Happy October, everyone!
OK, maybe not so happy. Past us are the easy September days of reviewing syllabi in class and simply filling in our planners with those far-off due dates of papers and presentations. Past us are the days when we could give a lazy wave of the hand and say, “Oh, I know I’m going to have work, but it’s too far away to start thinking about it.” Past us are the days when we need to start thinking about it.
Juxtaposing the beautiful fall foliage that graces our fair city every year is the dark shadow that lurks behind the leaves struggling to cling to life. That shadow is midterms.
They sneak up on us every year after hanging about in the distance, nonthreatening and innocuous until October rolls around and the green disappears from the trees. Professors start reminding us to take advantage of office hours and email our teaching assistants with any questions. Deadlines and test dates loom closer. Procrastination sets in.
With the bars just a $3 cab ride or a 10-minute walk away and Facebook at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to get lost in the shuffle of high heels or news feeds in place of textbooks and study guides. Even locking yourself up in good old “Club Bartle” won’t always guarantee that you’ll remain focused and alert.
So with the pressure mounting and the number of leaves on the trees quickly dwindling, I pass on these tidbits of advice to help you maintain your sanity (or at the very least what’s left of it) and still bang out those papers in time.
Get some sleep.
Seriously. Don’t try telling me that coffee and Red Bull are enough to keep you going. You WILL remember more if you give your brain some rest, and you WILL crash if you try to keep that up.
While you’re pumping yourself with an endless supply of caffeine and sugar, your body is screaming for some H2O and electrolytes. Be nice to your body. If you help it, it will help you.
Make sure to take some time to walk or jump around for at least five to 10 minutes every once in a while. Get your blood flowing and remember that you are alive.
Try not to put off studying or starting your paper until the last possible moment. It’s the oldest and most cliché one in the book, but it rings true year after year.
Just get it done.
It’s gonna hurt, and you’re gonna be tired, and you’re gonna want to throw your stupid malfunctioning computer out the window. Don’t. You’ll be proud of yourself for finishing your work. And besides, you’re going to need that stupid computer for finals …