Hitting the Academic Wall: How 11 th Graders Can Crack Through at the End of the Year
Most of the juniors I am working with have entered the “blackout time period, ” the time of year when their top priorities are preparing for AP exams, prepping for SITTING subject tests, and finishing their junior years with a strong functionality.
This is a very difficult time for them . I can tell that they are beginning to feel burned out, and as the days are warming after a long winter, they seem to want to just throw the books out the window and burst open into the spring sunshine. Who can fault them? Even though it can be hard pertaining to students to acknowledge, this is the most important time to delay gratification and keep up the strong work. What they don’t know is that even though they have worked quite difficult for the last five semesters, what they do over the next two months will either assist them realize the college opportunities they have worked towards for so long, or put them out of reach.
I am the father of a college freshman, and am can recall having tough discussions with a junior who was starting to issue whether he could muster the energy to complete strong. Not unlike the race runner who hits “the wall” at mile marker 18 (been there), your high school junior might be hitting his or her academic wall.
The experiences seem to myself to have a lot of similarities. For the runner looking at what seems like an impossible task of pressing on pertaining to six more miles, they need to tenderize the distance into something easier to obtain head around. “ I’ll run to that next telephone rod, I can make that, ” is a mantra that is very similar to, “ Just 30 a lot more minutes studying Le Chatelier’s principle will really help me prepare for the AP Chemistry examination. ”
In running, the water stations offer the extra moment you need to slow down, acquire some needed fluids, recharge a little, and press on. Students need their psychological breaks too. A 20 minute run (or 20 a few minutes of Titanfall) may be what they need to consider chemistry again. Those water smashes are important; you can’t make it without all of them.
Without approaching the final of the race the right way, you’ll find your high achievers making little missteps. They might end up with a three on the AP exam when they must have earned a four or five, or complete with AP Chem with a W that could have been an A but for those two quizzes. These little stumbles can cost them in the panel room at highly selective colleges.
So ask yourself, have you been cheering on your runner or adding to the weight of their fatigue? There is just a little more race left to run in this all important year. Help them give it all the effort they can. Lean since far over the rail as you challenge and cheer them on with the enthusiasm you’ve got. In June, once the final steps of their academic race have been run, they will hopefully seem back at the effort they put within and know they did every thing they could. They will have learned something about their limits and surprised by themselves by how far they could push by themselves beyond what they previously thought possible.
Kennon Dick is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Prior to joining College Coach, Kennon has been as a senior admissions officer on Swarthmore College, Drexel University, and Johnson State College.