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University is a balancing act

By Jordanna Grossinger, 4th-year Concurrent Education student studying French and Psychology

Time flies when you’re having fun… We’ve all heard that before and my last four years at Queen’s are definitive proof of this oh-so-famous statement. Between all of our social commitments, academic responsibilities and extra-curricular activities, university turns into one big balancing act that’s often hard to manage.

At the beginning of the year we find ourselves organizing our to-do lists, making fresh (maybe colour-coded!) schedules and committing to study skills we’ve been taught about over the years… But as always, life tends to get in the way.

Despite our best efforts, things come up, readings fall to the way side and before you know it, it’s already March! Yes, I said it, the dreaded month of March. With assignments piling up and finals around the corner, you may set into panic, wondering how everything is going to get done in time.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! There is still time to make meaningful changes and finish off the year strong. Here are some study tips and tricks to help you keep up and catch up with your work the rest of the term:

  1. Get in the right head space. There’s no time for ‘should-coulda-woulda’s. Forget all things you think you could have done better or what you wished you’d have done earlier in the term – you are here now and you have to do what you have to do. Time to make a plan and get to work!
  1. Make a to-do list. Take time to write down everything you need to get done. Try to include the things you’ve missed and the things you need to catch up on. The long list may look scary at first, but prioritize what needs to get first based on upcoming due dates or material covered on upcoming tests.
  1. Make a plan. Based on your to-do list, create a schedule for yourself with specific goals to work on at specific times. It might be helpful to use the day to “keep up” with class (work on current material) and evenings or weekends to “catch up” on missed material. Our weekly schedule is a great tool to plan out all of your work and activities for the week.
  1. Use your resources. Use the learning objectives (found in your syllabus) to help guide your studying. If you’re short on time, don’t sweat the small stuff – instead, focus on the main ideas listed in the objectives. Also don’t forget to ask your professors and TA’s for clarification or help in targeting your readings.
  1. Make studying fun! Just because it may feel like crunch time, try to make the best of your study time. Enjoy your study time by working in study groups with friends, creating fun summary sheets and finding new study spots on campus.

Good luck with the rest of the term! You’ve got this!

Photo courtesy of rosmary under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.