‘Tis the season… to cram for finals… fa la la la la la la la la
Can we all just take a moment to realize that there are only 10 days left of actual school before exams start?! If your schedule is anything like mine, then this week is still pretty manageable, but come next week it will be all late nights and long hours of studying. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a procrastinator, but from time to time I find myself unmotivated to study. I also get the worst writer’s block when it comes to writing my essays! The university struggle is real… but there is a solution. Time management, which may be something hard for us to do as university students, but I think this is the only way any of us are going to get through these last few weeks alive.
Think about it…. how many final exams, projects, essays, reports or end of semester deadlines do you have to meet? Balancing five courses can be tricky, and prioritizing what to do first can be a daunting task but it has to be done. There is no way you can try and accomplish everything all at once, so simply cross out the projects or assignments that can wait and focus at the project at hand. Now, this doesn’t mean you wait until the day before to do each project. It just means that you have to realize what is more important to accomplish at this moment.
So this next part may make me sound like a complete nerd, but using my day planner is my life saver. It lets me know what things in each of my courses have to get accomplished on which day. But….I think my biggest help is my giant four month calendar hanging on my wall. Probably the most nerdy statement yet, but it works! On it I put all of my midterms and final exam dates, along with all of my projects, essays and assignments that are due throughout the semester. This way I know when my busiest weeks are and when my lighter ones are. It allows me to manage my time properly 😉 but on a more serious note, I’m serious! I know exactly what to expect and when to expect it.
Here’s another helpful hint for effective time management: do you guys have maybe one or two hour breaks between your classes? I have at least one hour between each of my classes, and sometimes this hour is so useful for catching up on homework, but it is also sooo easy to waste that time searching Facebook, or chatting with friends. So, here’s a solution. Do both! No one said you had to be a serious university student 24/7. Let yourself have a break to breath in between classes, chat it up with your friends, or peruse some social media. Then, once you feel all refreshed and ready to go, you can spend some time on preparing for your next class or maybe just even reading over your notes from the previous lecture to know where you’re headed next. Sometimes even simple little things like these are enough to remind you of the topics you have been discussing in that course so you’ll know what to study come exam season.
Did you know?! Western offers Learning Skill Presentations on topics like writing exams, managing your time effectively and even proper study techniques! Check them out at: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/learning/presentations/index.html
Managing your time won’t be easy, but the more you do it the more you’ll get used to it and appreciate it. In reality, if we all managed our time well, we would probably have more free time to watch the latest show on Netflix anyways! (because who doesn’t love Orange is the New Black?!) So don’t be afraid to try some of these things out. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and actually like being organized 😉