Whether you’re facing midterms for the first time as a first year student or just experiencing the regular routine as an upper year – this is a stressful time of year! The honeymoon of September has definitely passed and we are smack dab in the middle of a sea of tests, assignments and projects. I, much like the majority of our student body, typically react to an ever-growing to-do list by starting a new show on Netflix, stress cleaning, or kid myself by saying I’ll finish an assignment when I get home from class.
So, my fellow procrastinators and avoiders, the reality is that those due dates we’ve purposely forgotten about are present and are demanding some attention. Here are some tips on how to finally tackle that mountain of work.
- Make a List
Whether you just write it all down on the closest piece of paper near you, use an app, or write on a whiteboard in your room – do it. Write down all the assignments, papers, and tests you have coming up. Get it out of your brain and onto paper.
Once you do that, prioritize with a ranking on what you need to focus on first. Take into account study time, research, group work, etc.
- Turn off distractions!
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb or completely shut it off. We are all guilty of “rewarding” ourselves with 15 minutes of twitter after only 5 minutes of being productive.
As well, if you’ve had problems with self-control like I have, there are some great apps out there to help us out! My personal favourite is GetColdTurkey.com – it’s a program for your computer that allows you to temporarily block any websites of your choice for whatever period of time you would like. I’ve done used it for multiple days during exams or for even just a few hours at the library.
- Make a study schedule
Sit down and make a time specific schedule of all your lectures, appointments, work shifts, time at the gym, and other commitments you’ve made. Now, pencil in chunks of time you’re going to study / complete projects and assignments. Treat those study times as if they are set in stone and stick to them!
- Pick a good study environment
I am horrible at being productive at home. To me, my place is where I get to relax and chill out. So, that’s where my headspace is at when I’m there. When I’m scheduling out my study time for the week I make sure I also plan where I’m going because I know home is not an option if I want to be productive.
Depending on your study preferences – pick a good location. For me, I need a busy area. My go-to places are the Nipissing Small Café, second floor of the library or even setting myself up at Twiggs! For those needing a quiet space, there is the quiet zone on the third floor of the library or Owl’s Nest Lounge!
We can make it through this Lakers! Addition to this advice, there are also plenty of amazing resources available to us.
Check out the academic resources provided by Student Learning and Transitions (As well, check out their incredible services for students!!) : http://www.nipissingu.ca/departments/student-development-and-services/academic-skills/resources/Pages/default.aspx
This is a personal favourite resource for free printable lists, calendars, assignment and essay outlines, and other organization resources: http://theorganisedstudent.tumblr.com/printables
Best of luck,