Voice of Truth

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Focus! 8 November 2008

Filed under: PHS — Aly @ 11:00 pm

That is starting to be my mantra (pronounced “muhntruh”, by the way, not “maantra” [I need to learn IPA]). It is quite sad. I have been so unfocused these past few weeks. I have been getting B’s on tests that I should be acing, procrastinating pathetically, ignoring homework, and wasting away in general. I should not be. I just cannot seem to focus nowadays. I have been wasting so much time on stupid things. I have to remind myself constantly to focus and it is not good. I am too absorbed by things that, while fun and by no means unimportant, should pale in comparison to school. I feel so stupid for not working harder. I feel like I am oscillating between two philosophies: the “100” philosophy and the “89.5” philosophy.

The “100” outlook is the idea that only a 100 is good enough. I get the “100” outlook from . . . everywhere. Giouli & co., family, society . . . They always tell you to “do your best”. Almost never is my work truly my best. There was a time, I think, when it used to be. But then I began to see the “merits” of the “89.5” method. This is the idea that you should only do what is necessary to get an A and then focus on extracurriculars. Well, the second part is only implied. I seem to have merged the downsides of the two and formed some sort of super-slacker ideology. I do only what I need to get and waste the rest of my time on the Internet. >.<

It is very hard for me to reconcile these two views and perhaps find a “happy medium”. As I have said before, I have very little self-control and self-discipline. I also seem to have no problem with breaking promises to myself. This is not good, as any chance for improvement would doubtless come from some sort of pact with myself. I will have to reflect on how I am going to improve my habits and focus.

However, I figure that if I make a promise with the Intertubes, then perhaps I will be better at keeping it. :)

Here is the plan:

  1. Stop with the late nights. They are screwing up my life. Seriously. I could be reading some great books I have not gotten to for a while, instead of the stupid stuff I do. Also, I end up sleeping too much in class. This is not a problem in Chemistry, which is boring as hell, but I feel bad for sleeping in French and AP Biology. French because Mme. May works so hard, and also because she has been getting a little annoyed by it. AP Biology because I like Ms. Bidwell. :)
  2. Stop spending so much time on the computer in general. If I were using the desktop still (which I did for a month while my laptop was away for repairs) then it would be easier because my parents need the computer, too. Now, I have the laptop to myself and could go on for hours if I wished. My goal, however, is to not wish. This leads to my next point.
  3. Stop getting so distracted. I start out intending to do homework, and end up on Facebook, reading blogs, Wikipedia, or some combination of the three. This is bad. I get the homework done, eventually, but often I have to turn it in late (coughbiolabscough). This goes back to the whole “100” vs. “89.5” problem. In essence, I need to buckle down and get my homework done. After that, I can either browse the Intertubes or read or even sleep.

So, my friends, I ask you a favor (ooh, I feel all John McCain-y!). Help me keep my promise. Do not allow me to lose, as Mr. Jones says, the only thing I truly have in my life: my honor. If you think I am procrastinating, off-task, or whatever, let me know. A simple reminder of my promise will do. I would love you guys forever and ever and ever if you did this! :)

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6 Responses to “Focus!”

  1. Giouli Says:

    It’s nice to be so associated with the “100” outlook. Although I do try to do things to the best of my abilities, I haven’t been as successful of late as I usually am. I think it’s because there’s just too much. Spread too thinly, as it were. I have started to find the below quite useful.

    I suggest you find satisfaction in doing enough work for a modest return – something you certainly aren’t -ashamed- of, but it isn’t good enough to be really special. You can then put extra work into something you do want to overachieve in, probably something that draws your interest more.

  2. Aly Says:

    That is the goal, I think. To achieve a grade in the (low or mid) 90s in every class, and really get involved in my extracurriculars, i.e., scholars bowl and MAO and newspaper (I guess). Oh, and I guess you could count piano too. If I can do that, then I think I will feel a lot better about my grades.

    Thanks for your input; it means a lot. :)

  3. Adrika Says:

    I know exactly how you feel. Lately, I’ve been falling deeper into that B category (highly unacceptable) and it’s quite an annoyance. I miss freshman year where the latest we would have to stay up was around 12; and that was only on really bad days (at least for me, it was). I blame some of this stress on classes where we learn nothing, and then get cumulative tests (hmm…wonder which class I’m referring to?). Nice plan, btw and good luck with it! I know you can achieve it. :D

  4. Cuong Says:

    This is actually typical sophomore IB behavior. Everyone, and I mean everyone, felt this way in my class last year. I think it has something to do with the teachers. It’s probably unique to the PHS IB Sophomore program itself. Especially Mrs. Li’s class.. I dunno why but I ALWAYS procrastinated when it came to that class. But yeah, you’re not alone. It’ll go away in Junior year, because you have so much work that it is practically impossible to procrastinate at times. Most of my class is doing better this year than they were last year. You’ll be fine, don’t worry.

    And Adrika, you’ll be missing Sophomore year once you get to Junior year. It’s really as bad as everyone says it is. ;)

  5. Jordan Says:

    I know excactly how you feel, but atleast with you its just now starting, i really havent cared since the first 9 weeks of freshman year. I basically do all my hw during school, which leads to very stressful days. We need to find that happy medium together, because I, like you , am very dissapointed in the pit I have fallen into. It seems easier and easier to slack off all the time now…but I have the same lack of sleep due to restless sleep due to stress and such.

    Focus is something i think everyone needs a lot more of, yet unless you have something driving you, you will never be able to do it. I guess thats my problem, no one to help me steer in the right direction. its like im in a car with no gas pedal and no steering wheel, the only way to get anywhere is to go downhill.

  6. […] it shows an overall lack of self-control on my part. I know, I know, I promised I would “focus“, but, shit, you actually thought that would work‽ (<—Interrobang! surprises you […]


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