As of six weeks ago, spring is officially in the air! With the warmer weather and longer days, it’s nice to see more people out and about on campus — going on walks, playing volleyball, studying in the sun, fundraising outside and willingly getting pied in the face. The change in weather has resulted in a much-needed serotonin boost, but I’m here to stop you before you get a little too carried away with spring festivities. Those lab reports, essays and discussion posts aren’t going to write themselves! As a freshman with premature senioritis, here are my tips on staying academically motivated in the spring/summer…
- Stay Organized
PSA: glancing at your calendar on BlackBoard every once in a while isn’t sufficient!
Sure, it is important to know when major projects and essays are due, but beyond that, try to make a to-do list everyday to break up your work. It can be daunting to look at dozens of upcoming project deadlines and exam dates, but fight the urge to immediately toss your laptop aside in exasperation! I personally love to-do lists and believe that there’s nothing more satisfying than checking off all the boxes on your list at the end of the day. And please, stay away from mental to-do lists. You’ll find yourself obsessively repeating the list to yourself multiple times a day and those headaches aren’t worth it. Instead, get everything you need to do out of your head and onto paper or in your phone.
- Set Small, Realistic Goals
As for the actual content of daily to-do lists, try to break up your work into small, specific and manageable tasks. For instance, instead of writing “write an article for The Triangle,” try something like “brainstorm springtime-related article ideas for Triangle article.” When you see small and simple tasks on your list, you’ll be more inclined to actually get them done. Plus, you might even find yourself getting carried away and doing more work than what you’ve assigned for yourself. In which case, job well done, I’m proud of you!
- Keep Things Interesting
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re working inside all the time, especially when you see so many people bustling about outside. To try to keep a positive attitude about working, try studying outdoors or in a new location. Any change of scenery can be beneficial, so long as your new location isn’t too distracting. Going to a coffee shop or sitting on a blanket in the grass are nice ways to be surrounded by positivity while working.
- Take Breaks and Reward Yourself
Okay, fine, I’ll let you have a little fun. While this tip may be last on the list, I think it’s the most important one. Please do not forget to take breaks and take care of yourself! Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed with school, step back, go outside, take in the fresh air, and clear your head. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break from work. Also, don’t hesitate to treat yourself after getting a lot of work done or getting a good grade on an assignment — go hang out with your friends, try out a new restaurant, or splurge a little, you earned it!
In short — stay happy, stay healthy, and keep challenging yourselves! I hope you incorporate some, if not all, of these tips into your daily routines to make this Spring Quarter your most enjoyable and productive one yet.