Weak in Week 3?
Syllabus week has passed, and we are officially on our way to getting into the thick of things. By this time, class schedules are finalized, books are (hopefully) all ordered, and you aren’t walking into the wrong classroom anymore. Hooray for some sense of normalcy! With this degree of comfort comes a slump. It constantly tries to invade your routine and trick you into becoming a bum. The slump encourages you to skip classes and slack off whenever possible. There are a lot of different things you can do to keep yourself from falling behind this semester. If you’re beginning to feel weak in Week 3, I need to you acknowledge that. Fight off the slump this semester with these simple steps.
Catch up/refamiliarize yourself with your syllabi
Maybe you haven’t looked at these since the first day of class, or the first night when you did the assignments. If that is the case, pull them back out and look at what is expected of you in each of your classes. If you have been looking at them, look further ahead and see what is to come so that you aren’t blindsided. This way, you’ll know what to expect in the coming months. If you have the time (or if you are willing to set aside one day of the weekend each week), you can work ahead in your syllabus. Even if means just getting ahead with work due later in the week, you will feel a tremendous weight leave your shoulders by completing any tasks ahead of time.
Write down when things are due
This goes along with the previous step. When you’re going through your syllabi, you can write down due dates and exams on your calendar or assignment notebook. I realize that I am always recommending this, but it’s practically impossible to survive college without this tip! Staying organized will not only keep you on track now — it will prepare you for becoming an adult and having deadlines at work or with bills.
Designate a time to do assignments
As I mentioned earlier, it is a great idea to take one day each weekend and complete all assignments you have. While it can be rough to work for an extended amount of time, it is so exhilarating to have multiple days on which you do not have to do assignments or study. You can do this with the weekdays, as well — that’s the beauty of never having the same class two days in a row in college!
Do something fun
It doesn’t matter what it is, but if you’ve been working really hard so far, I’d say it’s about time you gave yourself a little break. Do something you enjoy, and try to do it more often. Giving yourself time for breaks or a day off is so important to your well-being and sanity.
Explore parts of campus you haven’t before
I am always finding something new around here, or at least something that I’ve never had a reason to check out. Go to a building you’ve never had a class in, or walk around West Campus. It is so interesting to see all of the different parts of
Find a new study spot
If you’ve been studying in the same place on campus for as long as you can remember, don’t you think it’s time for a change in scenery? There are so many different places to study, and while I’m a huge fan of doing work in my room, so many of my friends take advantage of the different spaces UIC has to offer.
Try to find a connection between your classes
Maybe your classes are all within your major, or maybe you have multiple electives. Whatever the case may be, everything we are learning is in some way connected. When you are studying or doing assignments, think about how the material you are focusing on relates to your other classes. Thinking in this way will give you a better understanding overall of everything you are learning,and you may even discover a potential paper or presentation topic.
Think about the future and what you can do now
No matter what year you are in or how far off graduation is for you, it is never too early to start thinking about your future. After all, you wouldn’t be here at UIC if you already made some type of commitment to bettering your future. Be on the lookout for experiences that can help you in one way or another. Is it time to starting looking for your summer internship? Have you applied to graduate? Should you start thinking about which residence hall you want to live in next year? Be sure you are on track. Don’t let the semester pass you by-and don’t leave your good grades in Week 2. Keep moving forward and doing your best. Before we know it, finals week will be rolling around, and you don’t want to be regretting your choices from the semester. Make it count!
Holly Brenza is a senior majoring in English and minoring in communications and management. In her spare time, Holly enjoys playing with her puppy, Bear, and watching the Blackhawks and White Sox, reading and trying out new recipes. After graduation, she hopes to work in public relations.