Happy January

I was reading a lot of messages from friends about how mournful it was after the Christmas decorations come down, and the grey winter days of January depress the spirits. I also find the grey draining, but January is a time for new beginnings, reflection, resolutions. Hence: happy January!

For the students who’ve just been accepted into their ‘dream’ school with US Early Decision, or unconditional offers in the UK, or elsewhere, this is a moment of elation, For those who have conditional offers dependent on future exams, the elation may be tinged with panic – how do I achieve those grades?

Whether conditional, or unconditional acceptance (I’ll come to rejected / denied in a minute), students need to reflect that January is a time to begin to plan for a future – for some still imagined – for others, a reality. What are YOU going to do to be prepared? How are you going to be even better and ready for the future challenges ahead?

I’m a fan of MOOCS – Massive Open Online Courses. You can take them for free, or pay to get a certificate of successful completion. When I started my new life, I realised that one of the things I’ve always wanted to do is be better at Maths… Thank you Sal Khan of Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/ for inspiring me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcEO4OPrqjA

But right now, I’m stuck on some 8th grade Math (I’m sure I never did some of this at school!) – so I’ve enrolled on another course https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

If you KNOW that your stumbling block is x, how do you overcome it. I’m hoping that by learning more about the mechanisms of my brain that have me struggling with some concepts like now (and some procrastination!!!) can be better overcome by understanding what’s stopping me moving on.

Whether you’ve been accepted or rejected to your dream school (or whether you’ve just started out), January is the time to start again. Pick up yourself up from your rejection (or come down off cloud nine from your acceptance), or if you’re just beginning to think about what happens next, January is a great month. Now is the time to work out what it is YOU do what you need to improve to be the best you you can be. If that’s a conditional acceptance, what concepts is it you’re not sure on? Or is it your exam technique?

January is a time when people make resolutions to work out more. Think of your mind as a muscle. Time to work out more. And best of all, with all the free resources available, you don’t need expensive gym kit! If you’ve easy access to internet, head online to those MOOCs, try out a class, revise those concepts. But another vastly underrated resource is your library – that physical building with books. Widen your existing knowledge, and deepen it! Read, write, think.

Happy January