College students – mind your calendars!
Ah, spring break! What a lovely time to kick your feet up, relax, sneak in a nap, and rejuvenate for the second half of the semester. Happily you have weeks and weeks to get your academic work done. Chill!
Or not. This is a great time to dust off your syllabi, grab your calendar, and make some plans. While it -seems like there is sooo much time left in the semester, in reality, most of us have 7-8 weeks to pull off an academic miracle. Here are some tips to facilitate success:
- Truly, get your syllabi and your calendar. Write down every assignment and test. Write down when you need to start studying for those exams, and when you need to start writing those papers.
- Big papers and projects? Chop those into small steps, and then write all your steps on the calendar. When do you plan to start each bit, and when do you plan to finish each bit?
- Lots and lots of rewards. Please reward effort, time spent on task, task completion, extra rewards for crummy tasks.
- Office hours. If you have questions, please visit with your instructors and teaching assistants. They are just people, too, and probably can help you. I’ve never heard of anyone saying that visiting with their instructor was a waste of time, but I have heard people say that they wish they had visited earlier in the semester. Scared? Grab a friend to join you, but go.to.office.hours.
- I just (begrudgingly) read a book about gratitude. Ends up most of us could be more grateful, and the research supports tremendous benefits of gratitude: improved health, improved happiness, more goal directed behaviors, and improved relationships. Try to write down 3 things (most days) for which you are grateful. Me? I’m grateful that I have such fantastic clients and a fulfilling job. You might be grateful that you have a laptop that works, a supportive family, invigorating classes, and food to eat.
- Sleep enough, often enough.
- Eat well and eat nourishing foods.
- Get adequate exercise.
- Access appropriate social supports.
- Have some leisure time, but not allllll the leisure time ever invented.
Sure, school can be stressful and challenging. But with some planning and lots of small rewards, you can get all those tasks done!