How to survive spring term


By Katelyn Billings

As I sit in the gardens attempting to read for my geology class, I can’t help but get distracted by the chirping birds, soft breezes and warm sunshine.

I wonder to myself, “How on earth will I be able to focus on my work knowing that all this beautiful springtime atmosphere is outside?!” Answer: I won’t.

But I do know that in order to get my work done and have time to enjoy the weather, I will need to buckle down in these last few weeks. Especially if I expect to get the grades I want.

Spring term is infamous for being the term with the most temptations and, incidentally, the lowest motivation. In this brief article, I hope to instill some helpful tips and tricks to help you keep that GPA from going down and yelling “timber.”

1. Coffee is your friend.

My friends often see me camped out in Wold Center, and that is no coincidence. I camp out in Wold for its close proximity to the campus Starbucks.

When I am properly fueled, I am in the study zone. And consequently, when I am without my coffee fuel, I am cranky and tend to people-watch instead of writing my papers.

While the nectar of the gods is certainly an acquired taste, and not for everyone, it is important to remain properly fueled when trying to get work done. Whatever you know works to keep you focused should be kept close by when you’re trying to work.

Maybe you thrive on oranges or swear by Red Bull (I hope for your stomach’s sake that you don’t).

Essentially, keep yourself going throughout these long and hot days. Water is always a good idea, no matter what time or place.

Also, never underestimate the power of a snack. We all know you can’t get any work done when you’re hangry.

2. Lists are your friends.

I am chronic list-maker,  partly due to my mild OCD but mostly due to my forgetfulness.

With three classes moving at quick paces, it’s very easy to lose track of deadlines and assignments. I, for one, always do. Writing down to-do lists keeps me organized, and I have everything I need to do right in front of me.

Now, if I lose the list that’s a whole other issue, but making multiple to-do lists for each class, day-by-day really helps keep me keep on top of everything I have to finish.

Plus it’s quite satisfying to check off an entire list … there is no other feeling like a sense of personal accomplishment! (I’m weird so it’s probably just me who enjoys this … sorry.)

Another great thing about lists is that if you lose one, you can always make another instead of actually studying.

3. Procrastination is most certainly not your friend.

Ah, procrastination, my old frenemy. Thou art a heartless wench. Even with my amazing lists (if I do say so myself) I still manage to push things off.

Hey, I never said I was perfect. When it’s Monday and that paper is due Friday, we all push it back until at least Wednesday evening.

The lists sort of help with procrastination, but I’m not making any promises. In the end, it’s always better to get things done sooner rather than later, because then you have much more time to hang out in the beautiful sun on West Beach and the scenic gardens.

Putting things off just leads to more stress, and nobody wants to be worrying about assignments when you would rather be playing a game of Ultimate outside or tanning on the grass.

All that being said, spring term is the last term of the year, and that means it’s time to let loose a little bit.

Do your work, but don’t stress yourself out over it. It’s sunny outside, so you should have a sunny disposition, too. There isn’t much that can beat a nice, relaxing time out on West Beach with your friends, getting a tan and playing some music.

So, Concordy readers, I guess my biggest piece of advice for you is to enjoy your spring term, but don’t let the allure of the great outdoors be your academic downfall.

I hope to see you trying my methods: coffee, several to-do lists and the “get it done now” mentality will get you through the remainder of this term.



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