Surviving College Finals Week Madness

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Finals week is known for the anxiety it provokes: hyperventilating in a library study room, binging on junk food, getting very little sleep, and so on. However, suffering through final exams and papers doesn’t mean we have to let go of our health and sanity. Making thoughtful, health-centered decisions can actually help you perform better on your exams and lessen your test anxiety. Here are some simple steps you can take today.

 

1. Load Up Your Pantry

Healthy food and meals means not crashing on coffee and junk food or dealing with stomach pains during your exam. Load up on servings of fruits and veggies. Bring fruit bars, soups, and whole wheat snacks to your study room. And don’t forget to hydrate! Water is important for keeping up your energy.

 

2. Take Your Vitamins

If you’re stuck with cafeteria options only, a vitamin can ensure you’re getting a dose of what you need. Some good brain-boosting vitamins are D3 (which are also great if you’re indoors during darker nights), folic acid for memory, and B-complex to help reduce stress. If you’re having trouble sleeping, go for all-natural melatonin instead of sleep aids.  

 

3. Take Advantage of De-Stress Perks

Most likely, your college offers fun ways to de-stress during finals. Some popular ideas include cuddling with therapy dogs, getting a 10-minute massage, taking a yoga class, or learning basic meditations. You can even see if they provide nap rooms or dark spaces if you’re a commuter in need of a nap.

 

4. Find Time for Breaks

Breaks are important for retaining information and lowering pressure. One method you can use is called the Pomodoro Technique. Study or work for 20 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Use your phone’s timer to keep you on track. And you’re easily distracted, use extensions to your browser that ban you from sites like Facebook for a period of time.  

 

5. Keep Up Your Gym Routine

Make time to sweat! It helps clear your mind and recoup from a long day of test-taking. Plus, working out can help keep your immune system running. Another reason to get your morning run in is that routines like this can help you ease stress and give you the sense that today’s just another day, even if there’s a test at the end of it.

 

6. Reward Yourself With Self-Care

Who says your only reward for surviving finals should be your grade? Save up for finals week and enjoy your favorite restaurant with friends or get a manicure or pedicure. Space out your rewards so that you are motivated to stay on track. By picking relaxing rewards, you do double duty in following through and keeping your anxiety at a low.

 

7. Check-In With Loved Ones

If the stress is too much, don’t just carry it on your back for the entire week. Schedule a call to someone you love and trust to get your vent time in. By talking through your worries or problems, you may be able to see the solution that wasn’t there before. Reaffirming that you have someone who loves and supports you no matter what will help you survive college final week madness with your friends and family seeing you through.

 

What to Do When You Feel Like You’re Falling Behind in College

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falling behind in college

Great news! You’re almost done with your first semester of the year. How are you feeling? Are your classes going well? Are your grades what you hoped they would be? I am sure some of you out there are shaking your heads ‘no’ to both of those questions. Feeling like you’re falling behind is pretty common, even for overachievers. Figuring out how to recover in the middle of a rough semester can seem impossible. These steps will help you make a plan to get back on track and get the grade you want.

 

GIF via Giphy

Step 1: Audit Yourself

To begin, you need to know what you’re facing. This means figuring out your current grades ASAP — if you can, by percentage. Take out a notebook or grab your whiteboard and write each and every one of them down. That way, your current situation is out there, in full, so you can strategize on what you need to work on and what classes you can put less time in.

Step 2: Talk It Out

When you feel like you’re failing (or you know you are), there is no time to waste. You need to get your professor or academic advisor involved. Showing that you recognize your problem and that you’re proactive puts you in such better standing than someone who waits until the week of finals to ask for help. Set up a time to sit down and evaluate together so that they can help you pinpoint what is the problem and maybe give you some personalized solutions on how to make it better.

Step 3:  Plan Your Calendar

For most colleges, you have about five more weeks until break. That seems like a ton, but in the grand scheme of things, there are midterm reviews, project deadlines, meetings, and final study sessions to take up your time. Grab your syllabus and go through each class. Mark on your calendar, planner, or phone important deadlines along with reminders a week, 3 days, and 1 day in advance. You’ll feel less overwhelmed when the days ahead are spelled out.

