November 2012
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End of the Semester Panic…Survival Tips

Day one back from break has been eye opening and somewhat fear inspiring. With only two weeks left in the semester, students can be filled with both the relief of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and the stress of the fact that finals are only two weeks away. Also factoring into all of this is the exciting premise of the Holiday Season which has the tendency to make us relax and not sweat the small things all the while the small things are becoming more and more important. This of course not aided by the Holiday music playing in Decker student center. In any case, this has all combined to make me a semi-efficient, slap-happy mess.

Luckily I have the advantage now, as a sophomore, having been through this last year. If you’re like me, time management is much easier said than done. And I have the basic idea down. For example, I have no classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I have set to scheduling the HUGE block of free-time I have in the middle of the day, dividing the time equally among all four of my main classes, to make it as productive as possible. The problem with this, not surprisingly, is 1.) sticking to your plan, and 2.) when assignments take longer than you had thought. My Lit by Women class is tricky in this sense because my ability to sit and efficiently/effectively read a text is largely dependent on my mood which is variable like anything.

As I’m writing this post I have just finished what I hope will be the solution to my problem. See the end of the term has thrown a few curve balls at me. One of which is a full-semester research paper, one that I have not started, due next week. Since it is for my SIS (Sophomore Interdisciplinary Seminar) and not a class within my major, I don’t need to stress about it, still it needs to get done. So I have made a schedule and set individual goals within the assignment. By Wednesday I need to have all my research done, by Thursday I hope to have a Thesis and by Saturday afternoon I hope to have finished writing the paper then take it to the Writing Center to have a skilled set of eyes look it over and tell me what needs improvement and how to make a it a satisfactory paper.

The best way to attack a big assignment, especially if you’ve procrastinated like we all do, is to break it up and make it seem smaller. Then be sure to use campus resources like the Writing Center because they’re students too and they understand your battle. At the risk of being too preachy, the moral is to start your work early…but if you’re like me there’s still a way to make up for your mistake if you just stay calm and organize.

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