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   As the anxiety of finals week was pacified with a two week period of holiday bliss, semester two has quickly moved in on Pinewood campus. It’s quite an abrupt change of mindsets, moving on from the pounding stress of finals, to winter break, and now the second semester.

   With the new year comes the chance to kick off the second half of the school year with a new battle plan. Learn from your mistakes, and start the semester off right. Finals are a traumatic time, so why not think ahead and prepare?

   All efforts should be focused on maintaining a pristine streak of grades on Veracross, and your future self will definitely thank you in the upcoming month of May.

   If you have some new classes, such as myself, it’s advisable to get a good handle on your new teacher’s teaching style and personality.

  Pay close attention to what kind of work and participation is expected, and be sure to make a good first impression. Ask others who have taken the class already about their strategies on tackling the class workload.

   Out with the old and in the new. Take advantage of the new year, and try something new here at Pinewood. There are endless clubs available to students, and if none of them spark your interests, try starting your own!

   Hopefully, by now you know a majority of the people in your grade, so try getting to know everyone a little bit better. It sounds utterly cliche, but you’ll never learn anything if you don’t experiment with new things.

   The work load will slowly be building up from now to the end of the semester, so it’s better to jump on the bandwagon now instead of sprinting to catch up.

   It was definitely tough, at least to me, to get back into the school mindset after vegetating on the couch for pretty much all of break.  However, it’s a painful transition that’s absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

   I definitely feel better starting off the second half of the semester than I did in the first. For one thing, I feel much more prepared because I know what to expect from my teachers that I still have. I know how much workload to expect, as well as difficulty level.

   I also am much more familiar with my surroundings and peers, and I’ve adjusted and grown accustomed to the flow of campus.

  “I think I feel more prepared [for second semester] because I know kind of what to expect now, as opposed to just going into it blindly like I did first semester,” junior Laine Corfield said.

   For upperclassman taking APs and Honor classes, familiarity with the courses is a distinct advantage going into semester two in contrast to semester one.

  So snap on your goggles and prepare to dive back into the ocean of grades and tests.