With the semester just having started, now is the time to get on top of your organization techniques and planning skills. Starting off the semster right is key to finsihing it successfully. Because of this, we have compiled a list of 10 school hacks to help you slay the next semester, completely stress free.
1. Buy a planner.
Get organized and buy yourself a planner for the entire semester. This can even be fun and motivating. There are so many planner styles and designs out there, find something that really calls to you in terms of organization style and colour; this will not only motivate you to actually use it but will also help you remember things that you do write down in it with better accuracy.
Having a planner will help you plan out which nights of your week you should dedicate to studying, reading, writing your essays or hanging out with friends. Having to do that mental girls night out vs. night in cramming process in your head without everything you need to do laid out in front of you can be definitely stressful. At least you’ll know where you’ll stand.
2. Write everything down (in the said planner).
Write everything down! From assignments to last-minute pop-quizzes and helpful study group sessions, write down every due date or school task that will help you stay organized and on top of things for the entire semester so you can ace your finals with the least amount of stress possible. The last thing you want is suddenly remembering that quiz at 11:30pm the night before, or forgetting to read a chapter for a class where your Prof notoriously calls on people.
3. Start everything the day it’s assigned to you.
Even if this is as little as opening a new Word document and writing down a catchy title or a very, very rough draft, starting assignments the day they are not only going to motivate you a whole lot more but it’ll ease your mind later on knowing that a little bit of the thought process has already been done. The moment something is assigned to you in class, open a new page, think of a catchy title or a few brainstorming points, label it “draft” and you’ll be set up for success.
4. Get some quality beauty sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential for happiness and success in all corners of your life- not just school That being said, you will definitely find it easier to get through the semester getting all zzz’s your body desires. A good night’s sleep helps with reducing stress levels, regulating hormones, helping increase concentration, productivity, memorization and, most importantly, not falling asleep in class so you can catch every important point your Professor makes.
5. Don’t skip a class.
Unless it is for a very good reason (no, staying home to binge the newly released season of Riverdale does not cut it), try to see how long you can go without missing a class. This will ensure that you are not only always caught up but everyone knows once you skip a class you are far more inclined to keep doing it. Thus, you will not be tempted to skip at all- who wants to ruin a perfect no skip streak?
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take advantage of your resources.
Whether it’s asking a Prof for some extra help with a challenging lecture (even extending a deadline), or just turning to a friend who understands the material more than you, knowing when to turn for help when you need it will be your key to success. Asking for help will not only reduce stress and help you understand your material fully, but it will also make you feel like someone else is there for you along the learning process.
Universities are abundant in students resources; academic, health and mental, there is likely a service out there made for students like you who just need a little extra TLC while you try to do your best this semester. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Odds are, you will be very grateful you did.
7. Get a designated study buddy.
Having study buddy will help you stay motivated, make sure you’re making time to do the things you need to do, and be a great reliever for when you take a break. Just make sure you designate someone who is as committed to studying as you are; someone who will tell you that you need to really put your phone down now and make sure you stay focused. Just like you would for them.
8. Block distractions that hinder your productivity.
Texts, notifications, news feeds and alluring Youtube videos constantly at the end of our fingertips, distractions have never been more plentiful than they are now. As if getting yourself to study isn’t challenging enough, now we have to deal with so many distractions on top of this. I think we all can relate to how hard it is to even go 10 minutes without having to resist the urge to check our phones.
Not only does this break up our focus and concentration, but getting back on track after taking short breaks like this negatively affects our memory and mental absorption of the information we’re trying to teach ourselves (not to mention is horrible for time management.
Lucky for us, there are now tools to help with this. Apps like Anti-Social and Self-Control help limit your social media use while working. They allow you to block your own access to whatever apps and websites you need to be blocked to really hunker down and finish what you need to do. Set on timers, these apps won’t let you onto the sites you designated, no matter how badly you want to, for whatever amount of time you sent. Try it and see how much of a difference it really makes.
9. Make some killer playlists.
Music is everything when it comes to helping you motivate yourself and staying focus. If you’re someone who likes to listen to music when you study, taking the time to make some killer playlists will definitely help your productivity levels.
Another important aspect to this is knowing what kind of music helps you study better. Need something pumped up and fast paced to keep you awake and going? Aim for some Beyonce or Drake to keep you in that bad-ass study mood. Or do you need something a little more tranquil to stay focused? Perhaps some Beethoven or acoustic Ed Sheeran will keep those distractions at bay. Trust me, the right playlist will make a world of a difference for you.
10. Reward yourself.
Just as important as studying, studying, studying is rewarding yourself for your successes when you finally do. Aced that test last week? Or even just stayed on top of all your readings for an entire month? You totally deserve a break and a treat-your-self day. Consider it just as important as the studying itself.
If you don’t take time acknowledged our successes and hard work, you might quickly burn out and begin to wonder if anything is really worth the trouble. By treating yourself when you do good, its a mental pat on the back, the recognition of growth and accomplishment. It’s the little moments of reflection like these that add to our overall happiness and sense of self-worth. Don’t skip over these milestones. You’re going to slay this next semester. Above all, believe in yourself and enjoy the process.