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Make the grade and still have a life!

School started, and you skated the first couple weeks. But now, classes, projects and homework are hitting you full force. You're suddenly finding yourself with no time to kick it with friends, keep up with your scrapbooking or just plain chill. Nerding it in the library seven days a week doesn't sound too appealing either. With buds, sporting events, parties, dances and other fun stuff vying for your time, what's a girl to do? Relax. Help is on the way.

GL is here to tell you that you can have it all--great grades, fun with friends, low stress and, believe it or not, report-card proud parents. GL's strategies for school success will not only put you at the head of your class--they'll put you in charge of your social scene. Get ready to take the plunge into a world of what-a-girl-wants and GPA glory.

It's a date

When that hot guy you've been eyeing finally asks you out, you don't need to write it down--oh, you'll remember. But the less exciting tasks, like book-report due dates and dog-walking duty, need to be written down. If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and get a day planner that says, "Look out--I'm ready to take on the world (or at least get through this annoying class)." Use it to track all your important to-do's. Go one extra by jotting down special clues teachers serve up in class when assigning projects. Some teachers give away answers, and you'll have these recorded in your date book.

What a ride

Whether busing it to school, carpool-cruising or mom-mobiling, make the most of the ride. Use the success equation college students use: the SQ3R.

The S is for "Survey," which refers to getting an overview of your homework by paging through it. The Q stands for "Question." Ask questions when reading over assignments to help you remember the content. The three R's are "Read, Recite and Review." Even if you only have a five- to 10-minute cruise, it's enough time to do at least one part of the success equation, check out notes before a morning test or make a battle plan for the day's classes.

Quiet time

Rather than hanging out or passing notes, use study hall or recess to do your work. Terese, 19, who ended up being valedictorian of her high school class, rarely took homework home because she almost always got it done before she left school grounds. "If I had 10 minutes of in-class study time, I was cranking on it," says Terese. She gained personal time by doubling up in-school study time, even if it was banging out vocabulary sentences 15 minutes before volleyball practice started. While Tracy's classmates were lugging home backpacks full of books, smart Terese was embarking on an evening of playing Nintendo DS or vegging in front of the tube.

Brain food

Depending on how long it takes you to chow down, your lunch break may be a perfect slot to zip through some work. If catching up with your friends is a must, crunch your lunch and chat for part of the time and flip open the books the other part. Again, if you squeeze in just a few minutes, you're chipping away at that mountain of work, making it much more manageable.

Cyber space

Doing a research project? See who's online, and challenge your friends to some speed-surfing. The first to dig up the answer gets treated to a free movie ticket and popcorn by the rest of the gang. Have some kids in your class on your IM list? Quiz each other to prep for upcoming tests. Just be careful not to get distracted by mindless IMing and pointless blogs. Work first, Facebook later!

Lighten up

A change of study space or routine might be just what you need to get motivated. If you usually study with bright lights, tone it down with indirect light (make sure you're not straining your eyes). If you use the dim-light approach, try a switch to some bright fluorescent lights (just don't study with your crush--fluorescent ain't flattering!). Rain, snow, wind or shine, studying by a big window may also improve your grade by giving you that boost of energy you need.

Bust out

Try lab new things that combine art, history, science or music. Gather up the gang, and go to a museum, zoo, symphony or planetarium, and be the inquisitive type by asking the experts questions. Use the social outing as a launch pad to write a report or research project. You'll impress your teachers with your unusual hands-on tactics. Plus, you'll power-boost yourself and your friends into another galaxy where the realm of possibilities of your new scholastic life are, well, out of this world.

Waiting room

Before that awesome day arrives when you're awarded a driver's license, make the most of curb time. While waiting for your ride, make it count. Got flash cards? Will travel. Make some on index cards before important tests, and have them handy. Have a doctor's appointment or your mom's getting her hair done, and you're stuck twiddling your thumbs? Whip out your binder, and review your week's notes. Brainstorm ideas at the bus stop about special projects coming up, and jot them down.

Take a break

Aching to treat yourself to a mani-pedi? Need to download some new tunes? Live to hit tennis balls? What are your face TV, DVD or PSP musts? Whatever it is you love, set aside time to relax and enjoy life. Research shows that regular breaks and fun boost grades. Use these play times to release and unwind when you really need to defrazzle. Or use them as sweet rewards once you've slam-dunked a Big project or that bother of a homework assignment.

Homework mixer

Host a study-buddy party. Buds buzzing through homework together can work, as long as you agree to stay focused. That doesn't mean you can't make it fun. A little low-volume background music can kickstart the creative juices, and snacks are recommended. Send invites before a major exam, even to classmates you don't hang with. Blending a bunch of girls, especially the conscientious ones, may get you bonus points--and some new buds!
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Article Details
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Author:Ayer, Brigid Curtis
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Previous Article:Are you the real you? Do you mold yourself to fit in--or do you so not give a hoo-ha about what people think of you?
Next Article:GL's guilt-free guide to ... the end.

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