At the start of the semester, it is SO easy to start positively and be on top of assignments, especially for the first couple of weeks of the semester. Unfortunately, things start to go downhill after that.
5 reasons why things start to go downhill:
- You make a mistake. Once you make one mistake, you may feel like you’ve screwed up and there’s no point in continuing to work hard.
- You get overwhelmed. This happens so easily! Assignments and commitments begin to pile up and you have too many items you have to juggle.
- You don’t get enough sleep. This one kind of coincides with reason #2. With so many things on your plate, you have no time to sleep!!!!
- You’re hanging out with your friends instead of making time for studying. To be honest, I’m very guilty of this one too. It’s definitely more fun to avoid homework and hang out with friends instead!
- You’re not passionate about what you’re studying. The fact is, no one likes doing what they hate. So why would your semester go well if you hate what you’re studying?!
If you’re guilty of one or more of the items above, below are some tips for helping you get through the semester on a more positive note:
- Focus on your wins. Every assignment, every completed commitment, every above-failing grade, every step towards progress is an achievement. They bring you one step closer to your goal. Therefore, they definitely deserve a little celebration! By focusing on these wins, you’re less likely to think about the negative things that may occur.
- When something negative happens, make a list of actions that can be taken to prevent it occuring again. This is going to serve as both your plan towards a better outcome and as a reminder of what you shouldn’t do in the future.
- Plan and organize! I cannot stress enough about how important it is to plan ahead for assignments and to organize everything that needs to be done. Doing so will give you a picture of what needs to be done to stay on the right path. With planning and organization, you will be less likely to get overwhelmed because your subconscious mind will see that everything is under control. I highly suggest using an agenda/planner each semester (or even in your personal life). Once your life is planned and organized, you’ll see that you can actually sleep early! I know that seems impossible now, but you’ll think differently once you implement this step.
- Schedule dates with friends wisely. If they are also in school, talk to them about how you guys can be productive hanging out together. Maybe you can schedule study dates instead of going out to a restaurant or hanging out at home. You can also keep dates to a minimum of one or two per week during the semester because you need to study first. If your homework isn’t completed, tell yourself that you can’t hang out with friends until your assignments are completed.
- Change your major. Sometimes the root of the problem is simple. It was for me! I lost my passion for my previous major and my grades began to suffer. Once I changed my major, I began to listen more in class did better! Think about what your passions are and see if your major coincides with your passions.
I hope this post was helpful to you. Wishing you a positive and productive semester!
– Alena V.