First off, CONGRATULATIONS!!! We all managed to make it through COVID with absolutely no plan and no experience dealing with a pandemic. Let me just take this time to say that I am proud of you. Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s not over. If you were lucky enough to graduate last semester, then you don’t have to worry about doing this all over again. As for the rest of us, we need a gameplan. Now that we know what school in a pandemic looks like, we can navigate our future semesters a little better–that is until we return to normalcy. Here are a few crucial tips to successfully slay the semester.
1. Get an agenda
This one is by far the most important. Procrastination was a major demon for all of us this past semester. We can’t let it get us again. To avoid it, you have got to write things down–assignments, due dates, checklists, all of it. Keeping track of your semester won’t completely keep you from falling behind, but it’ll definitely help you stay on track and maybe even get ahead. If you set your agenda up just right, you can demolish the semester with minimal cram sessions and countdowns to 11:59 pm.
2. Switch up your scenery
A lot of us spend entirely too much time on Zoom while sitting in bed with virtual meetings and online classes. If you do everything in the comforts of your own home, you’ll get bored of it and eventually lose motivation. Try to move things around every once in a while. Start going to the library for your classes one day or maybe your local coffee shop. You could even go to a bookstore and read a little in between classes. The possibilities are endless. You can still attend some of your classes in your room, but stay there all day every day and allow yourself to
3. Find an accountability partner
Sometimes it gets difficult to hold yourself accountable when you start lacking motivation. One thing that can help you is finding somebody to help you when you fall short and vice versa. A journey like this one can be way more stressful if you do it on your own. Ask a friend to help you lighten the load. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to study with someone than it is to do it alone. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask someone in one of your classes to be your accountability partner and then you might make a new friend. It’s a win-win!
4. Talk to your professors
Remember, we are all in this pandemic together. Your professors know that this is hard for you because it’s probably hard for them too. If you’re struggling, let them know. Keep them in the loop. They’ll definitely appreciate your honesty and openness more than a late assignment and an email at the crack of dawn. I’m not saying that it’s going to excuse you from doing your work or anything like that. I’m just saying that developing that relationship with your professors is way more likely to help you than hurt you.
5. Take breaks
Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, TAKE A BREAK! I don’t mean a quick 15-minute break in the middle of a 4-hour study session. I mean, take a weekend off if you’re feeling overwhelmed. We only get one break in the middle of the semester. Don’t wait for spring break if you’re stressed after the first 3 weeks. You don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to. Just take a day away from everything. Go to the park and listen to the birds chirp. Go for a drive into the city. Sit in your room and listen to music all day with your phone one do not disturb. Whatever works for you. Just allow yourself to have that time to rest.
6. Self-care is substantial
Do not forget your self-care. You should be doing something to practice self-care at least every week. Ideally, you would do it every day, but everyone doesn’t have that kind of time. Once a week, do something that brings you peace. Having that little mental break so frequently will
definitely be imperative in times like this. And don’t limit yourself to doing a face mask and taking a bath. Try new things every week. Take a yoga class. Go outside and read on your patio. Lay in the grass and look at the sky. If it helps you to relax and forget about all your
worries-even if just for a moment-try it out. These are just a few things you can try to help you out this semester. Everyone is different, so if you know what works for you, do it. This is a crazy time that no one could’ve possibly imagined or prepared for, so don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. We are all going to get through this…..together