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Melendez offers advice to overcome obstacles (PODCAST)

After having an amazing winter break in Mexico with my best friend, I came to school unmotivated and not wanting to put effort into my school work. I thought the feeling would pass, but instead it rampantly spread, taking a toll on my outlook in life and on my grades.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they just want to take a break and relax. For me, it is second semester of senior year. I have always been self motivated in the arena of academia, but for some reason I hit a road block and I couldn’t motivate myself to finish the smallest tasks, which in my case is my government class. I had never seen my grades drop so low in my life; I have never received a “D” or let alone an “F” in any class or on any assignment.

For the first time I was being a normal teenager by staying up late, socializing, attending sports events and gaming it up on the weekends with friends; but this came at a price: my grades.

I let myself slip, my time management was off. I just didn’t care. For a while I thought, ‘was this the person I was meant to be, a slacker?’ I was in denial. I kept telling myself over and over I was not slacking, I was just on a long break.

But lying to myself did nothing but make it worse. There was one day where I was so unproductive after school that I took a three hour nap, between basketball, The Feather and business I was stressed and exhausted.

The one time in my life when I am supposed to push full throttle, I decide not to care, and that was my problem. One day I looked on powerschool and I noticed I had a 2.19 GPA, something I never imagined could show up on my report card.

I was now a common statistic which made me angry, mostly because I am a perfectionist, anything less than a 4.0 is unacceptable. I never told my parents because I knew I would receive an hour lecture about responsibility and college, and I sure as heck did not want to disappoint my dad who has certain expectations for me.

Being the first born of a hispanic family comes with pressure. My parents made sure in grade school that I excelled because all their hopes and dreams were in me. My parents’ hope is that after I graduate from college I will start my own company, making the big bucks, and in return, helping them live comfortably in their old age. I knew that if I didn’t clean up my act I would let my parents, family and friends down. I would be the first to graduate from college in my mom’s and dad’s families.

It was the Tuesday after Night Of The Stars (NOTS), and I was reading Forbes magazine, with Carlos Slim Helu’s picture plastered on front; I browsed through 1,226 of the richest people on the planet. It was at that moment I felt inspired. I felt this rush of excitement, motivation, hunger and drive run through my veins, it was like a moment of renewal.

It was the thought of never having to worry about money again, being a sole provider for my future family, the idea of starting a foundation for the less fortunate and most of all advancing the Kingdom of God is what erupted the fire that burns inside of me to successfully finish second semester.

The same night, I finished all my missing assignments and turned them in the next day, my grades shot up from D’s to B’s. Now I am working diligently to turn in my assignments on time. I guess its normal for one to feel tired, but not normal to allow laziness to control ones life for a long period of time. I am proud to say I am self motivated again and I am running on all engines to finish successfully.

Here are some of the following tips that I have read about on the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC) website. These tips have been successful for many other high school seniors . If I would have known these or at least had someone give me a few tips I don’t think I would have struggled.

Plan ahead and don’t procrastinate means that if you are involved with campus activities and you know college applications are due soon, then spread your time out evenly so everything is not stressful at the last minute. It is easy to forget about homework when college applications are taking precedent. Another way to plan ahead is use a schedule so you don’t forget the important assignments that are due the next day or in a couple of days.

PODCAST: Senior finds motivation to complete year: March 13, 2013–

Don’t worry or reminisce about what you could have done to make your college application better to make you a more likely candidate, but relax and wait patiently for the response email or letters. The more a person obsesses about college and assignments, the more life becomes stressful and unmotivated to do anything in general.

Collaborate. Senior year is the time to reflect on your high school career and how much fun you had with your friends. Don’t let the weekends be occupied with the feeling of “homework,” but plan ahead and try to make time to spend time with friends because this is the “last time” for almost anything in high school.

Relax and have fun. This tip is self explanatory. Just don’t do something stupid or illegal that will have negative after affects.

I hope that by sharing my story I can help motivate others to continue through senior year and not to give up. I think the most important thing to understand is that this could happen to anyone, no one is excluded from having senoritis. Even the best of us fall in the trap, if someone does fall into senoritis mode it is not the end of the world, there is hope.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @StephanMelendez.

For more podcasts, check out The Feather’s Podcast page.

For more opinions, read the March 6 article, Junior experiences differences in Hmong ceremonies, customs.

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