There’s some unspoken truth that spring semester is always harder than fall. Whether it be a time constraint or just tougher material, it can be both physically exhausting and mentally draining. Here are some tips:
1. Ask for help! start with the professor, it literally is their job to educate you. And use them – email them and go to their office hours! you went to extra help in secondary school, so why stop now? If your professor isn’t an option for help, ask an advisor they might be able to set you up with a TA or a tutor. If all else fails, ask a friend – they might know the material better than you do, and that’s okay; meet at Starbucks and shower them in coffee as they explain the lectures to you.
2. Join the schools Facebook group. I can’t tell you how much this group is actually beneficial to you. Having trouble scheduling? Ask in the group. Having trouble with homework? Ask in the group. Want to be more involved and get all the cool (most of the time FREE) benefits of college? Ask in the group. someone always has an answer for you, it’s like magic.
3. Unplug. Spring semester can be very overwhelming. Especially in current times there is going to be a ton of information circulating everywhere, and most of it is not positive. Too much of this info can cause a system overload especially when you’re trying to cram for your Human Behavior exam. It is okay to shut your phone off. It is okay to turn it on silent, to mute your GroupMe and just take a little bit of a break. The information of the world and your friends will still be there after you read those 78 pages.
4. Midterms & Finals. This one is tough. First, it is important to eat, shower, drink water (all that coffee & tea can be dehydrating), and sleep, please sleep. Also, explain to your family, significant others, even pets why it seems like you turned into a space alien recently. Remember that Facebook group I was talking about, check it – often there are study sessions posted or free midnight breakfast in the library – you’ll get through them. It’ll happen.
5. Go out. Nothing is worse than forgetting the world exists outside of your BioChem textbook and PowerPoint slides. Go get a cup of coffee (leave your books at home though.) Go out to dinner. Call a friend, go to a bar, see a movie. Do something. Hell, even watch bad reality television. Do something for you to not feel like you’re in overdrive. I promise your readings will still be there when you wake up. Self care is the best care.
6. Listen to your body. If you are pushing yourself too hard, you’ll know. If you’re sick don’t push through it like you would on a sprained ankle the last leg of a race. Go to a doctor. If you wake up and know you need to sleep longer – sleep in, shoot your professor and email and explain that you’re so burnt out that if you went to class you’d be so unfocused it would be like you weren’t even there. If you feel yourself becoming too anxious or overwhelmed, talk to someone. Call your therapist, don’t skip out on your needs/meds to get those 15 more minutes of cram time.
7. Get organized. Get a planner! This thing is saving my life. Any planner will do ( I have a Lily Pulitzer & Passion Planner and they’re amazing). If you write down due dates, they don’t sneak up on you. Schedule everything in, hangouts, dates, study sessions. Trust me, it helps a lot when you have a visualization of not only what your semester looks like, but your day.
8. Make learning fun and not a punishment. It can be hard seeing all your friends on a Sunday brunching in NYC and you thinking of the paper you have to write. Make a study group! Do work together. Go to your local coffee shops (libraries are good for finals/midterms but they’re very quiet). And if you’re of age, have a drink while cramming, it’ll be like you’re at brunch. *Disclaimer, don’t get drunk and write your assignments. Not what i’m saying. *
Lastly, spring semester is three months long. You can absolutely do this.