for granted, and on test day, found myself at least 80% less prepared than I should have been. As a result for my insolence, my scores were absolutely mediocre, severely crushing my pride. This experience, although unpleasant, did, however, help motivate me to study harder and better prepare myself for the future.
As of this semester I decided to make drastic changes to both my personal and academic life. I had many long chats with my parents and realized I was underestimating the requirements to meet my goals and objectives. I suddenly remembered why I was struggling so hard to keep my grades up and realized that achieving academic success was no walk in the park. From then on, I put a lot of thought into organizing my schedule, restricting (to some degree) my social life, managing time more efficiently and preparing for the challenges that are yet to come.
For instance, I decided to reorganize my extracurricular activities. Whereas before, I had to juggle Tennis, Guitar, Academics and French, I now have much more free time to dedicate towards my future. I decided to drop tennis, a sport I never stood out in, and replaced for a more accessible physical activity, going to the gym. My parents and I located a gym just across the street where we live, saving time in transportation and providing more time for academics while still showing some concern for my physical well-being.
I also thought back to how disorganized I was with my time, and developed a strict regime for completing HW and studying. I decided to quit procrastinating once and for all and began using my time more efficiently. I even downloaded a specific app to make sure I follow a daily study plan I have devised for myself. The application I selected to do so is called Daily Agenda, and it works like a planner, allowing me to assign hours for studying, extracurricular activities, and free time. I found this new game plan very useful , allowing me to rest properly and avoid stress.
Besides organizing my time and devising systems to avoid procrastination, I began taking preparation for college a lot more seriously. For instance, I have assigned myself time to study for the PSAT and the SAT. My parents and I, in fact, on our last trip to the US handpicked a couple of SAT prep books, one of which is Kaplan's SAT Strategies, Practice & Review (offered both printed and online). Aside from text books, I have also made use of CollegeBoard's QuickStart website, which allows you to access your PSAT scores, practice for future tests, and find colleges suited for your interests and academic capabilities.
These changes have already influenced me in many ways. Even though, this semester has just started, I truly believe that staying on track and having determination to accomplish my goals will make me overcome any challenge that is thrown my way.