On most campuses, there is a stretch of time when there are no breaks. The way the academic calendars work out, the breaks occur at the beginning of the semester (Labor Day and Martin Luther King Day) and toward the end of the semester (Thanksgiving and Spring Break).
From week five until week ten, there is a never ending stream of tests, homework, papers to write, presentations to give, etc. Week five is also when you get back your round of test grades. You’ll probably be disappointed by your academic progress at the start of this stretch of weeks, and you see no end in sight. Here’s how to survive weeks 5 – 10.
- Grow up – This is the time when you have to realize that you won’t make it in college if you don’t become more disciplined. Most of the topics in the sections Developing Discipline to Do Well and Being an Efficient Learner will help you make the transition. The key is that you need to make the commitment.
- Focus on each day – You can’t let the work load overwhelm you. Each day, make a list of things to do and just focus on them. There may be some items on your list that are longer term, for example doing part of a major paper, but keep your focus on today.
- Look at the positive side of the challenges you face. Everyone has to go through moments of doubt and adversity. Looking back on this moment, the grades that you get will mean virtually nothing in your life. What really matters is how you handled the challenge. Every day it really helps if you write your thoughts down on paper as to how you are confronting the challenge. This will help you realize you are improving; plus it will give you some great input for job interviews in the future. Employers want to know how you overcame a challenge.
- Each week take time off to have fun. This is the time to renew your sprit and just relax. Be careful about this however. Don’t just do things that your friends or family want you to do. Do things that are relaxing to you.
- Seek out someone to talk to if you are really down on yourself. Often times, someone who interacts with students a lot can help you work through your challenge. See the Topic: Finding a Mentor.
- Don’t let others get you down. Parents may be on your case about your grades. College is a major investment for them. They are concerned, but they may not have any suggestions that are that helpful. Review with them how you are meeting your challenge. This should allay their concerns.
- Find one moment to cherish every day. Often these moments can really sustain you when you are really worn down.
The one good thing about college is no matter how worn down you get, there is an end to the semester..