As we enter the midpoint of the semester, stressors start to run high. There seems to be too much to do and not enough time to do it, but with some careful planning and focused follow-through, you can get everything done that needs to get done and make it to the end of the semester in one piece.
Find a system
Set aside an hour and plan your next few weeks’ worth of obligations and assignments in a planner or calendar of your choice. An app or a paper planner can work great but only if you actually use them and look at them each day.
It can be overwhelming to see everything that needs to get done on a calendar, but keep in mind you are working day by day towards a goal.
Form a plan
Plot out everything, even the obvious things on your schedule like your time for eating and sleeping, going to class, SI sessions and big events like concerts, games, plays, meetings, etc. If it’s something you are going to take time to do, it should go on the planner.
This will show you the pockets of time you have for homework, studying, errands, etc. as well as show you if you are overcommitted and where you might need to make some changes.
Remember, if you do not have at least small pockets of time to do things just for yourself, this will come back to haunt you in the form of illness or burnout later. Schedule small breaks during the day to eat, relax, or grab a quick nap or a cup of coffee.
Prepare for greatness
Brush your teeth, grab your water bottle and an apple and get going. You can’t be your best on an empty stomach or zero hours of sleep. Taking care of your basic needs is a must for making it through a busy semester.
Pack healthy snacks in your bag, wear layers as it gets colder, and get some rest. Just say, “no!” to that one more hour of late night television or trip to Walmart.
Get to work
Put your plan into action. Check your calendar in the morning and the evening to stay on track with what needs to get done each day. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish with a little focus and a timeline.
Use a timer to time your breaks, study sessions, workouts, etc. Always checking the time can be stressful and lead you to a distraction on your phone or on your computer that could throw you off task.
Trust and Use Your Resources
Trust that you can do this! Trust that you can accomplish what you set out to do and keep taking small steps forward toward your goal each day.
When it feels like too much, enlist assistance in the form of a professor, a Residence Assistant in your dorm, the NSU Counseling Center, or the Math & Writing Center. Use the helpful services that are set up at school to help you succeed and know that, yes, you will make it to the end.