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Are you having trouble in a certain subject or with a certain teacher at school? Are you nervous about an upcoming project, or going to a new school? Read what our Mentors and experts have to say about this topic.
   
Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about School & Grades:

  • GOI try to be fairly well organized. I keep both a weekly planner and monthly calendar. The only problem is this: I often forget to update both of them. In fact, I sometimes even forget that I actually have them. I am determined to write everything down in them and don't like the idea of keeping appointments and stuff in my head. Do you have any advice on how to remember to regularly update my planner and calendar?

  • GOI need to break my bad habit of procrastinating! I don't want to procrastinate when I hit 8th grade. How can I stop?

  • GOI'm having a problem. I'm missing assignments and permission slips and such, and I don't know why! My teacher says it's because I'm not very organized. How do I become organized?

  • GOI am starting a puberty chapter in my science class. The thing is that the puberty class has some videos about puberty. Worst of all, the boys and girls are going to watch and learn about it together. What should I do?

  • GOI am starting 7th grade next year, and I am real nervous about lockers. I know they can be a convenience, but how do I open a locker and how can I remember the combination? Any advice?

  • GOI'm starting middle school this year! I'm mostly excited, but a little nervous because I don't know anyone in my homeroom class yet. It seems like all my other friends are in the same homeroom class, and I'm kind of afraid that if they spend a lot of time together, they will forget about me and not want to be my friend anymore. Any advice? Thanks!

  • GOI'm going to middle school next year and I KNOW I'll hate every second of it! For some reason, since I've been reading books about it, I think girls will start talking about dating and boys will start asking girls out. It'll drive me nuts! And plus, NO RECESS! And what really doesn't help is that I'm in the Gifted Program and the Board of Education decided the middle school and elementary school should be put together for safety and convenience. So, I'll be tortured with NO recess while I watch little kids playing on the playground! How come there can't be recess in middle school? What should I do?

  • GOGrades mean a lot to people at my school. Kids are always saying things like, "What did you get for your science grade?" Everyone's so competitive and curious, it drives me crazy. What can I do?

  • GOI got my report card today, and my parents won't leave me alone. I got a D and two C's in math, and they expected me to get straight A's! They are screaming at me about how I don't work hard enough and that I'm spending too much time working on my writing, which I got an A+ in. They just don't understand because they both scored A+'s in every math subject there is, but they failed at any literature subjects. It's not like I don't try, it's just that it's harder then they think it is. They aren't the only ones pressuring me though. Now the entire school is hating me because I destroyed our straight A math roll. It's unfair. Everybody else is great at math and not literature, and it's the complete opposite for me! I want to let everyone else know that writing is still a talent, whether they like it or not, but they won't listen! What should I do?

  • GOI am going to a secondary school the size of a small airport. I'm disorganized and not a morning person. My bus will come at 6:40 in the morning! Any advice for organization, getting a good night's sleep, and how to deal with 7th grade?

  • GOIt's the end of the year, and everyone knows what that means...finals! And what comes with such testing is stress. My grades are all A's right now, and I know if I do poorly on the finals, I'll mess my grades up. I'd love to finish middle school with straight A's, but it's difficult! I took my first midterms this year, and I did okay on those. What can I do to lower my stress level and end middle school with a bang?

  • GOMy parents are grade freaks! Getting a B will usually get them disappointed in me. I stress because I know if I get a B I'll be in trouble. Getting a C will usually get them yelling at me. And I don't want to know what will happen if I get a D or and F. Then by getting such good grades to please my parents, kids pick on me! It's really stressful and puts a lot of pressure on me! Please, please, please help!

  • GOI'm going into 7th grade and I was so excited when I got my schedule but when I found out who was next to me (for lockers) I was freaking out, it was this girl who I REALLY don't like. To make it worse she's in pretty much all of my classes! She's with the popular crowd and if you mess with them things get ugly fast. What should I do?

  • GOI've read all your links about going into new schools, time management, if teachers don't like you, etc. It's helped a lot, but I'm still a little scared. At my school they have uniforms. But the uniforms are really dorky, and there are more boys than girls; it's a private school and I've lived in public schools all my life, I don't think I'm going to fit in!!!! It's also a lot smaller than my old school. Do you think gossip and rumors would travel faster because it's small? Could you give me some more tips on this kind of situation?

