Well, we continue to plug along with classes. Make sure that as you are working through the semester you keep the following things in mind.
- Make sure to manage your time well – there are a lot of assignments that will come due throughout the semester, so don’t get bogged down with them. Breaking them into smaller chunks, working on pieces at a time, will help to use the smaller pockets of time you have available during the week. This is especially true when you begin studying for your exams. It may be better to study your material for an hour, at three different times of the week, than to wait and study the material in one three-hour chunk.
- Make sure you seek help when needed – if you are unclear on a concept or topic in your class work or in your readings, no one is going to double check that for you. Make sure to ask lots of questions in class, see your professors during their office hours or ask your friends for help. Being proactive on this can save you a lot of confusion when it comes to studying for your exams and finishing other class assignments.
- Beware of the “illusion of free time” – returning students know all about this: the temptation to see that there is not much to do on the syllabi for your classes, and then assuming that you have all the time in the world to go and play. Some professors will have big assignments looming in the coming weeks, like papers or exams, and if you wait to work on them until the week that they are due, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Always have a 2-3 week focus, look at what is due this week, but be aware of what is coming in the next 2-3 weeks as well. This will help you to recognize the difference between the illusion of free time, and actual free time.
- Make sure to have fun – stress relief is huge during the semester, so make sure to schedule in some fun. But be reasonable. Going to a movie at the theaters might not be the best use of time, since it takes a while to travel to the theater, get your seat, see the movie and come home. But watching a movie in your friend’s room might be ok. Spending four hours on Facebook might not be a good option, but spending 20 minutes there catching up with friends and family might work within your day quite well. So be smart in how you choose your stress relievers.
Best of luck to you all as you conquer the next few weeks!