March Madness: Paper Season

March is often said by students to be the hardest month of the year: papers due, presentations coming up, midterms…it all seems to happen at once. And while this is undoubtedly stressful, I think it is a good exercise in showing what knowledge is truly like. We are challenged to do everything all at the same time simply because that’s what our brains are like—they’re not schedules that know certain things at certain times, they’re like a big filing cabinet that knows everything all of the time, provided we’re looking for it. So when students tell me “It’s like our profs don’t know we have four other classes,” I tend to disagree.

They know full well we have other things due, it’s just that their job is to give us knowledge for that filing cabinet, not fit it in for us.

That’s our job and our challenge as students: keeping the cabinet clean. Whether it be alphabetized, colour coded, highlighted, whatever, we need to work to put things in their proper places so we can get our stuff done on time. Therefore, although scheduling doesn’t affect how the knowledge comes in, we have full power over how it comes out. In my experience, that is the trick to handling the hellish month of March: schedule, prep, outline, and write.

The most stressful thing any student can do at this time is to look at their calendar over and over to see when things are due, because often they fall within a day of each other. I, for instance, have a paper due on three consecutive days, and at face value that seems terrifying. It makes it look like I have to write a paper a day in order to make it through, when in reality I actually have a week and a half to write three papers. That’s still not much time, but it’s a lot better than having a day each. All I have to do is start now.

I don’t know what’s on your plate or when it’s due, but I know that you can do it! Just schedule your knowledge accordingly. Whether it be a few half-hours a day or just two hours straight, you can fit what you need into your schedule and get it done. Is it stressful? Of course! But stress is a motivator, it’s the reason we do things. If everyone was 100% laid back the only people who would need to do anything would be the ones working at Netflix and Lays potato chips. Having a fire under our butts is sometimes the only way to make us move. Embrace the fire and get going!

– Justin