The student news site of Kennesaw Mountain High School

The Mustang Messenger

The Mustang Messenger

The student news site of Kennesaw Mountain High School

The Mustang Messenger

The student news site of Kennesaw Mountain High School

Starting Spring Semester Strong


New year, new class, new faces, old rules. It’s that time of year again. A new year has arrived (a leap year to be exact) and the new semester has begun. Though you may be a little worried about meeting your new teachers and classmates, by following some simple tips, you can be prepared for anything that happens.


Understand Your Teachers

Sometimes, you may receive a grade you do not agree with, but your teacher refuses to change it. Unfortunately, you have no other choice than to listen to them*. Your teachers will expect some things of you, even if you do not agree with them. Look at their syllabus and ask them questions if you need to: Do they give extra credit? Do they require you to do some learning on your own? Is the homework worth it? **


Understand Your Classes

Every class is different, so each should be approached accordingly. Is the class test oriented or assignment oriented? You may utilize a retrospective timetable for the former and a prospective one for the latter. Should you do practice questions or make flashcards? Practice questions are best for technical classes like chemistry and math while flashcards are best for memorization classes like biology and history.


Be Aware of Dates

Not only for classwork, but for events like the digital SAT (an article for that will be coming out soon). Amazing opportunities can easily come and go if you do not write them down. If you are more of a hands-on person, use a planner or an empty notebook (sticky notes are good, but be wary since they can fall unnoticed). If you are a more digital person, use Google Calendar (good for viewing dates in multiple views) or notion (good for writing notes on your calendar).


Study Hard During the First Month

It is better to overstudy than to understudy. By studying hard in the first month, you can grant yourself a little immunity for the rest of the semester. Imagine being in the last stretch of the school year and missing your target grade by 1 point. If you try your best in the start of the semester, you can avoid situations like this.


Optimize Your Clubs

If you cannot find yourself enjoying a club or having a leadership position, then it is best to drop it. Supposing you are not in a club for enjoyment, you are most likely in it to look good for colleges. Colleges want to see full commitment given to whatever clubs you join. Try to make an impact in a club.


Set Up Goals with Action Plans

Before the school year starts, make a list of everything you plan to do. This can range from getting straight As to winning in a competition. However, a goal without action is simply a dream. Make a list of things you can do to keep yourself on track. For example, a list of steps for getting straight As could be to self-study before class, going to tutoring, finding online resources, and constantly making study guides.


Ask for Help

Almost every teacher has a tutoring session, and even if they don’t, they can most likely be found in their room before class starts. Make use of this time to ask any questions about assignments. You never know when you’ll get a pop quiz as soon as you enter the class!

Also, if you know someone that has already taken the class, ask them for advice! Whether you have questions for study methods or how to solve certain problems, they will probably be willing to help. Be sure not to ask anything about quizzes, tests, or lab material or you may get in trouble with school integrity contracts.



The school year has just begun, so now is the time to set things straight! As much as people hate to admit, your success is solely dependent on you. Even if you have a bad teacher or limited resources, there is always some path to get your desired grade. The first step of that path is making a good foundation for the rest of the semester.


*Unless you are certain that the grade is either incorrect or biased, in which you should consult with your parents or administration

**All homework is important, but sometimes you must prioritize. If your homework is for practice only and have a major essay due the next day, focus on the essay. If your homework is graded, however, make time for it.

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