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Friday, June 26, 2015

How to be a Superman Student

How to be a Superman Student

How to be a Superman Student

by Michelle [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

Ever wonder how do those high-achievers manage to juggle between academics, extra-curricular activities, friends, family and volunteering some more? Envy that guy who is the captain in high school varsity and president of the student council (which most probably take up most of his non-sleeping time) and yet somehow, is able to score perfectly in almost every subject he took? Amazed by that huh? Start asking yourself dubiously, Is he a superman? No! The answer is an absolute NO. What is THE secret then? *drum rolling* The ultimate, much coveted secret to achieve that feat is: YOU CAN DO IT TOO. YES, YOU. I know this sounds cliché but below I am going to write about a few guides towards realizing that seemingly impossible, unattainable, quixotic goal and break the myth about only a super duper smarty pant/prodigy/genius can accomplish that.

#1 Find your balance.

Superman flying in balance
People are always under the impression that someone who excels in his/her studies must be a bookworm who never averts his attention from books even for a second.

People always have the preconception that those play extremely well in sports rarely sit down an hour straight for revision.

The truth is, you do not necessarily have to be glued to your seat all day long reading your notes/books/revision materials over and over again in order to score in your exam. You can achieve excellent results, playing your sports well and even actively involve in co-curricular activities if you can find a way to strike a balance between all those activities. Do not easily believe those ungrounded myths stating that playing sports/co-curricular activities will only distract you from your studies and cause you to lag behind. In fact, with determination and an adamant mind in finding and maintaining the balance between extracurricular activities and studies, you can definitely do it. I once took part in a debate competition right before (just ONE day before) my first exam. It was when I was back in Form 4. There are a few things to be noted: a) As that was the first exam in Form 4, I wasn't exactly familiar with all the contents and format of the exam, plus there were also a few subjects which I was still very new to b) That was the FIRST time I ever took part in a debate competition. In fact, my teammates and I went through a great deal of effort to put together a team to join the inter-school debate. I was totally a newbie in debate and had not even a tiniest bit of clue of what debate is nor I had mentor to guide me back then. I joined the debate purely out of curiosity and hopefully gaining some valuable experiences c) The subject being tested on the day after the debate was SEJARAH!!!(can you imagine how terrifying was that?) So, like all those motivational stories, I managed to pull it off in the end and I did not screw up my exam.(In fact, if my memories aren't failing me, I got a 100 for my Sejarah paper!) So there you go, nothing is impossible, it is just about balance.

#2 Never ever procrastinate.

Batman vs Superman
Procrastinate. The most common weakness of all mankind. Every single human in this world clearly know that procrastination does no good to practically everything in life, yet every one of us keeps repeating this terrible mistake over and over again from day to day, year in and year out. Never put off what you can do today until tomorrow. Finish tasks assigned to you right after the moment you are being told if possible. If you do not finish off one task right away, it is doomed to be put off until who-knows-when to be done. If you keep putting off things you should have done at the moment, you will never have time for other things in your life or time for yourself, because your workload is bound to be growing exponentially over time until at a point you find yourself being suffocated by these mountainous workload and lament over it. Do not let procrastination steals away all your precious time.

#3 Learn to prioritize and reprioritize.

Superman priority
Do not always complain that 24 hours a day is too short for us to complete our work/task/homework etc. Remember, everyone on earth is having the same 24 hours each day just as you are. What is there to be complained about? If other people can manage their time wisely and utilize their 24 hours to the fullest, why can't you? Obviously, the only person should be blamed is you yourself. If you find yourself keep working around the clock, or a particular task seems to consume most of your time to an extent that it is hard to squeeze out some time for other aspects of your life, it's time to learn how to prioritize your tasks. Try to list out all of the tasks on hand, then number each of the tasks according to their importance or urgency. If something is of utmost importance to be settled, then put it at the top of your priority list while those things at the bottom of the list, ought to be regarded with relatively less attention. In such way, you are clear about which tasks should be done first instead of realizing something that is so urgent or important have not been done at the last minute thus avoiding unnecessary anxiety and troubles. For instances, approaching the football tournament season, you should be aware that varsity practices are extremely important thus you should adjust your priority list accordingly. Put more focus on the team practice rather than taking time off hanging out with friends. Having said that,  it is not an excuse to neglect your studies during sport seasons. Prioritizing does not mean to focus entirely on a certain aspect while completely ignore other aspects in life. On the contrary, it means trying to compartmentalize your life and divide your attention proportionately apart from being able to shift concentration onto the right thing at the right time.

