Written by Lexi Baysinger, media by James Menk
Well, six weeks has gone by and we’ve all finally settled into a routine for school. That routine could be anything from getting your homework done early and then hanging out with your friends, to leaving all your homework to the last minute and stressing out because you have three 2-page papers due by tomorrow. As midterms pass by, and we get closer to the end of the semester, make sure that you keep up on everything, from school to friends. Letting these things take over your life will cause you to be sorry later on in the semester.
As the semester wears on, it gets harder and harder to stay on top of things. Especially when the weather gets cold and all you want to do is stay wrapped up in your covers and watch movies. But you have to go to class! Laziness is not a good enough reason to skip classes or to not do your homework. Right about now is when students start to lose motivation in school and start to find things to do. Make sure that you stay motivated as the semester continues; you don’t want grades to start dropping after the hard work you did for the first six weeks of the semester.
Homework is every student’s nightmare. At this time in the semester, teachers seem to think that it’s a great idea to assign as much homework and occasionally as many tests as they possibly can. But try your hardest to not get behind. Once you put off one assignment, it makes it easier to put off the next and, the next thing you know, you have two five-page papers and a hundred pages to read for the next day. To manage your homework load, try doing the work in waves. I tried, and ultimately failed, to complete the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge while I was in high school, and one of the ways that participants attempt to make their word count every day is through writing sprints. I’ve brought that idea to my attempts to finishing my homework. The idea is that you take 15 minutes and just focus on doing one thing, no Internet, no texting, just music and whatever you are working on. It really works as long as you can discipline yourself to not do anything else, and you can vary the lengths of your break times.
But try not to limit your breaks only to the Internet. Yes, we all know how funny that cat video is, but do you really need to watch it six times a day? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are all cool websites to be on, but don’t spend all your time on them. If you find yourself paying more attention to your phone and Facebook than the people you’re with, be careful. While it’s okay to be on social media every once in a while, if you do it while in a group of people, they’ll start to wonder if you actually want to be around them.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is something that every college student wants and needs. Yet, as the semester wars on, we apparently forget both of these facts. Staying up late gets more and more attractive; campus events, random late night trips to Wal-Mart, and movie marathons get put above sleep on the importance scale. And while I’m not going to tell you to give up all those fun things, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. If you do, you’ll be less grouchy and more likely to pay attention in class. You probably wont sleep through your alarm as often either.
School can be stressful, especially now when the homework is starting to pile up. It raises students’ stress levels more than almost anything else. When you’re stressed, you become more grouchy and irritable, and may take it out on your friends. So make sure that, when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you take a break every now and then. Put down the Psychology book, back away from the 10-page paper and do something you enjoy. Take a walk in the Gullies, read a good book, watch a movie, just do something that will take your mind off of school for a while. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and relaxing for a while, just make sure that you do get back to work at sometime.
College is something that’s supposed to be fun. While not everything in college is great–the homework, 7:30 AM classes, and nights where all you do is homework–now is the time to make the most of life. Even though procrastination is hard to avoid, sometimes it’s a good idea to drop the books and go on an adventure with your friends. Don’t get me wrong, school should definitely be a top priority, and leaving everything to the last minute is probably a bad idea, but don’t let it consume your life. Get your work done, then go have fun.