Everyone has their likes and dislikes and fortunately there are usually ways to indulge in our likes and avoid our dislikes. However, when it comes to school avoiding our dislikes regarding school subjects comes with the hefty consequence of bad grades which a lot of people (like myself) aren’t very fond of. Here are a few tips on how to love (or at least tolerate) some of the subjects that will be prevalent in your academic life that you may not have been born with an affinity for.
When it comes to math, I’ve noticed that it’s typically either a hit or miss with people: You either love it or you hate it. I personally tend to side with the haters. In a lot of cases, those who find themselves grumbling diabolical threats anytime they are face-to-face with a math problem or two tend to lean more towards language arts and history and just can’t seem to find an alignment of what they hate and what they love.
We all know how necessary math is to our everyday lives and the functioning of our modern day society and even though people can rattle off a thousand and one reasons why we need math, a lot of us still won’t budge in our stubborn disdain for it. So it looks like our only way to gain a solid appreciation for math is to borrow someone else’s. One good way to find an inkling of passion for math is to feed off of the passion of those who adore it. This is why reading think pieces on math is the way to go. While reading think pieces, you get to tap into the energy of others and use it to fuel yourself.
So your teacher just assigns you one of the most boring books ever written and every time you try and pick it up to knock out those assigned reading chapters, you find yourself tossing it back on the floor and heading to your favorite website: Sparknotes. While sparknotes is an excellent tool for understanding novels and getting concise summaries, it is likely you’ll get a teacher who is so anti-sparks notes that s/he quizzes you daily on the chapters making sure many of the answers can’t be found on sparknotes (I speak from personal experience). So what’s left to do now? Challenge your self. You know your own likes and dislikes more than anyone else, so it’s time to do some manipulating. Novels assigned in school are the typical classics and one reason why they are deemed classics is for their timeless relevancy, so my other piece of advice is to make it all about you. Mold the story around you and your passions to make it more appealing and therefore more likely to get done.
Science & History
For a lot of you my next tip won’t be anything new, but hopefully it’ll still be helpful. One way that I try and gain an understanding in my science and history classes is by watching Crash Course videos on YouTube. Crash Course is a video series by John Green (yes, The Fault in Our Stars John Green) and his brother Hank Green that cover most academic subjects. They include fun animations and witty jokes by the brothers, providing you with two new teachers that build off of what your school teachers have already taught. YouTube in general is a great source for entertaining and educational videos because it’s a huge outlet for creativity where amazing people can share their equally amazing vision with people all around the world.
During my first semester of IB Spanish my teacher gave us weekly assignments that involved watching, listening, or reading something in Spanish for atleast 15 minutes then writing a brief summary on whatever we did. One of my friends had this same assignment from a different teacher and told me about a Spanish show she watches to complete the assignment called Grand Hotel. It’s a murder mystery drama based in Spain in the 1900s and as soon as I watched the first episode on Netflix I was hooked! I was thoroughly entertained and learned a great deal of new vocabulary. This is why I recommend watching tv shows in the foreign language you’re learning via Netflix, YouTube, Hulu or wherever you can find them. The show doesn’t even have to be educational and you’ll still find yourself with a new found knowledge and appreciation for the language.
UNICEF Tap Project
My final tip here applies to any subject and has to be my favorite one.
UNICEF is an organization that works to help children all over the world by providing them with physical and medical necessities by using 90 cents from every dollar donated to their organization towards funding the well being of these children. One of their many ways of providing water in particular to children is through their Tap Project. This project is a challenge that involves the participant logging on to their website, tap.unicefusa.org, via their mobile device and taking the challenge to abstain from using their phone for at least 15 minutes. For every 15 minutes spent away from the phone, a child is provided with one day’s worth of clean water, funded by UNICEF sponsors! For those of you passionate about giving back, this is a great way to stay motivated to finish the horrendous packet of math problems or that final chapter of the most boring book ever written. All you have to do is have the mindset that you’re doing it for a greater good and hustle through.
Hopefully at least one of these tips are of use to you or they inspire something even greater. I wish you all good luck in all of your educational endeavors!