08/25/2012 12:59 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Back to School: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Like me, I am sure many of you are gearing up to head back to school for another year of learning, homework and late-night studying (and procrastinating!). This is my last week of summer and then I hit the ground running as an official senior in high school starting on Monday!

I attend school at K12, which is the largest provider of online education for grades K-12. Similar to a traditional education setting, I have a teacher and classmates, but instead of meeting in a classroom, we interact together online. This type of non-traditional education setting allows me to continue my racing career and still receive a complete education that has been customized to fit my schedule.

I am so thankful to have the opportunity to take my classes with K12 so I can continue to travel and compete in my races and stay in school at the same time. I take education very seriously, so it is important for me to make sure I am continuing my schooling as an aspiring professional athlete.

The start of a new school year can bring about many mixed emotions: excitement, anxiety, nervousness and so much more! We are all sad to see the summer come and go so quickly, but I feel like heading back to school in the fall is a fresh start for many of us.

The start of a new school year is like wiping the slate clean. It is our opportunity to make a new beginning and put our best foot forward at our education. It is important to remember what we have learned in the past and continue to push ourselves to grow as we look ahead to the future.

Entering the next grade in school is very similar to starting a new racing season or joining a new race team. You get all geared up for your first day of meeting the teacher or race team owner and getting to know your new classmates or crew members. You realize that you will be interacting with these individuals very closely for the next several months so it is important to have good communication. You work hard to build a positive reputation for yourself by creating strong results either in the classroom or on the racetrack.

Something I have learned in my racing career is to always set goals and never be afraid to ask for guidance. By setting goals in my career, I am able to keep a focus on what I need to be working towards to progress as a racecar driver. It is always OK to ask for help because if we don't, we will never learn anything new. I know that my team owner and engineer are able to offer me guidance to help me improve my driving skills.

These lessons can be used in our education as well. You can set a goal for yourself to earn a certain grade or get all the homework done a week before the due date and then challenge yourself to meet the goal and produce positive results. Above all, never hesitate to ask a teacher, classmate or parent for some extra help on something you may not understand.

Although it is sad to see our summer go, we can look forward to starting a new school year with a clean slate and putting our best forward to build a positive reputation. I can't believe I am going to be senior this year! I am looking forward to a great year of school and racing! What are you looking forward to as you start your new school year?