Jessie Moose is a ninth-grader at North Hall High School. She is interning with The Times through a journalism class at the school. Look for Young Edge articles from Jessie about once a month.
Some confidence, the right priorities and a quiet space to study go a long way for local high school students working to succeed.
One such student is North Hall freshman Ellie Congdon, whose small frame and quiet personality may make her seem more ordinary than someone pursuing the difficult coursework required in the pre-International Baccalaureate program.
“A good student is one that is determined and believes in herself,” Congdon said. “I believe that all success begins with self-confidence.”
If a student knows all the material for a test, but isn’t confident, she may not do well, Congdon said.
Making the right priorities helps, too.
Congdon said she has learned to enroll in classes that interest her, not just those her friends are taking.
Cassie Thurmond, a sophomore at North Hall, agrees.
“I took Journalism One this year, and I shouldn’t have taken it because it wasn’t something that I enjoyed. And I wished I would have thought about the class before I signed up for it,” Thurmond said.
Madilyn Patterson, a senior at North Hall, agrees a good student needs to prioritize.
“If I could change one thing about my high school career, I would try to prioritize what is really important,” she said. “... I wish I would have not stressed out about the little things.”
Students also wish their parents wouldn’t add stress.
“I don’t want my parents to pressure me as much when it comes to making good grades because I am stressed out already,” Thurmond said. “I think it is good that my parents pressure me because I know they care, but sometimes it is too overwhelming and I wish they would back off. I am responsible enough to know what I need to do without their pressure on me.”
What Congdon and Thurmond both said they need from parents is a quiet space where they can focus on homework.
Students agreed they need that at school, too, and if they could change one thing about their school, it would be to add a study period.
“A good, successful student is someone who is hardworking and is able to admit when they need help and ask for it,” Patterson said.
Along with this, students agreed that being a good student takes time, effort and responsibility.
Keeping grades up each year and behaving also are important as colleges will be aware of any issues. And learning material, not just memorizing, is important for a good student, according to Kindle Gee, IB/Advanced Placement junior at North Hall.
“A good student is someone that is respectful and someone that has a good work ethic,” she said. “I think it is very important to be in extracurricular activities because it shows that you can handle both school and other things.”
Gee explains she sees herself as an overall good student because she puts a lot of time into her schoolwork and she tries to take the hardest classes she can to impress colleges.
Patterson explained that she has been taking dual enrollment classes at the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus this year, and that has given her a glimpse of what she will be doing next year and has helped her with time management.