You remember the moment well. You were sitting on your bed at home over fall break, halfway through an episode of Cupcake Wars and enjoying the feeling of not being in class when the notification shows up on your phone. It's a text from your friend: "Hey guess what, I'm not failing Moreau anymore!"
You know what this means: midterm grades are posted. You log into Sakai, your fingertips racing across the keyboard as a burst of adrenaline rushes through your body. You brace yourself for the worst as you open your midterm report. Your eyes scan across the computer screen, and it's confirmed: you're doing just as badly in your classes as you thought you were. Maybe worse.
Maybe you did not have this exact experience. Regardless, over fall break we tend to reevaluate our lives and think about the ways we can improve socially, academically and spiritually. So do not despair my lovely fellow Domers, not all hope is lost. There are still measures you can take to make this semester the best one yet.
When asking fellow students what suggestions they had for those wishing to improve their academic performance, Fia Hargil said, "I would set aside specific times to study when I force myself to sit down and finish my work before socializing. Also, time management is key. Now shut up so I can watch this video of a twerking hamster."
There are many ways to improve your lifestyle, health and grades. Here are just a few tips on how to succeed in school and keep your cool.
I know I can't be the only one who realized that 2 out of my 3 meals per day were coming from Taco Bell. However, since physical health is related to your overall well being, I promise that you will thank yourself for taking the extra steps to eat healthier. Between club meetings and classes and labs, Notre Dame students need all the energy they can get to make it through the day and avoid passing out. Your meals are going to be your main source of this energy, so eat foods that are going to supply you with the brain power you need.
Also, it's important to remember that eating well does not mean eating less. Pile your plate up with vegetables and, if you eat at South, grab an extra bowl of apple slices. No, really. Enjoy your pre-sliced apples. Not all of us are as fortunate.
Buy yourself some shiny new stationary. Know the important deadlines for the rest of the semester. Write down when papers are due or when to start studying for exams. Put them on sticky notes to post around your desk or take a screenshot of your Google calendar with all the important dates on it and set it as your desktop background. The goal is to have constant reminders of these looming deadlines so that you want to get rid of them and take them down as soon as possible. It may seem excessive, but remember the stress and sleepless nights of midterms week? That should be avoided at all costs.
Forswear All Human Interaction
Ok, not really. But it's important that while you make time to be with friends, you also need to actively avoid feeling like you need to be around others 24/7. Take some alone time for yourself and tend to your own well-being. Before you say, "Calm down, Narcissus", remember that Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is Fear of Missing Out itself" (or something like that).
Set aside time for meditation and to reflect on how you're doing mentally and emotionally. If you are out of tune with yourself, it's going to affect your school work and social life. So do yourself a solid and take time to be alone. College is a formative time and whether you realize it or not you're becoming a new person. Be sure to get to know that person so that at the end of the semester you can be aware and proud of the progress you have made.
Or you can realize that despite the efforts you planned to make to turn the semester around, it's Christmas break and you're back where you started. But don't worry, when it comes to self-improvement, it's never too late to put it off until next week.
If all else fails, you still go to the objectively greatest school on earth, so be proud of yourself and enjoy every moment.