Monday, January 26, 2015

Spring Semester Survival Guide

        Believe it or not, the spring semester is here already! For some, this is a time to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, dive into some books, and pull all-nighters in Clemons. On the other hand, it may be hard for some students to get back into the groove. A warm, comfy bed is pretty appealing when it's freezing outside. So how do you stay focused and avoid falling behind? Well, here are some tips--take it from a fourth year.
Study: This may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes it's harder than you'd think. If you regularly go to class, take notes, and do homework, then studying should be easy-peasy for you. Go over your lecture notes and highlight what's most important. We all tend to zone out in class at times so remembering the main points in your notes will do wonders come exam time. Also, look over passages from textbooks or readings that your professor pointed out in class. If it was important enough for them to discuss, then it'll be important on the exam. Avoid distractions and go to a quiet place. Netflix can wait.
Time Management: Time can either be your best friend or your worst enemy in college so get on its good side. Write down your assignments, readings, and exams on a calendar. Once you've completed a task, cross it off. Be sure to check your schedule every day. If you think you can write an essay overnight then plan for it. Likewise, if it takes you a week to write an essay then ensure that you give yourself enough time. Don't push yourself beyond your limits. Do your assignments ahead of time; not at the last minute. For example, finish your readings before lecture or study every day the week before an exam. It'll help!
Office Hours: This may seem crazy, but professors are actually here to help you. Visit them during office hours - they'll love it. Whether you need help writing an essay or need a concept simplified for you, seek out your professor. Plus, you're only here for a few years so take some time to meet them and your TAs.
Relax: It may seem odd that putting your feet up every now and then can lead to a successful semester but it's true. We get so caught up with assignments, deadlines, meetings, events, and our social lives that we forget about ourselves. Sleep is one of the best ways to stay relaxed and focused. Although it might be impossible to get a full night's sleep every night, try to sleep for eight hours at least three days a week. This way, you're giving your body the rest that it needs. Relax while studying, too. After you've completed an assignment, take a 30 minute break. Have a snack; go jogging; watch TV. You're brain also needs some rest.
Now go forth and conquer!