Now that the semester is over half-way through, students seem to be finding themselves flooded with midterms, papers, and projects for classes that are doubling their pace as the end of the school year nears. These next five weeks of classes (not including Finals Week) will play an integral role in how your grade turns out, so it is not something to take lightly. Fortunately, there are ways to make these next few weeks count!
Check with professors
First things first— find out your professor’s office hours and take the time out of your day to talk to them. Ask about your grade, and if you are not where you want to be, ask how you can improve. The mere fact that you care and are being proactive may be the difference between an A- and an A. However, don’t let that thought coax you into a false sense of security— in the end, it is up to you and you alone to bring up your grade, or if you like where you are at, keep it right where it is. For those of you who did not do as well as you would have liked the first semester, this second semester is the perfect opportunity to redeem yourself, so use it wisely.
Study smarter, not harder
This is a piece of advice I have received multiple times throughout my life, and before college, it never made much sense to me. However, now I understand that there are many ways to study without spending an entire day focused on one subject. For example, set aside all distractions and study for two hours straight, then take a thirty-minute break, and repeat for however much time necessary. This goes for homework as well— do not let distractions constantly deter your progress, but don’t spend hours and hours working without any breaks in between, otherwise you may wear yourself out mentally. For studying, one thing that I have always found helpful is making flash cards and re-reading the text. You might be surprised at just how many little details your subconscious retains after reading through a chapter, which always proves as a pleasant surprise during an exam.
Organize your schedule
One thing I am still working on is time management, but I have found several ways to organize my schedule, such as writing down everything I can remember into my planner and filling out a “Time Manager” sheet from the Academic Resource Center, which I have pinned on the bulletin board at my desk so it is always in sight. It includes my daily schedule for the week, such as classes, meal times, sleep, extracurriculars, and gym time. Organizing your time is extremely important— you need to make time to study and do homework, but also take out a chunk of time for yourself so as to stay sane and relax. Of course, not everybody is a big planner, but even just thinking about what you are going to do and when you are going to do it when you wake up in the morning may make a difference, as opposed to not having any sort of plan at all.
Keep this advice in mind as you go through the rest of the semester, and I wish you all the best of luck with all of your remaining essays and midterms!