Step 4: Goal Set

Now that you’ve got a realistic picture of what you need to do and when it is due, it’s time to set a goal for yourself. The most important part of goal setting is to be realistic. Unless your professor is really lax on grading, you’re not going to go from a D- to an A+ in half a semester. But passing with a C or even a strong B could be in reach. Use that calendar to write in check-in marks each week where you see how you have progressed on that goal line.

Step 5: Reward Yourself

You need to reward yourself for when you do hit those goals. The grade and the relief are enough, but you may also want to treat yourself to a celebration dinner or a new poster for your dorm room. Adding a reward to the goals doubles your chances of success and helps you establish good study habits for future semesters.

Step 6: Cut Yourself Some Slack

Finally, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you get to finals week and you’re still feeling crushed, take a moment and think of what you have accomplished, what you have learned, and how far you’ve gone (even if it doesn’t seem like a lot). Then, decide what it was that you did wrong. Maybe the class was too advanced or you took on too much this semester. While you don’t want to make excuses, knowing why you feel like you’re falling behind can help you pick yourself up for next semester.

How to Start Writing a College Essay

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Writing college essay

Have you ever stared at your computer screen flashing a blank Word document and had absolutely no idea where to begin? When writing a college essay, it can be easy to get stuck right at the introduction. When you have so many details to get in, so much research to do, and a boatload of editing to complete, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed — which is normal! Here’s how to start writing a college essay that’s both low-stress and guaranteed to score you a good grade.

Step 1: Read Through the Details

Whether a meticulously crafted grading rubric or a single sentence on the topic hidden in your syllabus, your professor probably gave you some kind of instructions. Make sure you read through this instruction fully before getting started.

Are the details unclear or confusing? This is the time to send your emails or make your phone calls to your TA. Waiting until last minute or, worse, when you’re done writing may mean sacrificing your entire essay because you misunderstood.

Step 2: Skip the Intro and Conclude

If you’re writing a persuasive or research style essay, you probably have a conclusion already in mind. Instead of getting stuck at the start, get going with the end by finalizing your last few paragraphs and then working backwards.

This method works best if you’ve already done your research or are able to formulate your own opinion on the topic. It’s also helpful because if your weakness is your thesis statement, it may flow more easily when done as a final sentence. Copy and paste to the intro when you’re ready and reword so that it sounds like a proposal.

Step 3: Build an Outline

An outline is helpful for getting started for a few reasons. One, it will be extremely useful when you’re ready to write the body of your essay. But more importantly, it will give you a good grasp of what you’re actually going to write.

Freeform writing comes easy to some, but for others who need structure and the ability to see what comes after that intro paragraph, you may need some help laying it all out there. Use the outline to pick out key talking points and bring those back to the top so you can properly introduce what you will be discussing in your writing via a thesis sentence or paragraph.

Step 4: Start With a Wow Factor

Sometimes an essay just needs a bit of inspiration. This may be done with a personal story (if allowed and appropriate), a vital fact about your topic, a surprising research study, or a shocking claim. These starters will allow you to expand easily without having to reach for the right words to introduce your topic.

While these are effective methods, you should avoid cliches like a cheesy quote. College essays mean stepping it up with an introduction that hooks, rather than incites eye rolls.  Starting to write a college essay is never easy, but with the right words and a few strategies if you get stuck, you can write faster and more efficiently.

Countdown ’til Summer

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Spring break is over, and summer is around the corner, but not so fast… there is still one more round of finals to take before the beach days, barbecues, and baseball games are in full effect. Perhaps you took a trip with your friends to a place with endless sun and clear blue oceans, maybe you volunteered your time and participated in an alternative spring break, but most likely you lounged around your house with your family and caught up with your friends back home. Regardless of how you spent your spring break, the reality is that you’re back on campus, and there’s only a few weeks left of the semester which means one thing: crunch time!

First thing‘s first. Don’t Procrastinate! You’ve heard it from your professors, your RA and naturally, your parents. If it wasn’t so common to see the library jam packed at midnight during finals week, it wouldn’t be such a reoccurring statement. We get it, you have 4 months to complete something, so you put it off thinking you’ll get back to it, the problem is you never do! A helpful suggestion to keep you organized is a To-Do list. There is no better feeling then getting something done and crossing it off your list. Utilize your professor’s office hours, and take advantage of study groups.  Sometimes you retain more information when it isn’t being delivered by a demanding professor. Get ahead & stay ahead!

