7 Tips for Knocking Out the Last 4 Weeks of School

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People, I kid you not, there are only 4 more weeks from today until classes are OVER. Done. Completed. No more (until we do it again in August).

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I don’t know about anyone else, but making the last push is crucial for me. Grades are, unfortunately, teetering and effort is, also, unfortunately, waning. Due to the lack of effort that has existed up until now, it’s important that I not only bring it in terms of energy but also crush my upcoming assignments, papers, and exams. This means 100% dedication given to everything I do from here on out, but that’s easier said than done.

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Not only is complete academic overdrive tons of work but it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re someone, like myself, who also spends a lot of time in things like clubs, teams, or friends. Now is not the time to burnout, however, so I’m here to offer the 7 tricks I’ll be using to make it through.

 

  1. Lists, lists, and more lists

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Having a routine is key. Being able to make a list and cross off tasks as you go can help you remember the small successes as your mountain of tasks will disappear as you work with it. This is a trick that works really well for me because I like to see tangible evidence of my effort paying off, but understand that sometimes, seeing your work can stress you out more. If you’re a sequential worker like me, try it with a sticky on your desktop! If you like to remove yourself from tasks when you can’t work on them, try writing down your tasks instead.

 

  1. Block out time for specific assignments

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Always dedicate your time to something, whether it be studying or busy work. Having a schedule and sticking with it makes you as efficient as possible. That being said, schedule time for non-school things too so you don’t get swallowed. If you can block out time in your day, and be realistic, you can manage to get it all done, maybe hang out with pals, AND sleep! What joy!

 

  1. Get small things done first

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Anything that can be done in 15 minutes or less should be at the top of your priority list. Like with lists, being able to knock things out and have your agenda shrink will make you feel immensely better. Also, you don’t want to get points knocked off your grade for not submitting a small, 5 minute assignment.

 

  1. Work together with other people

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If you have a group project, use the other members! I’m guilty of steamrolling, I’ll admit it, but as life creeps in on me, I like to take advantage of the built-in collaboration of our environment. Not only can you work with your peers on assignments but you can also study together (but make sure to spend some time studying alone for the sake of a distraction-free environment). Additionally, if you’re at a breaking point and you really might have a meltdown, reach out to your professors. They are generally accommodating and would prefer you make it out of college with an ounce of joy rather than panic about a paper. Don’t take advantage of them, though. Their extensions are not guaranteed, so if you’re lucky enough to get one, take it seriously.

 

  1. Stay flexible

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While routine is important, sometimes life gets in the way. The more rigid you are, the more you’ll freak out if something goes wrong. Be as self-disciplined as you can WITHOUT sacrificing a panic attack because a class ended 10 minutes late or you got caught up in a meeting longer than you expected. Adjust accordingly and keep chugging along.

 

  1. Don’t forget the small steps

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Emory is an email heavy school -- do not forget this! Check your email, check your linkedin, and check your handshake (if that’s what you’re into). Don’t get so caught up in one grade that you isolate yourself from what’s going on around you. There are small things you have to do each day just to stay on track in the bigger scheme of things, so don’t let an essay or assignment make you forget them (hmm, but wouldn’t a list help you remember).

 

  1. Don’t forget to take time for yourself

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The quickest way to get burnt out is to spend every second of every minute in every hour stressing about something, or everything. Whether you need to block it into your schedule or you need to set an alarm to draw your hard stop, take some time to yourself to recover each day. For the love of all things holy, don’t pull an all nighter. If you sacrifice your health, both physically and mentally, you’ll be of no use to yourself and your work won’t be in its prime.

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At the end of the day, you come first. While you should work hard and put your best foot forward, remember the big scheme of things and remember what you’re working for. If it’s a chem exam bogging you down, think about why you wanted to do pre-med in the first place. If you don’t have an answer for “Why am I doing this?” then maybe, just maybe, reconsider your path. College is a place to learn, not wither away into a dust pile of useless factoids. You’re here because you worked to be here and you want to do something, don’t forget what drives you and the world will be at your fingertips.