We talk with a lot of students in University Exploration. Like, A LOT. We talk with even more students in the weeks in between semesters. Those talks often focus on what went right last semester, what didn’t work so well, and ultimately, how to move forward to make the next semester the best one yet.
In our talks with students who had some difficulty, the biggest obstacle that seems to be encountered is time. There never seems to be enough time! And it’s easy to understand why: between going to class, studying, keeping up with assignments, staying in contact with the folks back home, sleeping and keeping up your social life, 24 hours really isn’t much to accomplish everything you need to do in a day. As a result, a lot of students will push some parts of their to-do list to the side.
When you start to neglect essential parts of your student life (academics, rest, socializing, eating, etc.) you will find yourself out of balance. And once you’ve gone over that tipping point, it’s difficult to get that balance back. Maybe you gave up on studying a few too many times to go out with your friends, and suddenly your grades are slipping. This is a big imbalance to your life as a student! To fix that, you may have decided that you will then spend every waking moment of your life outside of class in the library, only to find that your grades aren’t improving like you hoped. Now you’re feeling the symptoms of burn-out and are lacking even more of that all-important work/life balance.
So, how do you do set up your schedule to keep and maintain that balance? Think of the Pickle Jar:
It is really easy to lose focus of everything we have to do to get through our day, and when you are a student your academics can be the first thing you put aside. Think of the pickle jar any time you feel like you’re overwhelmed with your schedule and it just might remind you to think of the big picture!
Finals Week officially begins on Thursday, December 11th. As you prepare for the week ahead, here are some helpful tips from your advisors to make the most of the week and finish the semester on a high note:
DO: Be aware of the finals week schedule. Your final exam for each class more than likely will not happen during the regularly scheduled meeting time for the semester. Check your syllabus, or this handy exam schedule from the Registrar, to plan out your week.
DON’T: Let yourself get too stressed out! Yes, finals are a big deal, but you’ve been building up to this all semester. You’ve got this! Take some time out to get in some relaxation. Here are some ideas to kick start finals week for Reading Day on Wednesday, December 10th. Whether you want to take a plunge in the RPAC pool, grab some lunch, watch a movie, or snuggle with a therapy dog, there are a lot of things to do to energize before your finals begin.
DO: Rest up before the main event. Plan your finals week schedule so you can avoid pulling an all-nighter before a big exam. Manage your study time to allow plenty of rest the night before an exam (or multiple exams) to put you in peak concentration mode.
DON’T: Panic. Your final exam is just one component of your grade for a course. Yes, it is weighed heavier than other assignments and exams in most classes, but in most cases the final alone won’t make or break your grade. Concentrate, study, and be prepared!
DO: Enjoy the upcoming holiday break! Reflect on what did or didn’t work for you in the autumn semester and make adjustments as necessary to make the spring semester even better.
And if all else fails, just let Doge be your cheerleader!
(photo source: http://finalsweekmemes.tumblr.com/)
It’s officially December, can you believe it? You’ve made it through midterms, registered for next semester’s classes, and hopefully got some well-deserved rest over the Thanksgiving break. We’re in the final stretch to wrapping up the autumn semester, so while you’re preparing for final exams, be sure that you have everything set up right for the spring. Here are a few pointers to help you plan for next semester:
- Playing the waiting game? If you’re on a waitlist for a course, be sure to monitor your progress through the waitlist in the Student Center on Buckeyelink. Hopefully you’re moving up the list, but if you haven’t seen any movement yet you may want to either look for an alternate course to keep on your schedule, or try contacting the instructor to ask what their policy will be for the waitlist.
- Double check those requirements! The Degree Audit in Buckeyelink will show you how each course you have taken, currently are enrolled in, and plan to take next semester factors into your chosen major(s). Run a new audit so that you can make sure the courses you have registered for are factoring in to your degree requirements. Here is a handy resource with instructions to run your Degree Audit. If you have any questions about those requirements, contact your academic advisor for clarification.
- Will it be better the second time around? If you’re not doing so well in a course this semester, you may want to plan on retaking. Talk with your academic advisor about your options, particularly if the course you are struggling with now is a prerequisite for something you have added for next semester.
- Walk the walk! Look at the locations of your classes on next semester’s schedule. If you have some free time (a precious commodity this time of year, we know!) walk your routes to and from each class to get a gauge of how long it will take you to get from place to place. If it feels like you’ll be rushing too much to get to class on time, consider trying to find an alternate course if available… or invest in a good pair of running shoes!
- Want the inside scoop? If you’re looking for an additional course to round out your credit hours, look at something to give you the inside track to being a successful college student: ESEPSY 1259 – Individual Learning and Motivation: Strategies for Success in College. Descriptions of this and other helpful courses can be found at the Dennis Learning Center’s website.