Studying may not be the most entertaining part of college, but setting aside a time when both you and your roommate buckle down and drill into the books could end up being productive.  Come up with a plan, and upon completion, grab fro-yo as a treat! Don’t forget: a reward is always good motivation.

It’s always a great feeling opening that email notification saying you have a package from home. OCM is committed to making sure students feel the love on campus from their family. We have recently added healthy option care packages; so if you’re gluten free, vegan, or dedicated to working out, we have a package especially for you. There are plenty of treats in each pack, so be sure to share with your roommate! We love to hear feedback as well, so if there is something you wish was in your care package, let us know! Hard works always deserves compensation!

 Spirit Pack

The Easy Way To An A

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As the final examination period approaches, stress levels on campus are starting to rise-especially for freshmen who have yet to experience it. I, a self-proclaimed “Nervous Nancy”, was extremely jittery for my first set of college finals. I had no idea what to expect or any idea on how to really prepare myself for the unknown. Sure, I had my fair share of finals in high school, but I knew that they would be nothing to the degree of a college final. I decided to try every study/preparation tip in the book: highlighting, organizing, study guides, etc. After many trials, I have found six tips that work for me and will hopefully help you!

1. The first study tip is to turn off all of your electronic devices or anything that you may find to be distracting. I know that it may seem extremely difficult, seeing as college students find it hard to live without these devices, but turning them off can actually help you to get higher grades on your tests. If you find it difficult to stay off of the internet on your computer, unplug your Ethernet chord or disconnect your Wi-Fi connection. This will allow you to focus on your work and not on the internet.
2. The second study tip is to devote at least an hour a day to each class starting two weeks before finals. Allowing yourself to slowly learn your notes will not only help you to stay on track with your studying, but also help you to memorize your notes so that you are extremely prepared for any test.
3. The third study tip is to study while sitting up. Avoid lying in bed at all costs! It is easy to get too comfortable and doze off!
4. The next study tip is to make flash cards. Flash cards not only help you to study for material that you may be struggling with, but they are also good for quick reviews right before the exam. Make sure to bring the flash cards everywhere you go; you never know when you are able to do a fast review. The quick reviews add up, and in no time you will really know the material.
5. The next tip is to organize your notes for all of you different classes. Make sure you have everything you need and then begin sorting them by chronological order. This will help you to determine which terms go with which topics. To save time before finals, try to keep up with this throughout the semester so that you can begin studying right away!
6. The final tip that I have is to highlight or sticky note your notes. This will help you to pick out important topics which usually appear in final examination questions. I personally like the highlighting method. I choose pink for people, yellow for terms, and blue for locations. The different colors help me to keep my terms and topics in separate larger topics that make it easier to study.

These tips, though a bit time consuming, help me to have a structured studying schedule. Because they have been so successful for me, I encourage you to try them if you are looking to find a study plan that will help you to become extremely prepared for any examination!

Midterm Grades Not What You Expected?

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If you haven’t just finished taking your Midterms, there’s a good chance you’re right in the middle of them. If you are one of the students who have already taken them- and received your grade, you may be feeling less than great about the outcome. If you got one (or more) of your Midterm grades back and noticed that you received much lower marks than you would have liked to see glaring back at you in a big, red letter, maybe it’s time to double check your points.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you have received a low grade on your exam and felt like you were completely blanking during the entire time you were taking it, then your low grade marks are more than likely warranted. But, if you felt really confident about your test and can’t see how your high percentage resulted in a low letter grade, skimming over your markings for accuracy may be beneficial. Professors are normal people too, meaning that it isn’t abnormal for them to make a mistake here and there. If you’ve dissected your exam with a fine tooth comb and still believe that you received a grade in error, here’s a few things you can do to clear up the matter professionally.

1) Ask your teacher to go over the exam in class- If time and class materials allow, it may be a good idea to ask your professor to go over the exam during class time. There may be some other students in your class who also are confused about why they received the markings they did. And, if you and those other students had the same issue but did miss out on some of the points due to lack of attention, vague test directions, etc, your teacher may decide to adjust the grading process for a curve or decide to not count a particular question. Seeing how your teacher graded each question along with the correct answer could give you some clarity into why you missed those points.

