AAA #24

Designed by: Leow Jia Wen Jolene (20-E1)

I didn’t do well this year, how do I motivate myself to work harder for next year, especially when I’m already losing motivation to study and keep procrastinating? I’m also afraid that I’ll lose momentum next year since I can’t find the drive to study hard now.

Hi there! I understand that this year has been challenging. As we come to the end of this school year, we now have some time to reflect on our journeys as J1s and see what we can do better next year. You might feel that you have not done as well as you had expected and that you could have done much better, and trust me, you are definitely not alone in this. However, it is important that you don’t get discouraged by your results this year and instead use this setback as motivation to work even harder to achieve better next year!

To deal with the lack of motivation you may be feeling, perhaps take some time to completely rest yourself to rejuvenate your mind before starting on your work again! There’s a saying that goes along the saying of “resting in order to go the further mile”, so do definitely rest yourself to not just rest but re-motivate yourself. Then, do consider setting certain periods of time for different things you plan to do in a day, including breaks or activities you enjoy! This would help increase your motivation levels. You could plan out what work (assignments, tutorials, lectures) you want to get done within a set time period, say 10am to 12pm, and then reward yourself by doing something else you might enjoy, like watch a show or simply take a nap! Break down your study schedule into bite-sized chunks so that it doesn’t seem too overwhelming and becomes more manageable to complete.

If you find yourself procrastinating because you are getting distracted by something, like your phone, switch it off and leave it in another room or pass it to someone to keep it away from you so that you stay focused on what you are doing. Another thing you could do is download apps that help to remove your phone as a distraction, such as ‘Forest’ and ‘Timing’, which both have the ability to lock your phone while tracking your studying, complete with rewards for studying! They also allow you to indirectly study with your friends which can motivate you even more!

Furthermore, to feel more motivated, you could switch up your study practices. Try studying with a group of friends, if you have not been doing so, and see if that works to motivate you by checking up on and helping each other out with work. Seeing your friends working on the same assignment or set of work could encourage you to keep up with them and get your work done too. With their help, you may even be able to complete your work much faster as compared to working alone. However, this may not work for everyone because studying with your friends can be distracting when not everyone is focused on completing the work. Also, different people have different paces and you may feel unable to keep up or that you are moving too slow when you work with your friends. If you have been studying mostly in groups, try changing it up. Perhaps find a conducive area without distractions to study on your own with your own targets and see if it works better for you!

Lastly, to keep your momentum going, remember that consistency is key! Try not to push things forward and if you know that you can get something done today, right now, do it instead of waiting for the next day or another time. Make sure you do a little everyday after breaking down larger goals to smaller ones, and that your goals are realistic because unrealistic goals may cause you to lose motivation.  All in all, stay strong, take care of yourself and know that you’ve got this! Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Stay calm and enter the new year with a positive mindset, you will be able to strive for the best and achieve your personal goals. All the best!

What are some new hobbies that I can pick up, and how do I go about finding new hobbies?

Hey! The holidays are here and you might be looking to do something different with your time. Picking up new hobbies and trying new things is a great way to go about spending the month ahead before school starts again. 

First off, try to explore different hobbies and perspectives. Consider asking among the people that you know and try to find out what they do with their spare time; their suggestions and perspectives may help you out. You could even try out the hobbies that they’re interested in together and get a feel for it. The most important thing to take note of is to find something you like to do, so exploration is key! The wider you cast your net, the greater chances you have of finding what you’re looking for! However, I understand that during this pandemic, doing this might prove to be difficult. So, here are some suggestions on what you can do, even with pandemic regulations. 

Any hobby that you can work on from the comfort of your home is ideal! In this case, something exciting and fun to try out would be cooking. There are many Youtube videos that you can check out for simple and easy-to-do recipes that should not be too challenging to try, even for a beginner. You can make amazing foods with ingredients as simple as bread and eggs! Have an open mind and test it out, you may be your own Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen spinning your own recipes someday. 

Another hobby you can try at home would be gardening. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an open garden to pick up gardening. All you need is a container, some soil and seeds. With a little bit of research, you can make your own indoor garden using recyclable materials and seeds that are highly accessible to you. An example of this would be tomato seeds or onions. Remove the tomato seeds, wash and dry them and they should be good to go once you plant them! Similarly, planting an onion is just as easy. Just place an onion on top of a drinking glass with its roots dipping into the water. You won’t even have to water this to see the fruits of your labour in the form of green shoots in less than a week. Hobbies such as this would be peaceful and calming as well.