  • GOI am a smart person who studies, but when it comes to test day I know everything until the test hits my desk. How can I prevent losing all the information I studied all week?

  • GOThis year I just started high school. I dread going. Every morning before school, I feel sick and after school I worry about the next day. I don't want to go and feel like I would do anything to get out of it. I can't really be specific about what I'm afraid of! Getting lost in such a big school, being late, forgetting to do homework or study, and all sorts of things. I've been given advice about handling stress and have been told a million times everything will turn out okay, yet I still feel sick and nervous every school day. What can I do to make my "school sickness" go away? Please respond!

  • GOI'm finally going into high school. But when you're going into high school, you seem to be influenced to do things. I have a few friends who say that I spend too much time with my nose in a book and that I seemed depressed and I need to start dating. Truth be told, I have had a couple of guys look at me and ask me out. My parents don't think that I should rush into things, and I completely agree with them on that. But with me getting older, I'm wanting to get my first kiss and meet a nice guy that likes me back. But I need to keep my grades up, so I can go and visit my dad over the holidays, so I feel as if I don't have enough time for it all. Please...can you give me any advice on how I can work this out?

  • GOI have this really big problem about oral presentations in front of the class. I usually get so nervous that I cry, and it is very embarrassing! I NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE!!

  • GOI'm in the sixth grade in elementary school and going to the seventh in a junior high school. What I am worried about is that I want to do volleyball and track, but I don't want to lower my grades by taking all my time doing sports. Right now I'm an A Honor Roll student, but last year I got into karate and my grades started lowering and lowering until I quit. So what should I do? I don't want to get a bad start. Thanks!

  • GOI'm in 5th grade and I really HATE doing any kind of homework! My mom is on my case about it all the time. I forget my books when I have to have them to study for tests the next day. I don't write down my assignments like I need to. She is always telling me to do these things but it seems like I can't remember any of it at the end of the day. I would rather be drawing or playing. She asks nicely for me to bring my books home, but I forget and then she gets upset, grounds me or takes the things I like away from me. I learn for a couple of days but then it's right back to forgetting.

  • GO"At school, we are learning about the male reproductive system. It's hard for me because I don't feel very comfortable, especially when the teacher says the body parts. What should I do? I know I have to know this lesson because there is a test."

  • GOI am in 7th grade, and I am in pre-algebra. At first, it was okay, but now we're getting into stuff like finding the surface area of a triangular prism, and I have no clue how to do that! I have always gotten straight A's, but we just took a test and I got 47% right! I told my mom and dad that I don't understand this, and that I need to go to regular 7th grade math, but they haven't done anything about it! I've even asked everyone in my family for help, but no one can do this math! What should I do?

  • GOI've always been really good in school with honors classes, and so have my friends, but now I am going to high school and I am afraid everything will become too hard, and I wont be able to have a balance between my social and school life with my family and work too. How will I be able to deal with all that? Please help.

  • GO"I always wait till the last minute to do a project. We have two weeks to do our report, then its due on Wednesday. I'm always up late Tuesday night finishing it. Please help me!"

  • GOInstead of hating my teachers, I really like them. My math teacher is really nice. I like her a lot. And she told my dad (who is a teacher at the same school) that I was kind-of a teachers pet to her. I go up to her classroom almost every day after school for one reason or another just to be there. See, there was this one teacher last year who helped me with this big problem with my friends, and my teacher this year has kind of the same personality. I keep on thinking about how I never want this school year to end because I like this teacher so much. It's kind of a hard situation. I guess what I am really asking is: is it okay to like a teacher this much? Should I let her know how much she means to me now, at the end of the year, or not tell her at all? Thanks for listening.

  • GO"I always turn in my math assignments, but my teacher always says that I didn't. What should I do?"

  • GO"I am a horrible math student. I really try, and I understand it when the teacher explains it, yet I always forget. Plus, I got a C. My dad says he'll ground me if I don't get a B. Anyway, he tries to help me with my homework, but he doesn't know how to do it either. How can I remember how to do the problems?"

