There comes a time in every student’s life when they are met with a barrage of last minute projects, last minute cramming for exam and everything feels so overwhelming. When you are given them, the deadline seems like ageees away. ‘There’s plenty of time to do it’ is usually the same words uttered from my mouth every project I get. In the end it’s always a scramble to get it finished on time.
I was in this very situation many times and was met with one too many projects due and little to no time to finish them. Okay I had enough time but then again that left me with little to no sleep or play time, which we all know we need to keep us sane. So to avoid this for future references I came up with a little action plan to save me from my self-inflicted panic station.
Keep yourself organised. It’s best to keep your project weeks/months uncluttered. If you’re someone who doesn’t keep a planner or likes to organize things, now is a good time to start, but don’t be like me and reward yourself with a break for making a list.
Make a “to do” list. Include everything for the weeks/months to come: Projects, group meetings, interviews for projects, study groups. Break it all down into points. For example, under “Employment Law Project” I’ve included “find relevant cases”. This will help ensure that nothing important is forgotten, especially when everything is due at once and lets be honest it usually is.
Prioritise CAs/projects and create a study schedule. This is definitely tedious but will take a half hour max. Make a schedule that focuses on the most important things first or worth the most marks. For example, my group projects were a priority as the group had to ensure we met at a time to suit everyone, and individual CAs were done in my own time.
Go through notes and concentrate on key sections. If you’re anything like me then all your folders/notebooks are overflowing with information that, let’s be honest, isn’t all relevant. There just isn’t enough hours in the day to go through everything, you should give yourself a rough idea of the key points of any class handouts and review any power points.
Get yourself a reliable group. This part is tough as most of the time you’re inclined to get in a group with your friends, but sometimes your standard of work is higher. Yes, you want to work with them, but the question you need to ask yourself is do I want to carry them? If you weren’t sure the answer to that is NO! I’m lucky because my group that I have been with the past few years are great; we all work to each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Make sure you sleep and eat properly. The seasons are changing, everyone is stressing balls, and the food in the college isn’t exactly nourishing. Preparing your own lunch is the way to go, while it might eat into your study time, you will be glad you’re not stuck eating some slop served up to you. Keep healthy snacks with you when you’re in college and make sure to eat fruits and vegetables. Sleep is also essential and yes, you might stay up into the wee hours of morn’ but this is what I find most difficult, giving your body plenty of time to rest and recover from all those balls you’ve been a stressin’.
Make sure your study space is clean. There isn’t much more to say about that other than if you’re working in a clean organised environment, you’re less likely to be stressed! I mean, I can’t really vouch for this as my room is clutter central, I do know where my hair clip is that rolled under the left side of my clothes rail…but I’ve heard it helps.
Plan to procrastinate. Everybody does it; no matter who you are you will find yourself procrastinating. For instance, I have watched 5 episodes of ‘How to get Away with Murder’ and I had the finishing touches or two projects to finish by 11.55pm that night. I mean that was an excessive example but nevertheless… plan for a few hours of procrastination. It’s inevitable.
And Breathe. In spite of the 101 things you need to do, you still need to have some me time. Take a break to clear your head and meet up with friends. Dance your bum off to your favourite music. Enjoy an episode or two of your favourite show. Those moments where you’re just enjoying life will keep you sane.
Hope this helps!