I hope these possible suggestions have helped you. Most importantly, just remember to keep an open mind when trying out new things. Be willing to explore and experiment to find out something that you enjoy doing. Once you find something that interests you, keep working on it and try to improve on it. Good luck!

How do I manage feeling inferior to others regarding academic results? 

Hey there, hope you are feeling better. Expressing your own feelings like this involves you reflecting on your emotions, which is good! It’s always important to be aware of your feelings after stressful situations and examinations, so that you don’t burn out right after finishing off your latest hurdle! It’s common to feel bad about yourself because you don’t think you’re doing as well as the others around you. However, while this might sound cliché, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone learns at different speeds and that your current results do not determine your overall aptitude! Your results merely show where you are now, whether it was a problem with exam time management or inadequate understanding of the subject. All we can do is to try and improve ourselves moving forward. So, while it may be discouraging now, don’t lose hope, and keep on trying! 

One way that you can try and make yourself feel and do better is through seeking help from others. Sometimes, we may feel sad or even resentful towards others because we’re upset that their effort might have given them good results but that our own did not. Sometimes, it can be upsetting to feel that you have ‘wasted your time’ on something that hasn’t given you a reward. However, occasionally, the reason that our efforts may not be bearing fruit is not because we’re not working hard. It may be that we are not working in the right direction. Sometimes, our studying methods may not be right for us, or we may have small misunderstandings that affect our ability to do well in an important examination. We might be so caught up in our frustrations and stress that we may not notice an area that we can possibly work on to make it easier to improve ourselves. This is why it can be good to get an outsider’s perspective! 

During consultations, teachers often ask about how we revise for our exams, and they try to figure out if we are putting effort into the areas that don’t require much of it or are already strong at. If you can find the time, try to have a consultation with your teachers and understand why your hard work might not have given the results you wanted. There could be gaps in your learning strategy that you might be unaware of. After all — every single one of us is unique, and once again, we learn at different speeds as well as in different ways! Figuring out what suits you is also a good way to motivate yourself to continue on even when you are upset.

Furthermore, even if you do feel inferior because of your results, it’s important that you internalise and accept those feelings, but don’t let them control how you act! Try to be active in getting help from not just your teachers, but your peers as well. While it may be discouraging at first to see people who did very well, understanding where you went wrong in your studies and asking them for help (because many people in EJ are very nice people) can help you as well! Try to focus on self-improvement, because in the end, that’s the most important thing! Being too focused on other people won’t help you to improve yourself. Be proud of yourself, the effort you put in and how far you’ve come. In the end, your improvement should be judged on the basis of you alone. Improvement and results aren’t defined in a vacuum, of course, but they aren’t things that are completely affected by those around you either. 

All in all, just remember this: When it comes to your own journey, no matter what you want to achieve, only you truly know the struggles that you have faced, the challenges that you have overcome, and the many times that you have had to decide to keep on aiming for that goal. So regardless of how far along you are, be proud of yourself for how far you have come, and keep on going!

How do I continue to be close to the people I don’t talk to very often? 

Hello there! Most would probably agree that as time passes, people in your life come and go and that is perfectly normal. Yet, sometimes we wish to get close to them again and here are a few ideas you can consider if you’re feeling lost. 

In the age of the internet and social media, it is always easy to simply drop them a text and ask them how their day is going! Sometimes, all it takes is one of you to initiate a conversation for the both of you to reconnect again. If you’re afraid of starting a conversation out of the blue, you can simply reply to something they’ve posted on social media and continue from there. Speaking of social media, these platforms are also an easy way to foster connections again. By tagging them in a post that reminds you of them, or interacting with what they have been putting up on their account, it opens up an opportunity for you to catch up with them. 

If the both of you are in the same school, it would be nice to strike up a conversation when you bump into each other, whether it may be a good catch up or just a small talk! You could always arrange to hang out together during your common breaks if you are uncomfortable with making plans with them outside of school. That being said, a nice outing to the theatre or a meal outside definitely provides a different experience to bond over. However, once you make plans, it is important to stick to it and not cancel on them. This will help build trust and show your genuine efforts in trying to be close to them! 

Lastly, as communication is very important, it will be good to talk to the other person honestly about how you feel on the issue of you guys drifting apart. By opening up about your worries, it will be easier for the both of you to coordinate and try to get closer again! Time spent apart is always good for your relationship but when your time apart starts to feel a little too long, it is nice to bring it up to them once in a while. 

I hope this has helped give you ideas on how to be closer to the people you don’t talk to very often. All the best in your relationships! 

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