It’s been around one to two months since school started for the majority of us. We’re slowly creeping towards that point in the semester.
We’ve all been there- the last day of summer vacation where we shine with motivation and bask in the confidence we’ve accumulated, over the past three months, that this school year will be different.
We’ve also been here- the point in the semester where we admit defeat and grudgingly accept that summer is gone. School is here to stay for better or for worse.
In my case, sleep schedules fluctuate tremendously between midnight to dawn. It’s the infamous point where back to school motivation starts to fade away and dark circles sink in under our eyes. Binders are falling apart. Papers are piling up. The six + hours of homework are overwhelming. Time seems to be literally flying.
Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m sure that all of us have been there at one time or another.
Don’t worry, it’s an overwhelming feeling for most students. A lot of us have a hard time managing our time and, possibly, an even harder time figuring out how to keep our lives from feeling out of control. Here are some tips and tricks that just might help you feel back on top of your academic game and beyond ready to take on the rest of this school year.
Academics & Time Management
We’ve all heard it before. The elementary teachers and the middle school teachers. Boy, did they try to warn us. We’ve heard the infamous “Manage your time wisely” lectures.
The only difference is that some of us took the lecture to heart but, others of us still haven’t gotten time management figured out.
Yet, it’s completely true. All the lectures were worthwhile because time management is truly important for a student. Deciding to watch one episode of “Scandal” on Netflix turns into two, which turns into nine. All of a sudden, it’s 11:30 p.m. and you have yet to start your piles of homework.
It’s not that we try to procrastinate. All of us need to take a break from time to time. The only problem is that we need to be wise about the time we spend in order to get everything done.
After all, there are only so many hours in a day.
- Create a timetable and stick to it. A timetable may sound so simplistic but it will truly be your academic best friend. Timetables are printable and can be found online, here. You can print a timetable and plan out the things that you need to do in any order that fits to the way that you like to study. Whether you enjoy taking five minute breaks every 45 minutes of studying or study for 1h30mins and break for 30 minutes, you can almost always find use in having an organized plan for your day. This will give you time to manage the break times you take and will also give you a bit of free reign to plan your time in the way that works for you.
- Recognize and list your priorities. Do you have an important calculus exam next week? Do you have a family event that you have to attend on Saturday? Do you need to work on the APUSH project due in less than a week? A student’s life is always brimming with things that need to be done. As obvious as it may seem, listing your priorities allows yourself to remember what is most important to finish by a certain amount of time and what has more time to be worked on.
- Find what works with your methods of studying. All of us have a different way that we learn and have a variety of methods in which we effectively work. Try to determine how you study best and how you manage to do work best. Do you need to work at the library instead of your room to concentrate better? Is it easier to memorize when you write the term out or when you highlight? Whichever you may need to get your work done depends solely on you. Experiment with different methods until you figure out what works with you.
- Keep distractions at bay. When I study in my room upstairs, I need to keep my phone in the kitchen downstairs. If not, I’ll become distracted for hours and hours to come and consequently, kill precious time that I need. Therefore, it’s important for me to understand what my distractions are in order to be a time-efficient student. Know what distracts you and use your knowledge as an advantage to understand what you shouldn’t do when studying or doing your work.
- Put technology to use. Are you extremely tech savvy? Do you work better by incorporating technology into your everyday study routine. Here are a couple of apps that are so helpful that they just may be the difference between a letter grade for you.
- Coffitivity – This is an app for those who need a little bit of background noise to get studying or work done! This can include morning cafe sounds and your own music as well.
- Evernote – This is an app that is basically meant for note taking that organizes them and allows for you to take much more efficient notes.
- Quizlet – Most may know what Quizlet is already, but if you don’t, Quizlet is an app that is primarily for flashcards. It is perfect for studying for tests and quizzes, particularly vocabulary based. You can create your own sets or use others’ pre-existing sets.
- Simpleminded+ – This app is for mind mapping to help you organize your thoughts, remember different things, and ignite your creativity.
Hopefully, this article was a source of inspiration that allowed you to find the strength to push forward with this academic semester! Regardless of your study habits and patterns, these tips and tricks are all inclusive to help you become a better student.
If you’re feeling a bit hopeless and tired from the way your semester is going, just remember you are not alone.