  • GO"In my school, sixth grade is a part of elementary school. I heard scary stories about middle school, and my sister is no help. I am scared the eighth graders will use their size to bully me."

  • GOSamantha and Alexandria are both nervous about the jump from elementary school to middle school.


Dear IML,
I've always been really good in school with honors classes, and so have my friends, but now I am going to high school and I am afraid everything will become too hard, and I wont be able to have a balance between my social and school life with my family and work too. How will I be able to deal with all that? Please help.
--Yamila

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Yamila,
I've noticed that a lot of people at my high school have problems with this, so I'm not going to tell you that it's easy. I suggest that you try not to get overloaded with too many honors classes. You're a kid, you're allowed to take some fun classes that won't be so much work! Understand that nobody's perfect, and don't stress yourself out trying to get perfect scores on everything. Try to set limits for yourself, for example only one sport at a time, so that you don't get overwhelmed with trying to split your time between too many activities. If you know you won't have enough time to join another activity, then just don't do it.
--Megan, IML Mentor

Dear Yamila,
I know exactly what you're talking about. For me at first it was a little difficult. I had afterschool sports every day and I was afraid I wasn't going to have enough time for anything else, but that's not necessarily the case. In fact, I have found that having something to do better organizes my time because if I have too much free time I end up not getting any work done. Although it may be difficult to deal with at first, after a little while you get used to the workload and everything works out okay. You just have to try and think ahead and make sure that you are not giving yourself too much work right away. Try to slowly increase your workload if you can. Don't do too much right away but once you're used to it I'm sure you'll find that a little more work won't hurt you at all. Good luck!
--Mikey, IML Mentor

Dear Yamila,
I was nervous about going into high school too. When I started, I was in all honors classes, but I think the most important thing to remember is that THE TEACHERS UNDERSTAND that you're just coming from middle school and that it was a lot different. The workload may be a little more, but I believe you can do it. You've made it this far. :)
--Jessica, IML Mentor

Hi Yamila,
The transition from middle school to high school may seem daunting to you, but don't overestimate the difference. Teachers or older students may be able to help you to cope. Remember that all your friends will be going through the same things with you, so it'll probably be nice to talk to them openly about how you feel about high school. They may share your thoughts too! No one goes to high school completely prepared to deal with what comes up, but somehow everyone finds his/her own way to straighten things out. If you find it helpful, you can try making timetables for yourself to follow. That'll make it easier to strike a balance between social and school life. Hope this helps!
--Joyce, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I always wait till the last minute to do a project. We have two weeks to do our report, then its due on Wednesday. I'm always up late Tuesday night finishing it. Please help me!
--Gaby, 10

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Gaby,
It sounds like youre a procrastinator like me (and so many others)! We leave everything to the last minute, often because what were doing at the moment is far more interesting than what we should be doing. This exact thing happened to me with my college applications. I waited until the day they were due to do them and send them out! Heres my suggestion: break each project down, so its not such an overload. For example, lets say you have to do a research paper. Pick a day on the calendar and say to yourself, "On this day, I will set aside a few hours do all the research." Then, give yourself a few days break and do the next part: organizing your idea. Keep going like this, breaking down the big task into a few simpler tasks. Make your final deadline for your paper a few days before its actually due. This way, if something comes up, you still have extra time to get it done. Get a friend or family member to stay on top of you about this. Tell him/her to remind you about the project and make sure you get it done. It can be pretty annoying to have someone constantly reminding you, but you might get things done just to not hear them anymore! Good luck!
--Cyntianna, IML Mentor

Dear Gaby,
It can be really hard to get one's "rear in gear." As a professional procrastinator, I'm going to be a hypocrite and give you advice that I should be following myself. It's really hard to break the habit. It always seems so easy to do something else. What I've found that works for me SOMETIMES is to just keep envisioning that this night is the last one before the paper is due. Usually if you do it enough, you'll "guilt" yourself into working on it. I find that once I get started into the paper, its easier to keep going.
-Stephan, IML Mentor

