Burning the Fire too Bright

I am guilty of the age-old habit student always seem to get stuck in when a new semester strikes, which is declaring that I will do things different this time around; I will not procrastinate, I will do every single reading, and I will start every assignment a month in advance. I’m sure these all sound terribly familiar, and for the first week you may even be successful at them. Unfortunately, not long after, you suddenly start to just feel tired and overwhelmed. More than likely, it’s because your sudden passion to get things done all at once has left you burned out. The exhaustion and stress afterwards leaves you farther behind than you ever intended, creating a cycle of self-loathing, stress, and guilt. So here I have decided to compile some small aids and reminders when attempting this kind of resolution again.

Readings: We all know how important readings are when it comes to university. However, as full time students most of us know how truly impossible it is to get all the readings done on time between assignments and other responsibilities. So, two quick tips: pick one day a week devoted to doing the most important readings i.e. for seminars. The second tip is that the most important parts are the thesis and main points which means only reading the introduction and conclusion. Main points can be figured out through skimming the first and last sentence of every paragraph. Be sure to take down these parts.

Planning: putting together a schedule is great as we all know, but if you try to stuff it all into a short time you’ll simply burn out again. Once you have received your syllabus, start writing out a schedule for these assignments. However, do not over-reach when setting due dates for yourself. This can be difficult when you don’t know what your schedule will look like if you have a job, which is why flexibility is important. Make sure everything is spread out reasonably since the biggest mistake is rushing to complete everything and, once again, exhausting yourself.

These are two of the most overwhelming aspects when trying to maintain this form of resolution. It’s important to remember that pacing is everything and if you burn yourself out, you’ll end up worse for it.

– Sarah