Now that the holidays are coming to a close, you’ve had time to reflect on the successes and setbacks of your last academic term. Maybe your marks weren’t as high as you would’ve liked. Or, perhaps, you aced your exams but felt like you nearly lost your sanity in the process.
The beginning of a term is the best time to be proactive, and plan for academic success for the months ahead. When the workload hits in full force, stress often wins and you find yourself cramming last minute. Some last minute work may be unavoidable for university students, but it doesn’t have to be a consistent pattern. These proactive strategies can help ensure you’ll do your best work all winter long.
- Don’t skimp out on sleep. With readings, extracurriculars and socializing, university students often let sleep fall to the wayside. But when you’re tired, you lack the necessary energy to do the work to stay ahead. This sets in motion a vicious cycle, and before you know it, you’re behind in your coursework. It’s essential to prioritize sleep, and plan to get 7-8 hours, if possible.
- Make a readings schedule. Even if you don’t typically plan your days, scheduling your readings helps ensure they get done. You know that once you miss a reading, they accumulate to the point where you’ll face a scary amount before an exam. Plan in advance to preserve your sanity come exam time. Set aside an hour or two a day that you can spend doing your readings for each class.
- Cook your meals in advance. If you thought meal prepping was only for health-conscious fitness fanatics, think again. By spending a Sunday evening cooking in bulk, you’re freeing up your weeknights to study. When you have a deadline and only need two minutes to heat up dinner, you’ll be thankful you made this a habit.
- Study with friends. Classmates often have different study strategies or ways or processing course material than you. Learning how other students study could help you refine your own habits. In addition, any student knows that during midterms and exams, it’s difficult to see friends and make time for school. Studying with friends makes a great way to combine socializing with staying on top of your courses.
Featured image source: Psych Central