What to do when you have five assignments to do in a week

The reality of university is having a bunch of classes in a semester and only a few weeks for them all. The semester is surprisingly short, at first it may seem like 12 weeks is loads of time, but in actuality it’s incredibly short. So the inevitable tends to happen, all your professors seem to have all planned out that your final assignments and essays are all due on the same week.

This has happened to me every semester since I have started university. In my first semester, I went three days straight without sleeping at all and then another two with a combined total of 4 hours of sleep. It is a tough time and draining for anybody. This is not meant to scare anyone coming into university. You do not have to be a machine who can just complete mass amounts of work without crashing.

Now I’m not going to start preaching about how you have to plan out getting assignments done weeks and weeks ahead of time. Some people need weeks to get them all done whereas others can do it in a day or two. Coming into university, I would pull all-nighters and whip out an assignment and manage to get a good mark in high school, and this worked for me in the first semester of my first year. Now, however, I need to plan out my assignments at least two weeks ahead of time because I can’t handle the stress of writing a paper in a night or two.

What needs to happen is to find out what works for you. Use your first semester to find out what seems to be the most beneficial strategy for yourself. Now with that, keep in mind your own mental health. Yes, you may be able to write a good paper in a night, but at what cost? A night of intense stress and anxiety? A sleepless night that takes a few days to recover from? Skipping an entire day of classes?

What you need to do is weigh the costs and benefits. It is difficult to escape the habit of procrastination. Ease into it, instead of the night before, try 2 or 3 nights before, or give yourself a false due date a week before the assignment is actually due. Try different things until you are able to start at a time that works well for you without feeling like you are in way over your head.

It’s a learning curve, I was not able to effectively avoid procrastination until second semester of my second year. Even now, there are a few days here and there where I do leave a bit too much of my assignment until the last minute. It’s not a perfect art, but remember to keep yourself motivated and try your best for the sake of your mental health and your overall wellbeing. Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to be in your third year writing a ten page paper the night before worth 30% of your grade because it is way worse than writing a four page paper worth 15% in your first year.

– Jenn