We are just a couple of months into the academic year, and this is when the students’ workload really picks up. Tests, essays, and midterms pile up as each teacher and professor assigns tasks that they consider the students’ priority. And while this is not done maliciously, it is the student’s job to balance their time between all these assignments and navigate through their busy schedule. This is the time when students forego their healthy eating habits, social interactions, and even rest. Yet these are essential for success in school and beyond. Today, we will discuss how you can alleviate some of the stress during the busiest times of the academic year and keep a healthy lifestyle.
Plan Your Essays and Assignments Ahead of Time
While this advice may seem trivial, it can really help you navigate the busiest segments of your academic year. How can you plan your assignments ahead of time? Typically, when you begin a class, the instructor shares the semester’s schedule with the students. Use the course schedule to plan when you should begin your assignment. If it’s an essay that requires long preparation, then give yourself at least three weeks to gather the necessary information and start the essay outline. This prep will relieve stress and anxiety when you actually sit down to write your paper.
But what if you are not sure what you want to write at this point? This is when the schedule the instructor shared with you can come in handy once again. Look through the topics of lectures scheduled throughout the semester. Search for a topic that grabs your attention and begin your research.
Planning your assignments will not only help you complete them on time, but also let you enjoy the process of learning without stress.
Find Ways to Be Social During Busy Academic Stretches
If your coursework includes verbal presentations, this is a great chance to practice your public speaking skills and bond with your classmates. Studying can sometimes be an isolating activity. Many class assignments require you to complete assignments alone: reading, writing, and even test-taking are done independently. This kind of isolation can be difficult to handle throughout an academic year. But you can definitely invite your friends and classmates to practice your presentation. While they may not be able to help you research and write the presentation, they can certainly give you feedback when they hear your speech. Ask them if they found the presentation engaging and the content interesting? Ask them if you were engaging with the audience? Not only will their feedback improve your presentation, but will help you stay connected with your friends and classmates.
Ask for Help
We have stated many times that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. But this is worth a reminder for students who struggle, especially in their first year of college. The workload shift between high school and college is tremendous. While you may have found high school workload quite manageable, the expectations in college can be difficult to adjust to. Most professors and instructors are aware of this. Asking for clarifications and help is absolutely expected, and academic institutions do their best to provide services to make the transition from high school to college as painless as possible.
If you are looking for help regarding your coursework, make sure to approach your instructors or TAs during office hours. They can go over the material with you one-on-one and help you with course content. If you are looking for help with skill-building and time management, you may want to search for student-run tutoring services on campus. These services typically help students build their writing skills and organizational skills. They may help you design a study plan or aid with structuring your essays. These are worth looking into also because you will not feel alone when studying gets tough. When you experience setbacks in isolation, it’s easy to think that it’s just you who is experiencing these problems. When you join a student group that helps students with academic loads, you will feel less alone.
These strategies should help you keep you focused on your academic performance without sacrificing your health and happiness. Many students relinquish sleep and healthy eating to get that high GPA. However, this kind of attitude is harmful to your health and is after all unsustainable. Keep in mind that education, whether it’s high school, college, or grad school, should also bring joy. Do not sacrifice your happiness and well-being for an A in a course.