How to Finish Second Semester Strong: A Schedule

A serious, surefire way to stay disciplined in the second semester!

As the weather grows warmer and summer days glimmer on the distant horizon, it may feel like it’s harder and harder to keep up with the Raptor lifestyle. I know for a fact that I’ve been struggling with this myself, but, as much as I’d love to live in the fantasy of SSS (second semester senior), I’ve had to remind myself that there’s still 3 solid months left of school. In order to get the highest of As, the fivest of 5s, and use those months to their fullest potential, here’s a daily and weekly schedule, geared for guaranteed success, that I wrote to keep myself on track. 

Motivation is what gets you started. Discipline is what keeps you going.”

— John C. Maxwell


6:00: Wake Up

  • It’s crucial to wake up early enough to get an edge over your classmates/competition while they’re sleeping. It’s the perfect time to strike. Feel free to wake up earlier than this if you feel so inclined.

6:05: Journal your Academic Goals for the Day

  •  Reminding yourself of why you get up in the morning is very important, in order to keep your priorities in check throughout the day. Refer to your agenda and checklists while doing this activity. 

6:15: Review Relevant Content

  • This may be the step that gives you the most tactical edge over your peers. I highly recommend highlighting major assessments in your Academic Goals Journal, so that you can become more aware of what you need to mentally fortify yourself for today. This can just be quickly reading relevant textbook chapters or even just solving a few FRQ problems. 

7:00: Get Dressed

  • Dress tactically. Some things you just can’t be prepared for, like sudden weather changes, and natural disaster drills. Keep in mind that school is for learning, not a fashion show, so dress comfortably with many pockets for the maximum utility, to help you conquer the day.
  • Your clothes are like your battle armor.

7:35: Pack your Backpack

  • Your backpack is your toolbox. If you forget anything, the day could be catastrophic. If you’re feeling unsure, then bring it anyways because an overflowing, heavy backpack indicates to your peers that you mean business.
  • Even though there’s online PDFs for nearly all of them, be sure to pack multiple textbooks. These are great to pull out in class and reference during the lesson, so you can ask about any discrepancies and show off your dedication to your craft.
  • Never forget to pack homework for the week to do in study hall, if you do, then you’re wasting precious time due to a careless mistake. 

7:45: Head off to School (give or take a few minutes)

At School

  • Everybody’s schedule will vary during the school day due to different classes and such, so use your best judgement. This can be a trying, difficult, and frustrating period of the day because there are so many distractions but if you sharpen your mindset you can rise above.
  • While it may be tempting, don’t check your phone during class. You can do that at home, after you finish your homework! The notifications will still be there.
  • Ignore your friends. Again, school is for learning, not socializing, so unless you’re networking, don’t let your high school friends distract you from achieving your goals.
  • Free time? Use it to gain an advantage. If you’re given the rest of the block to independently work, this is actually a secret cue to ask the teacher questions about the lesson until the end of the period. Or, use this time to get caught up with this week’s or next week’s homework. 

After School:

4:00: Immediately Begin Homework Assignments

  • If you leave any time to rest, then you will lose your momentum! You shouldn’t waste your valuable time resting only to have to re-hone the blade of your mind that you let go to rust.

An object in motion will stay in motion”

— Physics

  • No homework assignment is too small to not put every ounce of your effort into, even those little, 2-point assignments. Every single last point counts. If you put your all into your assignments, then you should be mostly ready for that quiz next block, right? Plus, your teacher will see how dedicated you are and passionate about their class and treat you with lots of respect. 

6:00: Assessment Journal

  • Now’s not the time for rest. Return to your academic journal, and identify your upcoming assignments for the next 2 weeks. Before you try to prioritize them based on your grade in that class, or the size of the assessment, remember, every point counts! You should devote a significant amount of time daily to each until the day of the assessment.
  • It’s not “just a quiz.” The difference between a 90 and a 100 on that very quiz in 3rd quarter of senior year could be the reason your GPA drops 2 whole points. But it’s your decision!

8:30-9:00: Go to Bed

  • You really should only go to bed once you’re entirely finished with your academic activities, but with diligent scheduling you should finish your duties with time for adequate sleep, so that tomorrow you wake with a sharp and clear mind to attack your studies.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

— Benjamin Franklin

  • Personally, I find this quote especially inspiring to help me finish out the day strong. If you ever think about stopping work early, relaxing a bit before bed, remember this belief and think of what else you could possibly get done now that you wouldn’t have to get done tomorrow. 


Limit yourself to one social activity per weekend. If you have too much fun over the weekend, then it will create an imbalance in your life, and you will get fun-cravings during the week which severely inhibit your ability to hustle effectively. Plus, if school is your only social interaction, then going will feel like a little treat!

With all your new weekend time, it’s imperative you use it to organize yourself and work towards your long term goals. Admirable goals and strenuous weekend activities include: 

  • Found 1-2 clubs for your college resume
  • Doing the laundry
  • Researching highly paid careers
  • Complete 1-2 Barron’s Books
  • Studying and researching rare topics
  • Entering prestigious competitions
  • Networking with notable people
  • Read a classical novel to reference in conversation

Alternatively, you could have several deep, intense study sessions for a select few of your subjects, in case you’re especially concerned about any upcoming assessments.

Will you accept the challenge?

Be warned! This schedule is not for the weak. If you fail, you’re basically failing your future, and you may end the year with Bs. But, if you succeed, you can rest easy knowing that you definitely did a lot of work, and your GPA may even be higher than before! So go, challenge yourself and see what you’re capable of.


In the end, the absolutely unfailing work ethic I’ve witnessed at magnet has inspired me to no end. I really do believe the ability to work tirelessly towards an unknown future with, truly, nothing promised is incredible, even if I’ll make fun of it a little.