#4 Chillax.

Superman baby in superman costume
Surprised? Yes, if you want to keep your sanity in the midst of all those academics, sports and ECA craze, the best way is learn to chill. Do not be stressed out. Believe it or not, you don't have to be stressed. In fact, learning to chill once in a while is one of the key to become a top performer in your life, be it academically, socially, physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. People often feel stressed whenever they are faced with loads of works or lots of tasks. Yes, it is understandable that not everyone can cope with heavy workload and be a good multitasker. Most people tend to feel overwhelmed when being caught in a situation requires them to juggle between a few things at the same time, thus leading to them failing at either task or even both. (or even worse, leading to nervous breakdown) Now that you know 'chillax' plays such a significant role in helping you to deal with multiple tasks, you have to constantly remind yourself not to overstress your already-exhausted mental state. Instead, look for every possible chance to unwind yourself, temporarily take your mind off the reality of your hectic life by travelling, going for a road trip, watching a good movie or just simply a gossiping with your pals. These acts might seem trivial, some may even regard them as time-wasting activities when you are so busy keeping up with your school life and ECA, but what those people not realize is that it is precisely these tiny bits of 'trivial' acts that keeps you going when you are most likely to break down under heavy pressure.

#5 Believe in yourself.

Confident Superman
The last thing and also the crux of the whole matter is: Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Give yourself some credit. Believe that you can do this, from the bottom of your heart. Having problem with self-confidence? Try pep-talking to yourself everyday. One of the way is waking up every morning, look into the mirror, say to yourself, ''Come on, you can do this! You just have to believe in yourself.'' and give yourself a big stretching-from-ear-to-ear grin. (This might seem kind of lunatic, but it really works wonders!) Really, the power of self-believe is magical, when you truly believe that you really can accomplish something big, in the end you will, just as the lyrics go :
There can be miracle when you believe
though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
 who knows what miracle you can achieve
 when you believe
somehow you will
you will when you believe
So, starting from today, believe you can do this. You just can.
Superman lego

Those are the 5 tips I would like to share with all the struggling/aspiring/self-doubting students out there. No matter who you are, where you are from, what you are juggling with or which school you are in, I truly hope that my two cents will be of help to you and here is my most sincere hope that each and every one of you can achieve your dreams in the coming future. Remember, next time, do not be the one who exclaims at others' achievement, but the one whose accomplishment is being exclaimed at.

Michelle Soin
Michelle (@MichelleSoin), 19, had just completed her SPM in 2013 and is studying International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. A curious teenager (or is it young adult?). Love anything that is multifaceted. Always having a hard time choosing, be it a subject to take, a place to travel to or even which colour of the bag to buy. All of these stems from her interests in so many aspects in life. Hope to learn as many modern languages as she can and get to experience various cultures in the world. Love anything that is interdisciplinary and believe that everything in life is inter-related.
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  1. ✨thank you!!!! you give me a lot of inspiration ✨ 127 days b4 spm this is so nerve wrecking

    1. Hey Alysa, good luck for your SPM! You can do it!

  2. well-depicted and analogous writing! In my opinion, after all, one needs to be determined in order to achieve success in all sectors :)

  3. Thanks for such an inspirational article!:) I really liked that it motivates me a lot and I think other readers will feel the same way too^^ This is Shean from JFH 2014 btw haha and wish you all the best in IB!!!

  4. Thanks for such an inspirational article!:) I really liked that it motivates me a lot and I think other readers will feel the same way too^^ This is Shean from JFH 2014 btw haha and wish you all the best in IB!!!

    1. Hey there Shean! Thank you for your kind words. Glad that you find this article useful :) All the best for your future undertakings too!


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