10 Ways to Stay On Top of the Semester

Find a study space. Most colleges provide desks in the dorm rooms because they are meant to be study spaces for students. However, your dorm room is filled with distractions. From your cell phone to your television and roommates, there is too much going on in the average dorm room that could be detrimental to a person’s academic health. The best thing to do is to find a place away from home where you can be productive. Some people have a specific table or couch in their universities’ library, some frequent coffee shops, some go to parks. Whatever space you choose to study in, make sure there aren’t too many distractions that you can’t handle.

Manage your time. Use your time wisely. Plan ahead, even if it’s as short of a period as 3 hours. Wake up every morning with a clear idea of what you’ll be doing with your time. Designate a few hours to each class and work extracurricular activities in around them.

 Make lists. Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’m forgetting to do something,” and having a hard time remembering what it was? That’s probably because you didn’t write it down. If you make lists of all the assignments you have due, and their due dates, you’ll spend less time trying to remember what to do and have more time for getting things done. You will feel a sense of accomplishment once all the tasks are complete.

Use a planner. A planner can be a supplement to the lists. You can use your planner to decide which tasks you will handle each day. The best way to keep up with class work and extracurricular activities on a daily basis is to use a planner. Planners are sold in your campus bookstore, at drug stores, Wal-Mart, and Target. It’s best to purchase a planner that has enough space for you to write at least eight activities every day. You can also use your phone as a planner. You can use the calendar app or download a planner app from the app store.

 Form a study group. Study groups are a great way to stay on top of your work. They’ll help you stay current in class because chances are, one person out of the group will remember an assignment you’ve forgotten about. A study group can take some of the classwork load of if everyone in the group is in the same class. (It’s also a great lesson in holding yourself and others accountable.)

 Talk to your professors. Do NOT be afraid to stop by your professors’ office during office hours. They set office hours so that their students (YOU) can talk to them about what you don’t understand. They make themselves available to help you, use them.

Be on time. Punctuality is very important. Make sure you turn all of your work on when it’s due.

Work ahead. If your professor accepts early assignments, turn your work in as soon as you get done with it so that it’s one less thing you have to worry about. If not, use your lists and your planners to remind yourself of due dates. Don’t wait until the last minute to do an assignment or study for a test, you’ll regret it.

 Take study breaks. Breaks are important. You need time to relax, eat, walk around and give your brain a timeout. Otherwise, you’ll get a headache or you’ll start to get sleepy and you’ll quit studying. 

And the most important way to stay on top of your work this school year is: Rest! You may already know that rest is very important in general. Well, “in general” includes during the academic year also. It seems like the best thing to do in college is pull an all-nighter, but it’s not. Procrastinating will not keep you on top of the semester, it will only pull you down.

Now take these tips, and apply them to life!


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