Thanksgiving break is finally here and it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. With the holiday season fast approaching and dreams of sugar plums and weekends without homework dancing in everyone’s heads motivation can be hard to come by. Here are five tips to help you finish out the semester strong.
1.) Know Where You Stand
Finals often make up a large portion of your final grade and every class is different. “Make sure you understand how your score on a final exam or project will affect your grade, and what you need to earn in order to achieve the grade you want,” one college student recommends in an article on usnews.com. Knowing exactly what you need in order to get the grade you want will help you prioritize your studying and to know which classes to focus on.
2.) Prioritize and Plan
Multiple papers, a presentation, and final exams, sound familiar? While it can be tempting to put off preparation until the last minute because your motivation has hit negative levels, it won't seem quite so great when you realize you have six things to accomplish in the next 48 hours. Instead, decide what larger tasks need to be done right now and which tasks can wait until later. Once you’ve mapped out what you need to accomplish and when set aside designated times to accomplish each task.
3.) Set Goals
Bribing yourself can often be the key to finding the extra motivation you need. Tell yourself that if you finish the next chapter you get to watch an episode of your favorite show or if you finish studying the next set of notes you can go out to dinner. Pacing out your studying with breaks and rewards will help keep you on task and will prevent you from overworking yourself, resulting in burnout.
4.) Find a Good Place to Study
According to an article by the Huffington Post, “cognitive scientists suggest that alternating study spaces is a more effective way to retain information... Memory is colored by location, and changing your study locales increases the likelihood of remembering what you’ve learned.”
As comfortable as your couch may be, comfortable doesn’t necessarily translate to productive. Because you most likely also use it for watching TV, hanging out with friends, or browsing the internet you brain will find it easier to get off task. Finding a spot in the library or a coffee shop to sit down and work can help give you the focus you need to stay on track since you are not in your usual environment.
5.) Start Now
It’s never too soon to start studying. Yes, it may seem tedious and there are a lot of other things you could, and would rather, be doing instead. However, it takes a lot less time to study in small increments than it does to cram the night before. Taking studying for your final by a chapter a day up until finals week, or your paper by a section a day, will help prevent stress and give you more time to absorb the information.
Use Thanksgiving break to recharge and catch up so you are ready to come back and finish the final weeks of the semester strong!
If you are having trouble in a class and need help be sure to talk to your professors or visit the STEP Tutoring Center.