Survival Tips

Your test scores say you are qualified for the Academically Talented Youth Program and now you are starting classes. Are you wondering what you have gotten yourself into? Are you wondering how you will keep up in exciting, yet challenging, classes? Here are some survival tips to help you ease into the program:

How am I going to get my homework done? 

ATYP homework isn’t like your regular homework. You definitely won’t be able to do it during the car ride to class. Most students find that beginning the homework the day following the program class helps to keep the week balanced and less stressful. Also, having a set time every day to do homework keeps you motivated to stay on top of it. Some students make a list of everything they need to do that week, and then schedule which day to do each part; some even narrow it down to a specific assignment that they do on a specific day each week. Many students going into second year will tell you that they wish they’d done this from the start.

What do I do during my study hall? 

Some students prefer to do the program homework during study hall. Other students choose to do the rest of their homework at school and leave the program homework to do at home. It really depends on each student’s preference.

I can’t do this! It’s hard! 

Help is available—ask for it. Just because you are in an accelerated program doesn’t mean that you will understand every concept on the first try. Sometimes a math concept or a new writing assignment can stump you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it doesn’t show weakness. Students can call or email your grader or teacher with questions. Quite often, a couple of words can get you started and then you can finish the problem on your own. An even better plan is to try to get the majority of your homework done by Sunday afternoon and then go to the help session to get your questions answered. Be sure to include the concept you are struggling with, the page numbers where the story doesn’t make sense, the paragraph that won’t come together, or whatever it is that is troubling you when you contact your grader or teacher. 

What do I do about the classes that I missed while at ATYP? 

Check with the teacher the next day to find out what you have missed. For a long-term solution, find a homework buddy in that class. Each ATYP class day, your homework buddy can write down what happened in class and what the homework was for that class. Then, your homework buddy can give you the assignment the next day. If you feel that the homework you are making up seems excessive, talk to your teacher to see which assignments are crucial to complete and which assignments you can possibly avoid without damaging your overall grade. We recommend you talk this over with your parents first in order to get tips for how to approach the subject diplomatically before approaching your teacher.

Boy, this is harder than I thought—can I really do this? 

Yes, you can! Stick it out for at least six weeks in the program. Most students find that by the end of this probationary period, they have found a system that will work. Your teacher and your parents probably have some great ideas that could help you manage your time and your program homework. Ask for help, if you need it. If, at the end of six weeks, you still find that you can’t get the hang of program, call the office. We have resources to help you.

If you have a problem, question or concern about ATYP. 

Call your teacher (or email, if he or she prefers it) or call the office at any time with problems, questions, or concerns. We are here to assist you: (269) 387-3553 or ATYP-info@wmich.edu.