Dear Gaby,
I tend to procrastinate too! I used to never start a project or paper until the day before, but I finally realized that it wasn't helping my grades. You might try making a schedule for yourself. Outline all the things you need to do, and decide what days you're going to do them. Then it is up to you to stick to your schedule! I do this now, especially with tests. I'll make notecards one day, and then I'll spend each day memorizing lets say 20, until I get to the day before the test and I just need to review it all. I hope this will be a good option for you. Good luck!
--Jenna, IML Mentor

Dear Gaby,
I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes, being given plenty of time for an assignment actually makes it tougher, because when you have more time, its easier to put the whole thing off. What I think might work for you is to make a schedule for yourself. If you know when something is due and you know roughly how long it will take to do it, then put a piece of paper next to your desk that reminds you how much time every night you should spend on it. For example, if you have to read 40 pages of a book in 3 days, then read 13 or 14 pages a night. If you make yourself do some of an assignment each night then you will, very likely, have it done on timeor even ahead of time! Good luck; procrastination is an easy habit to have and a tough one to break!
--Mikey, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
Instead of hating my teachers, I really like them. My math teacher is really nice. I like her a lot. And she told my dad (who is a teacher at the same school) that I was kind-of a teachers pet to her. I go up to her classroom almost every day after school for one reason or another just to be there. See, there was this one teacher last year who helped me with this big problem with my friends, and my teacher this year has kind of the same personality. I keep on thinking about how I never want this school year to end because I like this teacher so much. It's kind of a hard situation. I guess what I am really asking is: is it okay to like a teacher this much? Should I let her know how much she means to me now, at the end of the year, or not tell her at all? Thanks for listening.
--Stephanie, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Stephanie,
It's okay to appreciate a person who inspires you. The best thing to do is to tell that person! Everyone likes an occasional thanks for the things they've done for others. At the end of the year, maybe you should purchase or make your own Thank You card. In it, you can tell your teacher that you appreciate the things that she helped you accomplish. As long as youre sincere, its likely that the teacher will always remember you, like I'm sure you'll remember her.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor

Stephanie,
It's perfectly okay to like a teacher in that way. I'm a REALLY big Sci-Fi freak and my Literature teacher is as well. I look up to him for advice and leadership. At the end of the year, I plan to write him a letter expressing my gratitude for his advice over the years and buy him a small gift. I suggest you do something like that. You might also ask permission to keep in touch via e-mail!
--Stephan, IML Mentor

Dear Stephanie,
I think that's great that you like your teacher so much. I'm sure it makes the year much more fun and interesting. You should definitely go up to your teacher and tell her how much you enjoy the class and her teaching. Also, you can ask her if she could to meet you for lunch over the summer because you like being with her so much. Teachers love to know that they have had a positive effect on their students. It is important to have good relationships with your teachers, especially as you get older. It's really a gift that you are able to connect so well with your teachers and it will help you later on. Being able to have a real relationship with them now shows that you have a real maturity for your age. Next year you can continue the friendship and visit your teacher whenever possible. I hope this is helpful, Stephanie.
--Jordan, IML Mentor

Dear Stephanie,
It's perfectly okay to like a teacher and to be friends with her; there's nothing wrong with that. Actually, I used to have a close relationship with one of my teachers too, and I wanted it to stay the same way forever. But as 6th grade ended, I had to move on. But that didn't mean that I completely lost contact with the teacher and forgot about her. I still visit her from time to time on special school events. If you think your teacher has changed your life and helped you a lot, why not send her a thank-you card at the end of the year, just to tell her how grateful you are? It's not an embarrassing thing to do and your teacher really deserves that. It'll be really gratifying for her to know that you're thankful for what she has done for you. Remember to include your phone number or email address in the card so that you won't lose contact with her.
--Joyce, IML Mentor

Dear Stephanie,
Thats awesome that you found such a great teacher, and I know how tough it can be to leave behind a favorite teacher. But keep in mind that you can always visit her next year; teachers love to see how well their former students have done later in life. Of course its okay to like a teacher this much, and its okay to let a teacher know how much she means to you. Teachers love to hear that theyre appreciated just as much as anyone else does! If you want to, you could get her a card to tell her how much you appreciate her (this would also be a good idea if you dont feel comfortable telling her in person). I still visit my favorite teacher now, and I was in his class three years ago!
--Megan, IML Mentor

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