Maximizing Your School Year

[edited from ‘20 school year]

What a past year+ it has been. The kind of year that … Well, there’s hardly anything we can compare it to. Allow us to applaud all students, educators, and administration for jumping back into the school year with so much chaos happening around us. Many of you aren’t so happy with it even happening to begin with, and that is very understandable. We also know schools vary by county and state, so rules apply differently and we’ll get into that briefly. But regardless of where the needle is on the spectrum, educators are amongst the frontline of the workforce as far as we see it. And students, you all are fulfilling your responsibility as the generation of emerging talent. So again, we applaud all of you for your leap into the school year.

We wanted to do our part — will continue to do our best to — and offer some insights into ways we can all capture value from this school year. More importantly, we want to offer some applicable self-education that will deliver the results you desire. Whether you’re a student or hold a position at a school, we hope the following keynotes will deliver those results.

We’re a team that prioritizes mental health, and so we thought it would be valuable to kick this subsection off with a few notes regarding getting yourself in the right mindset. Fun fact: 80% of the success you desire to achieve will derive from having the right mindset and physiology, while 20% of the success will be the hard skills. So what exactly does “the right mindset” mean? Well, there are many ways we can approach this, so let’s introduce two concepts. The first concept comes from none other than the self-development titan himself, Tony Robbins. According to Tony, setting the right belief system will put you on a clear path to what you want to achieve.

“Every decision in your life is controlled by your values and beliefs. The first step in creating the life you desire is recognizing the power of your beliefs, and that it’s your beliefs that shape your decisions, actions, and destiny.” — Tony Robbins

Understand the values you live by, control the beliefs you have for yourself, and create that life rather than let life happen to you. Life will have a funny way of moving along in your favor when you have a clear path on what it is you desire and for honest reasons. Relevant to these points, we want to introduce the second concept, a concept taken from our CEO’s book. The concept is Life’s Fundamentals: Sleep, Nutrition, and Love. So simple yet these fundamentals run our lives. There was a whole chapter on Life’s Fundamentals in the book so we’ll sum it up for you. Sleep: Get an adequate amount of sleep every night (we encourage 7 hours per night or 8 if you can make it happen), in order to perform at the best of your ability day in and day out. Nutrition: It’s not just how much you eat, it’s rather what you’re eating correlated to what time of the day you eat it, along with how much it is — this all affects your peak performance. Love: At the end of the day, you’re responsible for your happiness and mental stability so give yourself the love you deserve rather than relying on it to be given elsewhere — when you find yourself, you find love. These three fundamentals called Life’s Fundamentals are the tools in architecting the life and results you desire. You’re in control of each one of them and it’s up to you to use them to your advantage.

For some, the school year has already begun (others, it’s starting this week) and we know there are variations of procedures state by state. So rather than treating this as a one-size-fits-all approach, we simply encourage you to understand your schools’ policies and procedures. Masks, distancing the desks, and smaller class sizes seem to be the most mutually shared procedures around all school grounds. Nevertheless, make yourself aware whether you are a student, faculty/staff member, or anyone who foresees themselves being at schools. It’s better to be safe than sorry — and to protect the safety of others. We’re not here to police you — that will be the job of the schools. We’re here to encourage safety and initiate awareness, so you can be above the uncertainty. This brings us to our next point: systemizing these policies and procedures along with a few other key aspects of your semester.

Before diving into this subsection, allow us to shed light on a few keywords relevant to systemizing. 1) Simplify 2) Delegate 3) Predict 4) Systemize and 5) Structure. These are five steps to a “leadership breakthrough,” as we like to refer to it as (concept credit to the Entrepreneurial Operating System). We’re focusing on #4 as we find it to be the most coinciding with your semester. Systemizing in other words is the act, and ability, of creating an efficient and repeatable model out of a process. Simply put, it’s understanding the way something works and thus controlling it. Taking brand new policies and procedures into consideration, there is a lot that is different about this school year than any other school year that you’ve experienced. So much change as to where “structuring” is not so feasible when the world is changing on a weekly basis. But systemizing your classes and the work that needs to be done in them, systemizing the extracurricular activity many of you take part in, and systemizing the time you would like to reserve for friends, are a few ways to get the most of your school year with the ever-evolving ways of life. This approach is flexible — it will keep you on your toes and offer you the ability to manage the inevitable change that will come throughout the semester. While we’re on this topic, we want to encourage you all to set SMART goals for this semester. If you have never heard of SMART goals before, check out this link here. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Dig deeper into this concept through that link above or read about it in Chapter Six of The Ever-Evolving Art of Balance. Let us be the one to urge you to include a few of the following in your list of semester goals: “Internship, work-based learning, part-time job, mentorship, co-op, apprenticeship, volunteering.”

Above all else, enjoy this wild ride of a year. Take the most out of it; you’re only going to get out of it what you put in. “Level-10 Effort” — as we like to call it — will equal the results you want to see. If you want massive life-changing results, match that with the amount of effort it requires, and have fun doing it. Although the destination is glorified at most times, it’s the journey that often leaves a heavy impact on oneself. Take it from a growing startup full of self-education experts — the thrill of the ride is what most look back on and find appreciation in. You all are pioneering something that generations before you have never experienced. Between a pandemic that has t-boned our country’s side, a shaken up economy, and a world that’s never experienced such technological advancement — you all are pioneers of what is being written in history at this very moment. Your children’s children will read books about what you’re going through, and so will their children.

2020 & 2021 are far from years to forget. It is a year to seize the opportunity, to become the best version of yourself through self-development, to take advantage of unlimited education at your fingertips, and come out of this “winter” stronger and more full of purpose than ever before.

We hope this article was helpful in kicking off not just the school year, but a school year that you have the chance to make the best of. Although heavily geared towards students, we hope any school faculty/staff/educators, etc. found value in the perspectives that your students might have and ways you can capitalize on this school year in your best of ways.

We’ve developed and continue to develop the software to fit the most applicable needs of the evolving ways of our education system. We’re here to ensure every student finds their purpose.

For more resources on kicking off your school year, get yourself a free Kindle copy of our CEO’s book. It’s written by a Gen Z for Gen Z’s (& Millennials).