I was determined to graduate in June and when I realized I would need to take six courses to do so this semester, I decided to bite the bullet and do what I needed to do. However, it has made the semester increasingly difficult with consistent conflicting deadlines – when family emergencies or illness set in, it put me way behind.
In a few of my courses, I’m still playing catch up.
Now, we’re on the home stretch – a few more weeks left of the semester and the assignments are pouring in. Here’s how I’m attempting to get ready, and protect my mental health at the same time.
1. Make a List of Assignments, Deadlines and Weights
Best way to start getting an idea? Know what’s coming up and what takes priority. By understanding when the deadlines are, I can prioritize what aspects of each assignments should be done when and when should I start working on putting together my assignments.
For example, tomorrow I have an assignment due – so that takes priority, however, I have an 8 page paper due next week – that still means I should be working on research and putting together my notes to begin writing soon.
2. Procrastinate Productively
You know it, I know it – the procrastination is inevitable. However, instead of binge-watching Criminal Minds for the 10th time, I decided I am going to use up some of my restless energy by spending time working out.
Going for a 45 minute walk on the treadmill or now that the weather is improving, outside, and taking some time to ground myself.
Exercise has been also researched as one of the best ways to improve your memory, thinking skills and help with concentration!
3. Study Smarter not Harder
One of the greatest mistakes I make when studying is overthinking, overthinking the instructions for an assignment, thinking I need to absolutely rewrite all of my midterm notes for the final exam, etc.
When you have 6 final papers and 6 assessments all within 2 weeks – who has the time to do all that? To prepare for papers, I’m creating an outline of the instructions and how I can best organize my thoughts, and to prepare for exams I’m important concepts from lecture and studying what was relevant to them.
4. Get Sleep
Enough said, to help prevent burnout I am prioritizing my sleep and mental health.
When you have to get up at 4:00am to commute to Toronto, you need your sleep – and when you go without sleep it becomes harder to concentrate on the tasks at hand. What is 2% compared to full night of sleep and a little extra review?
Exam season is hard enough. Don’t make it harder for you to get through it – and of course – never be afraid to reach out to professors with your concerns!