7 months ago
Admissions Advice

First Year of All Honors Classes

Hello, my name is David Eacott. I am a Sophomore in high school and am becoming a little overwhelmed with my work. I am more than capable of doing my work, however I can't seem to keep the things I learn stored in my brain properly. I don't know why, but I feel somewhat powered-down. Many of my peers have said I am good at honors in the past, but it just feels different this year. My classes are in the following order, Pre-IB English II, Spanish IV, Honors Algebra II, AP Government/Economics, Honors Chemistry, and Pre-IB Ceramics. All of these classes I feel really passionate about, but when it comes to the tests/exams, I don't do as well as I hope. I study a lot and I do the best I can, I enjoy the work given to me because it is challenging. I don't know if I pushed myself too hard, or if this is part of an average Sophomore year. If this will hinder my chances for getting into IB, I worry for myself. I am feeling overwhelmed yet pushing through because I really care about school. Questions sometimes pop into my head that I already know the answers to but they still pop up anyways. I guess my real question is, how can I properly get out of these overwhelming feelings that I get? If an answer is not available because it is too deep, I understand. If you have read this all the way through, thank you and have a great day.

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
7 months ago

Hey there @DavidEacott!

First of all, take a breath. It's still early in the school year, and it's okay if you haven't hit your stride yet. Remember that everything feels more overwhelming in the beginning of the year because lots of units are wrapping up at the same time, so you'll probably be overwhelmed by lots of tests all at once. While it may be annoying now, just know that the rest of the year will probably never be this much all at once. Second, it's important to utilize time management studies to get your work and studying done.

English Tips:

- Read all texts closely/carefully; annotate with a pen, highlight, use page flags/sticky notes to mark important parts

- Start all essays as soon as they're assigned-- even if it's something as simple as jotting down a vague idea of what you want to write your essay about or an outline, it's something

- Participate in discussions, it will help you understand the themes of the class better and you may get graded in participation

- Keep a notebook to write down vocabulary words, important information, and key details from the reading

- The best way to study for English is to read all texts closely and practice your writing skills: I recommend Vocabulary.com to practice vocabulary terms, but reading frequently (for fun) is another great way to familiarize yourself with new words that can help your writing

Spanish/Language Tips:

- I take Latin, so I can't provide any Spanish-specific advice, but I can provide some general language-learning tips

- Make flashcards with vocabulary words!!! I cannot emphasize how important this is-- they can be physical notecards or a Quizlet, but study them every time you have a free ten minutes

- Take detailed notes-- I study languages by re-reading and quizzing myself on the notes, so taking quality notes is important

- Ask questions in class, and write down the answers so you remember them

Math Tips:

- I'm currently a sophomore who toke Honors Algebra II in ninth grade, so I have some experience with this class.

- Use websites like Khan Academy and Kuta Software for practice, and watch Math Antics and NancyPi on YouTube to better understand concepts

- Make a study group with your friends to go over worksheets and textbook problems; math is best understood when in a group of other people who can help you

- Ask questions in class! My policy for math questions is this: ask about every homework problem you don't understand, ask at least one question every class, and answer at least one question every class. I feel like many people (myself included) fear math to a certain degree, and asking and answering questions can help combat this fear.


History Tips:

- I'm in AP World right now, and here's what I've found helpful so far:

- Make a recording of you reading your notes aloud and listen to it before you go to bed and as you get reading for the day. It's an easy, super effective way to slowly learn the information.

- Take good notes, highlight key terms, and make flashcards

- Try your best on projects and essays-- they can solidify information for tests and can help boost your grade

- If you have a lot of reading, try using the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time

Science Tips:

- If you have a lot of hands-on labs, try to make sure you're participating and understanding the material, because it could relate back to word problems on assessments in the future

- Make sure you have a solid understanding of the basics, like graphing, dimensional analysis, the elements of the periodic table, the metric system, and simple biochemistry

- Again, take good notes. If you have questions, ask them right away: chemistry builds, so it's important to clarify things early on.

If you need a break, take one. It's fine to have a few mental health days each semester where you stay home and catch up on work. If you need to drop a level (Honors Algebra II to standard Algebra II), that's fine, nobody will criticize you. You come first, and you need to be in a good mental state to do your best work. Your teachers are a great support system, and if you have a guidance counselor or academic support specialist, don't be afraid to talk to them; they won't judge you, and they can really help you out. Remember, you're only a sophomore. What happens this year isn't going to determine your whole future. You've got this. :)

7 months ago

Well let me start off with telling you that is crazy, and you should be proud of yourself. Not one of those are easy classes, and the fact you are really working hard shows a lot about you.

I think you are definitely pushing yourself really hard, and sometimes it's beneficial to take a step back and breathe. Remember you are only 15-16, and there are a lot of adults who can't handle it.

It may be in your best interest to drop one, and if you don't want to, make sure you have a solid routine so that you eliminate that stress and make sure you have a study plan that will enable you to have structure and method to your course load.

Having healthy study habits, and giving yourself time to breathe is really important. Keep working hard, but don't overwork yourself, and enjoy yourself as well. Best of luck!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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