Surviving November’s Monstrosity

Sarah Arafat, Writer

That point of the semester is here, again. November: multiple deadlines, everyone is panicking and worried about GPAs, and it’s dark all the time. Well, you are not alone. As the semester is coming to an end, you will be very busy with all these due dates and preparing for your upcoming finals. Here are a few tips to make it slightly less stressful:

For starters, as your teachers are giving you all these due dates, make sure you are WRITING them down. Studies show that if you write stuff down, you have a better chance of remembering it, whether in a planner or on a sheet of paper. Make sure to set times to work on the assignment(s) periodically rather than all at once.

Next, you should make sure you are reviewing material, even after you have tested on it. Just because you have tested on it does NOT mean you won’t see it again. At least make it to the final before forgetting about it.

Another thing to keep in mind as you progress through this semester is that “big projects” are just a bunch of little projects. Research papers and group projects normally have many parts to them, and it is important that you take them one step at a time. Teachers always say, “This is not an assignment you can do the night before,” and you might laugh it off and say, “Oh, you don’t know me,” but inevitably, you will get stressed out and even angry if you choose to wait until the last minute.

Another tip for the overachievers is to make sure you STICK WITH WHAT WORKS! Picture it: it is the night before finals, and you still have two whole units you need to review for each class. It’s 11:00 PM and your parents are yelling at you to go to sleep. Now is NOT the time to test out that new study trick you saw on Pinterest last week. If you know writing it down 10 times will help you remember it, write it down 10 times.

While studying and doing homework, make sure you are taking smart breaks. “Yeah, Dad I was just taking a short break!” is not fooling anyone but yourself. Sometimes you have been reading too long to even comprehend the material anymore, which is completely normal. Although a break is often needed, make sure you are being productive. Don’t play on your phone and watch TV. For example, I have been studying for 3 hours; I need a break. OH! Let me do the dishes or check when the next NEHS meeting is!

Before you start studying for finals (props to you if you already have started studying, can’t say the same), make sure you give yourself a mental break from school. Even if it is just 15 minutes everyday, your mental health is just as important as your physical health and it is important that you take care of it.

Most importantly, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, drinking water, and please… take it easy!