2) Visit your professor during office hours- If you’re in a big lecture hall with 50+ students in one class, you may not get the attention you need to discuss your exam questions with your professor. Instead, try to stop by your professor’s office during out-of-class hours and ask if they wouldn’t mind spending some time going over your exam with you. Showing your teacher that you’re concerned about your grade and that you’re being proactive to keep them up and managed is a beneficial factor in their eyes. They want to see that you’re taking the responsibility and actions to keep up with your academics. And, you never know, your teacher may notice that they made a simple calculation mistake and have no problem updating your score for you. Try not to go into this meeting hasty and angry; if you were a professor with over 100 students, you’d have high chances of making a simple mistake too! And no, it’s not because your professor hates you or is an evil person, they may just have made a careless mistake and can clear it up for you easily.

3) If you and your professor are still butting heads- If you believe even after the above listed actions that your professor is still keeping points from you that are rightfully yours, taking the issue to the next level up may not be a bad idea. This doesn’t mean break down the front door of your College Dean’s house and demand they look into your issue and serve you your well deserved justice. If you’re going to take the matter to a higher authority you have to be respectful and go up the ladder in the right way. Going to someone at the very top of the line won’t get you anywhere. They have large scale issues to deal with, and you getting a 73.5% instead of a 74% is not their top priority- or concern. If you feel like you want to take it up the ladder, sit with your professor and tell them that you respect their decision, but you have a difference in opinion and as a student, you have the right to take a matter to the chair that manages your professor and you’d like to respectfully do so. This does NOT mean storming into your professor’s office and intimidating them with news that you’re taking the issue to the higher power. You never know if you’ll end up taking this professor again or needing a recommendation letter. Be tasteful, respectful and reasonable.

If you received low marks because you didn’t know the material or realized you have a bad case of test anxiety, there are always tutors and extra help available to you. There are plenty of groups and people on campus who are available to help you study for an exam or learn some concepts. If you feel like you get test anxiety during a test full of other students, you may want to ask your teacher if you can set it up to take your exam in a quiet room in the library. Of course, you will be monitored and your cell phone will NOT be allowed to come out, but at least you won’t hyper focus on how fast other students are finishing their exams or how many times the guy behind you is popping his gum or kicking your chair.

And if all of that fails, you can always go to your professor and admit defeat. They don’t want to see you fail, in fact they want to see you do well. If you explain to your professor that you tried really hard but just blanked on the material or thought the test was really challenging, ask them if you can possibly retake a new version of the exam or make up for it. In many cases, your teacher will be flexible with you and let you make up some, if not all, of the points you may have missed out on. Whatever happens, don’t freak out! There’s always a positive outcome that can be reached if you approach the situation respectfully and with the purpose of reaching an outcome, not being angry and hasty.

Ace Your Midterms With These Three Tips

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I always thought that midterms came way too quickly. You’re so hyped up about the fresh start that comes with the new school year that you quickly fall into your new groove. Before you know it, Halloween starts to approach and midterms start lurking over your head. Your midterm grades always put your performance on the spotlight both academically and in terms of your parents. When you go off to college, your parents want to make sure you’re getting the help you need and studying hard. Trust me, they’ll know when your midterms are before you do, so study up and prepare ahead of time to ace the grade. If you just looked at your class schedule and realized you need to start preparing, here’s three study habits to get you on the right track for your midterms.

1) Study in ADVANCE- Don’t procrastinate. 15 minutes here and there will do you a world of good if you consistently stick to studying daily. Waiting until the last day to study for your midterm is just going to confuse you more and may possibly aid you in mixing up key terms and blanking on questions. Instead, start a week in advance. Make sure that you go over your entire study guide (if you have one) and find any gaps or areas that are fuzzy to you. If your professor didn’t provide you with an outline, make one. The more organized you are, the better. Waiting until the last night to study leaves you a very narrow window of time and resources to find the information you need, and retain it. Try to limit distractions as well, like turning off your TV and music while you study. If you work better with music playing, turn it down low enough to where it’s not distracting you and make sure you have sufficient lighting. Give yourself a few study breaks here and there to walk around and stretch a bit. This gets the blood flowing to your brain and increases activity!

2) How do you study?- It’s no question that everyone studies and learns differently. What may work for me may not work for my fellow student or vice versa. Some people may have photographic memories, or some may learn better by rewriting the same material over and over again. Some people study best with study trees and others can just remember and absorb information as they learn. Whatever your case may be, find a study method that works for you and stick with it. If you need to, make flashcards or catchy phrases to remember concepts during crunch time. Go over your material and then have a friend or your roommate quiz you. By doing this, you can find which concepts you aren’t sure about, and spend extra time polishing those up. If you feel like you can’t grasp a certain idea or don’t understand it, seek some help! That leads us to point three..

