EDITORIAL: A step-by-step guide to a successful school year


Priya Maraliga

Sophomores Abhaya Sundar and Lipi Niyogi work on their lab during their Chemistry class.

Congratulations! You’ve officially gotten through your first month of school.

As you continue to settle into your new schedule, The Harbinger Editorial Board has a few pieces of advice to share with you. Below is our surefire guide to a safe and fun school year—read, digest and adhere!

1. Keep your mask up! 

COVID isn’t over, and the only way we can stop the spread is if everyone (seriously, everyone) adheres to the safety guidelines. And remember, your nose is part of your respiratory system; cover it!

2 . Be strategic with the classes you take. 

We know you want to impress college admissions officers (especially if you’re a junior or senior), but too many rigorous courses can easily lead to mental and physical burnout.  If you’re already feeling burned out, it’s not too late to drop a class and add a study, or to rethink some of your classes for the second semester. Pursue subjects that genuinely interest you and stimulate your mind rather than ones that boost your GPA.

3. Stay engaged in and out of class.

During class, take diligent notes, and don’t be afraid to ask your teacher clarifying questions to make sure you understand the content. Outside of school, make sure to put time and effort into each and every homework assignment. Contrary to popular belief, teachers don’t assign homework just for fun; the assignments you begrudgingly do at 11 p.m. give you a valuable opportunity to individually apply the concepts you learned in class. Doing your homework (without just copying your friend’s paper) will solidify your understanding of the material, which you will find VERY helpful come exam time. Of course, it’s essential to have some down time, so try to get that homework done early so you can have a few hours to clear your mind and relax.

4. Keep track of your upcoming assignments and tests in a way that works for you. 

Whether it’s through a notebook-style agenda or a calendar on your phone, recording all your due dates in one place will allow you to stay organized and efficient. Don’t forget to schedule in some breaks and fun, too!


If you have a project due next week (and you know the due date because you recorded it in your agenda), start it now! It’ll save you so many late nights of stressful cramming and exhaustion. If the actual due date is too intimidating, break it into mini-due-dates for each step. Either way, set goals for yourself ahead of time and follow through.

6. Take advantage of the wide variety of clubs and extracurriculars available to you. 

At Algonquin, you have the opportunity to pursue pretty much anything. You can improve your business and communication skills through DECA, learn more about sustainable living through the Green Earth Club or delve into the extravagant world of clothing and accessories through Fashion Club. Joining groups and getting involved is a great way to not only follow your passions but also to meet new people with similar interests. You can find a full list of the clubs and organizations at Algonquin here. If your passion isn’t on this list, find a teacher and start your own club!

7. Go to school events and spend time with each other.

Now more than ever, we appreciate opportunities to be around each other. Even if you’re not the biggest sports fan, why not go to the Friday night game or wander the fields after school on a sunny fall day and see who’s playing? Go to the coffee houses, soak in school performances and plays and maybe we’ll even have a dance or two this year!

This unsigned editorial reflects the views of the Harbinger Editorial Board.