Pull Over! That Bag Too Packed!

March 31, 2014 10:29 pm3,285 comments
Photo: Flickr, College Student Studying

Photo: Flickr, College Student Studying

While finals are just about one month away, professors have begun to pile on the essays, presentations and exams, coincidentally all due on the same day or if you are lucky enough, the same week. You have that 10 page research paper due in your English 101 class by Tuesday and your 15 minute oral presentation about the US relying too much on foreign oil for that Philadelphia seminar due that Monday. Oh, and you can’t forget the 14 articles and summaries that you have to find for your Holocaust seminar that you should have been working on each week since the course started in January. That would be due that upcoming Friday. So, you start worrying about splitting your time between each assignment and, of course, you can’t bullshit any of it because you already bullshitted those three previous assignments and now your grade is lingering at that awkward stage where you either pass with a B or a C. You start thinking to yourself all those horrid thoughts about staying up until 6am working on that presentation that you have to present by 1:30pm when you should have had it done days ago because you still have to focus on that 10 page research paper that’s due tomorrow. Then, it hits you. Shittt! I have an exam in my Science in Civilization class at 8:30am and I still have not studied! So, how do you go about tackling all of these tasks while making certain that you are giving them your complete attention? Here are five tips that may help you achieve balance.

Tip 1: Breatheee! You have done this before. For those overwhelmed freshman, all those years in high school were not for nothing. Just remember having to take those standardized tests over a week period and all those final exams and presentations for…how many classes? 7? This should be a breeze for you. For the rest of the Arcadia students, this is nothing that you cannot handle. If you can stay up drinking from 10pm on a Thursday way into 4am on a Sunday, then you can conquer writing those research papers and putting together presentations.

Tip 2: Make An Agenda. It may be helpful to take a look at your syllabus for each class and highlight every assignment that is due in the upcoming weeks. If you are a fellow nerd, then perhaps compiling a chart of what assignments are due for each class and when they need to be turned in will put your priorities into perspective. Come up with a system for determining which assignments can be knocked out in a couple hours and which of them need a few days.

Tip 3: The Hours Come Before Days. Students debate all the time on whether or not the easy assignments should be completed first or last. Completing the easy assignments first may take off a great amount of weight on your to-do list, freeing up your mind to focus on the bigger assignments. So, set aside a couple hours on a particular day to knock out that 3 or 5 page paper and another hour for finishing reading that book so you can start on your 2 page report. Make sure to cross off those completed assignments on your agenda.

Tip 4: Tackle the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now that you have finished your easy assignments, you have narrowed your to-do list down to those time consuming assignments. If you have a couple of free days, then go ahead and knock those big assignments out, but if you have a tight schedule, then you will need to be strict when setting aside a time to work on your tasks. You might even have to reschedule all of your party time and go ghost for a few days. Free up your schedule. Set a time to work on those T-Rexes. Stick to your time. Find a comfortable place and make sure to take a few five minute breaks just to scream in elation at how much progress you are making. One word means 1,499 to go.

Tip 5: Study! Study! Study! You don’t want to cram an hour before taking your exam. You want to give yourself at least 3 or 4 days to study for that upcoming test. In the midst of writing essays, preparing for presentations, going to class and working, you still need to find the time to sit down and study. If you can’t spare two, then one hour is sufficient in studying right before bed time over the course of a few days, adding another hour of studying when you are getting ready to start your day in the morning. However, you may not have 3 or 4 days. You may find yourself up at 4am studying for your exam that is at 8:30am. In this case, cram! Cram! Cram! And hope you get at least a half hour of sleep.

Don’t get so overwhelmed at the upcoming finals at the end of the semester. You have just about one month to prepare. Take a look at your syllabi now, create an agenda, and start working.

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