Three exams, two papers, and hours upon hours of online homework. And it isn’t even midterms week yet. Honors students are expected to put in plenty of work for their classes, especially for first year students who must take twelve or more credits of honors coursework. Combine this with extracurriculars like clubs with deadlines, interviews for new positions, and fraternity or sorority rush. It is easy to see how students can get behind on work that just builds on top of previous assignments. So how can studious undergrads put in the effort to stay on top of school while maintaining their social life and other fun activities?
Procrastination is always the easy way out of work and favored by many smart honors students who are finally receiving a challenge with schoolwork. This habit will have to end as the semester plows ahead, leaving any stragglers behind. Setting a goal for the day and planning for the weeks ahead will help in time management, and will let you visualize and manage due dates with a to do list. This can be as simple as using Notes on your iPhone, which allows you to sync to your Mac, or even using dedicated annotation and checklist software such as Google Keep or Evernote. Extend this to specific classes or clubs and you’ll be all set to see what is on the table for the week and where you should focus your time. Once you find what you need to do, how can you find motivation to start?
Again, planning is key here. A goal in mind and determination is not always enough, so it helps to keep a reward in mind for completing the assignment. Depending on your enthusiasm for the work, the prize could be the enjoyment of writing a blog post for your interesting elective class. For many of us, a more realistic trophy might be a short study break with snacks and a few scrolls on Instagram. Keeping yourself on task until this study break may be the hardest part of studying, making it extremely important to minimize distractions and putting yourself in the right mindset.
Redding Hall provides many wonderful lounges to sit down and grind out an essay, but many tight-knit floor communities also make great use of the lounge for recreation and hanging out. This results in a poor study environment, but luckily Redding and the greater campus have many solutions to this problem. A variety of lounges for group or silent work can be found on the first floor, and if these fill up (during finals week they will), then the library offers the next logical solution. One great benefit of this location is the easy access to print and online sources, but again it can get crowded during busy weeks. Some of my favorite spots on campus where I can solely focus on my work are at the very modern ISE building or while enjoying a great coffee at Brew-HaHa! When the weather finally turns into spring, the expanse of The Green is great for a solar powered study session.
With these tips, it is easy to divvy up a potentially dreadful week into several easy blocks of work. Make it your mission to finish your work on time and with your best effort. Honors students get work done! You own the game, don’t let the game own you!
Image source: https://www1.udel.edu/iselab/naming/images/features/exterior-night-lrg.jpg
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