In case you’re not at the U of L yet, or in case by some miracle you haven’t noticed… November (and March, in spring) is called crunch time. More assignments and papers are due now than any other time during the semester. You’re tired, you’re cranky, you might be a little homesick, and no matter how keen you were in September, you’re definitely tired of school. You just want to be done and be home for the holidays. That’s all I want right now. I want this Fall semester (my very last!!) to be over, I want to get started on finishing everything for Utrecht, getting ready for Mexico and spending the holidays with my wonderful family back home in Red Deer, my awesome partner and his family in High River. I can’t wait.
But, as is the nature of crunch time, I’m swamped. I just wrote it all out, and I have 9 assignments/exams to be done by December 8, and 3 more due in the exam period. That gives me TWO WEEKS. Two. Weeks. Two weeks!
Crunch time, how I hate you. But as a ULeth veteran, here are some ways to get through November with (some of) your sanity and get onto the best part of Fall term – Ender Bender/when it’s finally over. 🙂
1. Sleep. I know you stay up all night sometimes to do a paper or a project the night before. Because you procrastinated!! But don’t worry, we all do it. I’m in year 5 and I do it, because some people never learn. But even if you stay up all night, make sure you schedule yourself time the next day to sleep. Sleep is key! You need it. Don’t feel guilty – get 8 hours a night. And if you have an all-nighter, PLAN for sleep. Make time for it. You’ll thank me.
2. Eat. And eat right. It’s so easy when you get crazy busy to eat either nothing (which I’m always guilty of doing) or eat garbage (which is what I always did in my first couple years). So I’m telling you now, when you do a grocery run, buy lots. Buy lots of good food, food that will sustain your energy and your brain power, all to maximize studying and paper-writing ability. I usually buy a bunch of veggies and then slice them up that same day. Then when I’m hungry, I have no excuse to call for pizza. I can just go to the fridge and chow down on something healthy.
3. Relax. I mean this. Schedule time for you. Relax. Reserve one evening a week where you don’t hang out with friends or do homework or anything. Workout. Play Modern Warfare Watch YouTube until you cry with laughter. Just do something, anything, that’s just for you. Just relax, and give your body and your brain time to recharge. This is valuable time. I swear.
4. Prioritize. I’m a huuuuuge list maker. I make lists all day, every day. Sometimes I make lists with things I’ve already done on them, just so I can cross those things off. So here’s my method, just make sure you choose one that works best for you! I took a huge piece of paper (hazard of being a teacher, I have weird stuff like that everywhere!!) and wrote: Things Between Me and Christmas! Then I organized all my assignments/presentations/exams by class and then by date. Now I have my last 12 things of the semester written out and I can see what has to be done first. What do I want to work on right now? My Prezi for Women and Physical Activity. What do I actually have to work on? My reading report for Native American Women. PS – I made this list tonight and already crossed off two things! They were the easiest, but I don’t care! I feel accomplished.
5. Remember that everyone feels like this. And if they say they don’t, they’re lying. November is a stressful time for everyone. Everyone is under the weather and stressed and eager for school to end. But you can make it through… remember, only two more weeks of classes!!
Best of luck in crunch time! Keep your eyes on the prize – holidays!!