3) Get help when you need it!- I always knew what concepts I struggled with. Some I’d understand and catch on to, but others would leave me lingering after class scratching my head and failing pop quizzes. Eventually, the teacher will move on with the next block of class material and at that point it’s your job to get some extra help if you need it. You could easily skip to the next block of class material as well, but then you’d leave that fuzzy, grey area for the concept you didn’t understand. And, much like the fundamentals you learn in elementary school, each concept serves as a building bock for future material. Failing to stop and get the help you need leaves you one step behind your classmates, who will quickly catch on to the other “blocks” while you’re stuck a step below, still confused.

Remember that your professor is there to help you and that there are lots of other resources available to you if you need the help. Try scheduling a meeting with your professor during their office hours and explaining to them what you’re having problems with. It’s much easier for them to handle your unique study habits one-on-one instead of a class of 50+ students. You may be relieved to find that your professor can explain the concept in a different light and give you that refreshing “Ah-ha” moment to keep you going. If you don’t want to see your professor, find a tutor through your campus library or your counselor. There’s also many groups and organizations around campus that have students who enjoy helping others grasp concepts. If studying hard isn’t getting you by and you need a little extra help, don’t be ashamed. Get the help you need and ace those midterms!

Overcoming Test Anxiety

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It’s exam day. Your nails are chewed down to their very core and you’re tapping your foot obnoxiously against the desk in front of you. You woke up 90 minutes earlier than usual just out of sheer anxiety, and you stayed up the entire night studying. Even though you’ve been studying for days you still can’t help but feel like you’re un-prepared. Finally, you sit down at your desk and stare at that pasty, thick stack of papers with the words “Final Exam” spewed across the top. You go to write your name, and your stomach growls. Now you’re off track and distracted and your minds jutting all over the place, what are you ever going to do?!

First of all, let’s rewind to a week before your exam to go through how you could really curb your test anxiety. The first and most important step is to be prepared! Pay attention in class, take your notes, and do your homework! There’s absolutely no way you’re going to grasp your class material just by physically being there. At some point you’re going to have to do the reading, participate in discussions and do the homework. Once you fall behind, get right back to where you were and ask for extra help. Preparation involves studying, so make sure you’re not waiting until the last night to cram it all into 5 hours. Meet up with students from your class a week or two in advance to go over the exam guide and knock out the ones you aren’t sure of. This is a great way to share answers and help explain concepts in ways that you all will understand.

Secondly, that growling tummy you heard? That was hint number two that you were unprepared. Make sure to always eat before an exam! Even if you’re not a huge breakfast eater, filling your belly with some good, nutritional foods before a test will help you stay concentrated and alert. Be careful what you eat though, as certain foods will make you jittery and more anxious! Avoid high-sugary or fried foods. Go for fruits, veggies or even some whole grain toast with peanut butter. This will get your body up and running from the get-go and won’t leave that distracting tummy growl to orchestrate the classroom during the middle of your exam.

The next step to curb your test anxiety is to get a sufficient night’s sleep. Staying up the entire night before shoving all of that information in your head may SEEM like a good way to keep the info fresh, but it’s actually not. To start, trying to cram a whole semester’s worth of lessons and concepts into your brain during a 5 hour time period is next to impossible unless you’re a noted genius. You’re more than likely just going to end up overwhelming yourself and getting concepts confused more easily. Your short term memory is only so big, so make sure if you ARE studying the night before it’s as a refresher, and not to teach yourself the whole textbook. Waiting until the last night to do your studying also handicaps you from getting the extra help you need. If you’re struggling with a concept or can’t find the answer in your textbook, you’re out of luck on asking for help. Most of your classmates are most likely snuggled in safe and sound in their dorm beds awaiting that morning exam. Staying up all night and not getting enough sleep will make your brain groggy in the morning and less concise, even with those 3 cups of coffee.

