Tips for a better school year Print
Written by Nick Zimmerman, Graciela Tejeda, and Olivia Smithmier-Bohn, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

St. Ambrose Study Program, Summer 2014
St. Ambrose Academy Academic Skills Workshop instructor Andy Galvin (left) leads sixth and seventh grade students as they investigate the birds of the west side of Madison. (Contributed photo)

Students from around the diocese took time out of their summer vacations to do something very unusual: come to school.

That's right. For three weeks from Monday through Thursday, they spent their mornings at St. Ambrose Academy in Madison going to class, taking notes, doing homework, and preparing for a test.

Why would they do such a thing? The reason is simple: they want to be better students. They know that the school year is starting soon, and they know that Christ calls them to be the best students they can be.

The first-ever Summer Academic Skills Workshop at St. Ambrose Academy sought to help them develop the skills and habits that any good student needs.

Student comments

The students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive about their experience, so they wanted to share some advice with their fellow students.

Here’s what they said:

  • Logan and Mariana advised, "Don’t procrastinate!" Mariana especially mentioned not procrastinating when you have to study for a test, "or you will likely be miserable," she said.
  • Giselle said, "Be organized. If you're not, you will regret it. You don't want to have a tornado in your backpack or folder."
  • Isaiah, Sam, Ana, Andrew G., and Mary all emphasized taking good notes. Mary added, "keep them for final exams." You can learn the Cornell Method like the students did, or another method.
  • Brayan, Katie, and Andrew L. all said, "Do your homework." "It will help you in the long run," added Bryan.
  • "Study daily!" said Anne, "It will make your school year easier."
  • Jerome said, "Use your time wisely at home." Students at the workshop kept a log for a day of how they spent their time. Many found this very helpful.
  • Anna and Steve gave similar advice about study hall. "Keep quiet during study hall, and do your work," Steve said.
  • Reagan offered this bit of wisdom, "If you have the motivation to study, you will find it easier." How can you become more motivated to study?

As we try to put these excellent tips into practice and pray for a successful and happy school year, Avery offered encouragement: "It's tough, but you'll make it through."


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