3 Habits You Need to Ditch If You Want to Save This Semester

Courtesy: Dylan Gillis

We’ve reached the mid-semester slump. Maybe you’ve let your work pile up so much that you have to write two papers and study for an exam in one night, or you’ve completely given up hope for passing your toughest class. It’s the point where we’re tired from lack of sleep, studying, working and tailgating, but collegiettes, as the girl bosses you are, you can’t give up yet! With six more weeks in the semester, it’s time to break out of the bad habits weighing you down and kick some a**! Here’s how you can do it:

1. Stop complaining.

When someone asks how you’re doing, how many times do you respond with: stressed, busy or overwhelmed, and then launch into describing everything you have going on? No doubt, college women today take on tons of roles on and off campus. But even though dumping our stress onto someone else can be cathartic (because misery really does love company), it actually has been proven to make us feel even more stressed.

According to Psychology Today, habitual complaining actually may “’re-wire the brain so that those particular thinking orientations become ingrained.” They also make both the complainer and the listener feel worse, not better. Try to rephrase your wording while being true to your feelings. It may just trick your mind into feeling more at peace, rather than reinforcing all the stress you feel around your various tasks.

2. Quit making excuses.

Whatever your goals may be, if you want to improve your grades, spend more time with your friends, hit the gym, find an internship, or get into grad school, then make the time to do it. It can be really hard to get going on a new goal or project if it seems too big to handle, so the best ways to make them happen are to:

a) budget your time accordingly to fit in what you want to do, and

b) make small, attainable goals.

List out your goals and then divide those goals into bite-sized pieces that you can work on every day. For example, if you want to bump your grade from a C to an A, start by writing that down. Then, additional steps may be meeting with your professor weekly, finding a tutor, and spending an hour studying for that class every day. Once you have it down in your planner, those steps will seem much more attainable and you won’t have to sacrifice all the other things you want to do during your college years.

3. No more procrastinating.

We all do it, especially for those bigger, daunting tasks. But as we all know, putting things off until the future only heightens your stress and reduces your motivation. Though it might feel “better” to work under pressure, procrastination researcher Alexander Rozental says that people tend to procrastinate when they see a lack of value in the task, they feel they can’t achieve the value of the task, or it simply seems too big to take on.

The best way to overcome procrastinating is setting periodic deadlines for a bigger project or finding the time of day you tend to be most productive. When I’m working on a long paper, I bribe myself with a coffee from Starbucks. I write for as long as it takes me to finish the drink, then take a break. It usually knocks out at least 45 minutes and maybe two to three pages of the paper, if I’m focused.

Finally, remember that to stay motivated, it’s important to give yourself rewards and celebrate reaching your achievements. Take a study break and meet friends for a drink, tailgate on Saturday morning, or just chill and watch Netflix one afternoon. Whatever you love to do will help recharge your body and your brain, making you even more capable to take on whatever hurdle comes next.