During the test, make sure you stay calm and relax. Don’t rush yourself to finish as fast as the other students, you have plenty of time to finish at your own pace. Remember, just because there’s three students who turn their exams in within the first 20 minutes doesn’t mean they’ve gotten a perfect score. Some people who don’t know the material just rush through it so they can turn it in and get it over with. Take your time and don’t compare your speed or levels of anxiety to any of your classmates around you. If you don’t know the answer to a question, leave it behind and come back to it later. Sometimes, reading other questions on the test can trigger something in your brain to make you remember the ones you didn’t know before. Just make sure you take a mental note and go back when you’re done to make sure you’ve answered every question. If the noise in the room is starting to distract you or the guy behind you is clicking his pen way too many times, go ask your professor if you can take the exam in the library or away from noise. Some people feel pressured when they’re taking a test in a room full of other people. If you’re one of those people, don’t be embarrassed. You know what you need to be able to learn effectively and if that means taking a test in silence, then that’s what you need to do. Work out a plan with your professor so that they are aware of your test anxiety at the beginning of the semester. This may win you some extra test taking time and replacement locations.

Remember, preparation is key! Take your time, be confident and don’t panic! If you’ve been paying attention in class and keeping up with your assignments you’re golden. And, if you do all of these things but still bomb the test, don’t beat yourself up over it. Review your test with your professor to see where you did wrong and reflect on how you could do it differently for the next test.

How to Stay Focused in Class

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When school just starts up, your motivation levels to succeed and study hard are sky rocket high. You still have you parent’s voice echoing in your head to study hard and do your homework. You haven’t yet experienced what it’s like to wake up late for class, and you’re still getting over your new-to-college jitters. Even if you’re a returning student to a university, you always promise yourself a fresh start to your academics and to aim for that Dean’s list.

But, as time goes on and the weather changes, the motivation to be early for class and get an “A” on every assignment slowly dwindles down. You start waking up later and postponing your studying later and later. You’ve met tons of people in your residence hall and in class and have started going out with them to the local hang outs after classes. You’re so amped up about making new friends and your growing social circle that you forget the reason why you’re really at school, to learn.

If you find yourself sitting in class with your mind focusing on everything BUT the lecture, you’re suffering from more than a lack of focus; you’re suffering from lack of motivation. It happens to the best of students from time to time, and if not taken care of quickly enough can result to bad grades or in the worst case scenario, failing a class.

If you find yourself feeling unmotivated, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1) The reason that you are away at school, is to go to school. Meeting all of your new friends and having you first place away from home are added bonuses. Your job as a student is to study hard and get good grades so that you can get your degree and better your future. A lot of money goes into you receiving a top of the line education that is only there for you to be successful later in life.

2) Setting up a reward system for yourself can be an excellent motivator. If you are really feeling sluggish and dragging your feet to write that paper, set up a reward for yourself for when you complete it. A trip off campus to your favorite restaurant with a friend or a relaxing run at the gym are great ways to keep your mind stimulated while doing your work. The important thing is to not rush through your assignment to get to the reward. If you’re going to use the reward system, make sure you’re putting in 100% effort and not just blasting through the work to get it done.

3) Have a friend be your personal cheerleader! Okay, so that’s a little much, but having your friends on board with your efforts to get back on track will help keep you motivated. If they’re good friends, they won’t bug you about going out when you have work to do, and will even offer to stay in with you and crank it out while they do some of their own homework. Remember that there are plenty of times to go out and be social with your friends, but there IS a due date for that assignment you need to finish. You’ll feel so much better after it’s out of the way, and you’ll feel good when you get it back with a good grade (with no late deductions).

4)Sit in the front of the class- We all know lectures can be a little boring. In fact, every college show I ever watched growing up had at least one student drooling on their desk mid-class. I always noticed that I’d stop paying attention in class if I couldn’t see well or couldn’t hear what the professor was saying. The feeling of being able to doze off in class unnoticed was also a contributing factor to me slacking off. To curb the habit, I found myself a seat at the front of the class that kept me awake and stimulated the whole time. Knowing that the professor was right there to yell at me if I dozed off was enough to keep me bright eyed and bushy tailed long enough to get through the class.

5) Take a break. Sometimes focusing too hard on your work can create a mental blockage. Writers often experience this as “writer’s block”, where they’re prevented from moving on with a piece due to clouded or jumbled thoughts. If you’ve been staring at an assignment for three hours and can’t seem to get it done, get up, take a walk, grab a snack or stretch your legs a little. Standing up and re-stimulating your brain gets your blood pumping and gives you more energy. You’ll sit back down with a clear mind and will be able to tackle that assignment from a new perspective.