Getting Off on the Wrong Foot

Tracey Regimbal

Starting a new semester, whether it’s your first or your last, always comes with the same scenario: Initial motivation, lack of work and then you wake up in Midterms. Traditionally, I am an ace at organizing my time efficiently for the coming semester. Key word: Organizing. I love to write lists, schedules, and other “time efficient” devices in order to push myself to avoid procrastination throughout the year. But, I spend so much time on planning out my time, I actually waste all of my time. Sorry, lists are fun for visual people but it doesn’t actually encourage you to do the work.

What happens? You wake up mid-October, the night before the exam and realize you haven’t really learnt much. Maybe you can contest your grade by showing your professor the really pretty charts you made. (They will just refer you to the Mental Health department. True story, do not attempt).  Anyways, what to take from all this? Just because Add/Drop period goes into the 3rd week of school, doesn’t mean you have 3 weeks off. You need to use this to your advantage and start your work. It’s exciting that the first assignment isn’t due for a long time but you’ll soon notice all of your classes’ due dates intersect. Getting a head start on readings, studying, exams and whatever else will really benefit you.

But how do you make yourself work? The advice I ever got from a counsellor about my school work anxiety: The best way to become productive is to pretend to be productive. You may not even anticipate getting work done tonight, but you know you need to eventually (at some point, in the not so distant future) so just take out your notebook or textbook. Or log onto Web Ct and open some slides. You’ll soon see that your interests are sparked by a couple of words or a photo. It will result in a chain reaction and you’ll end up studying when you didn’t even think it was an option. I swear this works. Professor Hank from the Information Studies department calls this “Prospector of Knowledge,” where you’re not actually looking to learn something and it just happens.

All in all, it’s great to know what’s due when and what days you have time for school work but dream boards can only go so far. It’s easy for us to forget how quickly the semester goes by, and suddenly your papers are due, exams are set and you’re crying over a textbook at the Second Cup in the McGill Ghetto. September is famous for is lax due dates and lack of stress but pushing yourself a little will got a long way and might make the difference in your GPA.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.