Welcome to another edition of my SASS blog! I hope everyone has settled into the term and is on track to achieving all (or some of) the goals they have set for the remainder of the year. My semester really picked up in week three with deadlines for assignments, quizzes, and presentations all closely packed together. Safe to say I miss syllabus week already.
In fact, this year—my last—has felt different. The uncertainty of what I will be doing after I graduate in the spring has also suddenly dawned on me. The “path” that schooling has given me for most of my life is suddenly ending. It does feel frightening to think about the fact that I will be “adulting” in a year. I am currently applying to graduate programs and looking for jobs. The uncertainty of my near future is definitely at the top of my mind. That gentle anxiety has eaten away at the time I have to focus on my academics this semester thus far. If you are in a similar situation, keep an eye out for future blogs, as I will be sharing my thoughts (and frustrations) on the process, providing some tips that work for me, and most importantly, letting you all know what doesn't work for me!
As a fourth year, I don’t only have coursework. I also have my thesis project. The thesis is very much self-paced, and that heightens my problems with motivation and procrastination. I tried to build a habit of allocating a portion of my day to working on it. However, all too often, I allocate that time then don’t use it, pushing tasks to the next day anyway.
If you read some of my blogs from last year, you’ll know that I made an effort to better manage my procrastination. I believe a large part of my ability to improve on my time management was due to strict deadlines. In online schooling there was a lack of in-person class structure, but having deadlines helped me stay on track. With the self-paced project, as with any self-paced course, we can easily run into the issue of putting it on the back burner as we focus on looming deadlines.
To combat my procrastination and give myself structure, I have now made my own deadlines for my project. I have set a dedicated time between classes each day to work on it. In addition, when I have a small break between classes or other tasks, I can keep working on bits and piece of the thesis. It’s so motivating to finish some things while the day is still young, then I have time to work on major tasks after classes end.
You might not be graduating this year, but every stage of university has its own challenges. I am a residence don this year, so I asked some of my students what aspects of their first year at Queen’s have surprised them the most so far. Most of the answers revolved around two themes:
“There is a lot of self-teaching required in university”
“There are too many deadlines; I am worried about forgetting to submit some of my assignments”
I use calendars, time management tools, and syllabus planning to make sure I stay on top of these tasks—although it’s always a challenge. Why not work with one of SASS’ professionals to plan out the rest of the semester? Or attend a workshop on catching up or studying efficiently to get ahead in the second half of semester? It’s never too late to make plans to succeed.
I hope all of you enjoyed reading and continue to have a successful semester! I’ll see you next time on another edition of my SASS blog. Happy reading week!