Student Blog: Tools to Take Advantage of Next Semester

How to tackle an overwhelming semester -from an obsessive student

Student Blog: Tools to Take Advantage of Next Semester

I think personally, my biggest tool to get through school is my drive. Doing online school made me a very disciplined student and I’ve kind of always been someone who doesn’t procrastinate much and works hard for my grades. Especially in college working on stuff I really care about, it comes pretty easy to me to keep a good routine. So I stretched a bit to come up with some tips other than changing your whole mindset to be like mine because I realize that is unrealistic for a lot of people who see school as unnecessary or feel burnout. But these are still things that really help me out and will hopefully help you out too!

I think the most important tool you can have in college is time. The art of giving yourself enough time to complete your assignments. This is especially important to me for essays, I need at least 3 days to work on an essay, hate it, realize it’s actually not that bad, edit it, and submit it. I think starting an assignment as early as possible is the best way to go. During something like tech week, this can be especially difficult. I worked as a light board operator for my school’s production of "9 to 5," so I only had to be there nightly during tech week. During a packed time like that, it is crucial to make sure you get work done in your free time to avoid having assignments looming during the late nights. 

Other advice I would give is to take any and all extra credit opportunities if you have the time for it. Even classes that you’re doing well in, it’s nice to have that cushioning before the big exams come up. Some of my theater focused classes provide an opportunity to usher for a local theater to get extra credit. Not only will that get you a good grade, but also a chance to make new connections and add to your resume. I definitely recommend using any study guides that your professors give you, as it’s usually the best thing to go off of for exams. It can be hard to find good studying strategies, but Quizlet is great for classes like U.S. government or history that are focused on memorizing concepts. If you’re struggling on an essay, I would recommend checking if your school has a writing center. It’s worthwhile to make an appointment and meet up with someone, they could have experience with the same class you’re working on, so they’re a good source to get advice from, explore ideas, and ensure you get the best grade. 

Keeping up with your Canvas, Blackboard, or whatever application your school uses is always important. I highly recommend a calendar, especially for finals season, to keep yourself organized and know exactly what to focus on and when. 

If you’re like me and occasionally overwork yourself/put too much stress on yourself during the school year, it’s always good to take a step back when you can. It’s okay to do closer to the bare minimum. You don’t have to give your all into every assignment, especially ones that aren’t your primal focus. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In this day and age, our professors can be just one email away. 

Tools work differently for everyone, but I hope something from this is helpful. There are so many ways to tackle an overwhelming semester, all we can do is our best to work hard and ask for help when we need it.