By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Perhaps you started the fall semester with a bit more enthusiasm than the spring semester. Everything felt fresh and new and you could start a line-up of classes with a fresh slate. Now that you’re halfway through the year, you may feel a little study weary.
Try these tips for finishing the year strong.
1. Get enough rest. No one can function sensibly without a good night’s sleep. Plan your work and fun so that you can get enough sleep most nights of the week.
2. Eat right. Just as with rest, you need a proper diet to study well and stay healthy. Keep wholesome snacks in your room, such as cheese and whole grain crackers, hummus, fresh produce, green tea and popcorn. Reduce consumption of processed foods, sweets and soda.
3. Exercise regularly. You’ll have a clearer head and healthier body. While time is precious to college students, you can sneak in a few workouts every week. Instead of hanging out with friends sedentarily, go for a run or lift weights together. Perform body weight exercises or walk in place in your room while reviewing class notes.
4. Manage stress. Since eliminating all stress isn’t possible, manage the stress that comes your way by taking a short time each day to do something pleasurable. Studying 24/7 won’t help you improve your grades.
5. Drop unhealthy friendships. Some “friends” use others by dumping all their emotional baggage on them without offering anything in return. That’s one example of a toxic relationship. Others can include people who create drama to draw attention to themselves; those who repeatedly prove they’re unreliable or untrustworthy; and people who ride on the popularity of others. All of these behaviors waste your time and energy. No one’s perfect; however, people who consistently drag you down don’t deserve your friendship.
6. Join a study group. You may find that others’ insights on the class materials help you learn and remember more than only reviewing them from your own perspective.
7. Ask for help as needed. Your professor really wants you to succeed, so ask for help if you struggle to understand the material, how to write a paper or how you should tackle a project. The teacher may suggest a tutor from the class. Or, you can seek one yourself. Students who frequently raise their hands or make good comments likely earn good grades.
8. Ask for extra credit projects. If your grade slips a bit (or a lot!) ask the teacher for an extra credit project or extra reading to help bring up your grade. Again, professors want you to do well.
9. Focus on your schoolwork. While that may seem really obvious, it’s easy to let extra-curricular activities sidetrack you from your academic objectives. Let a few of the former go so you can buckle down and improve your grades.
10. Look to your future. The struggles you encounter now make you stronger, smarter and better for your life after graduation.