New Year, New Me: How to Reflect on your Past Academic Mistakes and Move Forward


“This is my Year.”- Every Student Ever.

There isn’t a school year where you don’t reflect on your past self and realize you need to drastically change. Whether it be a behavioral change, a work ethic change, or just a change for yourself. Most people try to change the small things before the major aspects that goes into your school reputation. Yes, changing your wardrobe can improve some things but what about your GPA? In this article, I will give you 5 tips on how you can improve yourself for the upcoming school year.

Tip 1: “How was I?”

Find a quiet space to sit down and concentrate. Find something to write on and something to write with. Ask yourself, “Last school year, how was I?” Be completely honest with yourself; don’t sugarcoat anything. The purpose of making this list is so you know what you did wrong and how to improve from there. It could hurt to say you were a distraction in class, but in the long run you’ll thank yourself. If you can’t think of anything, phone a friend or email your teachers and ask them.

Tip 2: Confide in others.

How can you change without at least other person knowing your plan? That same friend and teacher who helped you find your flaws should be the same person who knows your game plan. Who knows, maybe your friend will decide to change with you. Not only will you not be doing this alone you’ll have people to hold you accountable in case you slip up.

Tip 3: Make amends to past conflicts.

Whenever you go back to school apologize to everyone you’ve wronged or had problems with. First, apologize to your teachers. If you can’t verbally apologize, write a nice letter and hand it to them in person. Your teachers truly will make your school year… and later down the road you’ll need them. Next, apologize to your peers. You have to have class with them, eat lunch with them, and truly just see them all day long. You can’t change if the person sitting next to you is hoping for your downfall.

Tip 4: Hold yourself accountable.

Regardless of what you wish to change you need to be aware of yourself. If you find yourself slipping into your old habits, punish yourself. You didn’t do your homework, ask the teacher for more work plus the work you didn’t complete. You find yourself having too many side conversations in class, remove yourself from your friends. Another way to hold yourself accountable is to ask one peer and one teacher in each class to observe you. After they made their observations ask them for a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly report on your behavior; sort of life parent-teacher conferences… but with only you.

Tip 5: Relax.

Chill out, change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes 21 days to break a habit, 21 days to develop a habit, and even longer to master that habit. Hold yourself to a standard but don’t break your back trying to improve yourself. This is a process; take it day by day, you’ll see change. Trust me.