Letter from the Editor: Preparing for the end of the year

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By Julie Pike, Editor-in-Chief

We’re just one week away from the last week of classes, and two weeks away from finals, rounding out the end of the 2018/2019 academic year.

This is usually when the chaos and stress set in. You’re beginning to think about all the assignments, projects and tests that you have due coming up, and the more you think about it, the more you feel like your head is going to explode. I’ve been here a few times, and while I can say the stress is pretty much unavoidable, there are ways you can make these last couple weeks a bit easier on you.

First, get your planner or a journal and write down everything you have due for each class and when they are due. That list is going to look scary and overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, little by little you’ll get to check things off. If you can, break each of your assignments down into smaller tasks. This will help the assignment feel less daunting. Focus on the small achievements to accomplish the larger ones.

Next, look at your schedule for the next couple of weeks and figure out when you can dedicate time for your assignments or for studying. Keeping in mind your due dates and the estimated time it will take for you to complete it, work out the best time for you to work on assignments for each class. Make sure you stick to this schedule. If you put everything off until the last minute (which trust me I’ve done), you’ll feel like wanting to pull your hair out. So why not try and be somewhat proactive?

Personally, I like to start off checking off the quick or easy tasks on my list, it helps to get the ball rolling and you’ll feel like you’ve actually accomplished something, hopefully encouraging you to continue that feeling.

If you can muster the strength to part with it, put away your phone. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, you’ll be surprised how much more focused you can be on the task at hand if your phone is out of sight.

I’d also recommend creating a study time playlist. Put on relaxing or chill songs, or try out an instrumental or classical music playlist to help focus your mind. It really does make a difference if you’re like me and need to have some sort of noise in the background.

Try mixing up where you do your work. If you’re usually working on homework in your bed, try sitting at a table or desk, sometimes the change of scenery will help wake your brain up.

We’re also heading into the gorgeous springtime in Maine, which means the picnic tables and grassy areas on campus become perfect spots for getting work done. Nothing like the fresh air and some sun to help put you in a better mood, which we could all use during this time of year.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just to get started. Pick one thing out from your to-do list and start working on it. Oftentimes I find myself thinking about all the assignments I have to do more than I actually make time to do them. Procrastination is high during these coming weeks, and the best remedy is just to start by working on one thing, just one, to help get you out of it.

So far I’ve only focused on managing the school work stress, but above all, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take frequent breaks, make sure you eat and drink throughout the day. Don’t let your schoolwork consume you. Try to structure your time to where you are dedicating enough for your assignments, your other responsibilities, and for things that you need, like sleep and food. While you’re scheduling when you’re working on school work, it’s important to add in time to rest or go out and do something fun.

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