One Month and I’m Already Behind

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We never realize how much can happen in the first month of the semester until it actually happens. We all say to ourselves, “Sure I can go out to the bar tonight, even though it’s Tuesday. What else do I have to do?” The thing is, we never answer that second part of the thought: “What else do I have to do?” We all know damn well what we have to do though. Whether we truly know or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s not too late to catch up. After all, it has only been a month.
 
Don’t Freak Out
 
The first thing to do after realizing you are behind with your work is to remain calm. You are not the only person in the world, or more realistically at your campus, feeling this way. If you were a slacker at the beginning of the semester, there is no need to panic.
 
Get Help
 
“Make friends with your professors all semester,” said Frostburg University senior Mille Latvala. “If you have a good attitude then the professor will recognize that and I find it is usually worth a percentage point or two at the end of the semester.”
 
These are great reasons to keep in the good graces of your professors, but Latvala said the best reason is “they will be willing to go the extra mile and help someone who is happy to be in class and working hard,” something they wouldn’t do for a slacker. Just be sure to talk to them as soon as possible and don’t forget to smile, nod, and give a nice firm handshake.
 
Sleep? Who Needs Sleep?
 
“I basically just lose sleep, which sucks, but what’s important is that I get the work done,” said Virginia Tech senior Virginia Colleen Ursic.
 
That is the exact attitude you need to have in order to get the work done and be successful. You need to be willing to give that sleep up. If you are willing to spend a whole night out with friends, rather than doing school work, you better be willing to lose a few hours of sleep in order to catch up. Check out Sean Walker’s motivational speech and see what he has to say about sleep and success:
 
 
Show Some Self Control
 
Social outings should not be at the top of the priority list when behind in school. Towson University senior Daniel Lewis understands this completely: “Usually to catch back up on work, any weeknights I usually go out, I tell myself I'm not going to and I force myself to do work instead.” It is important to know when to have fun and when to buckle down and put your nose to the grindstone.

Reward Yourself For Good Behavior
 
Incentives are always a way to kick-start the mind into gear. Pace University senior Melissa Recine uses this technique: “I like to make a list of things I need to get done by certain days and I give myself an incentive in order to complete it. For instance, a couple weeks ago I was so stressed and behind that I told myself if I got all the work I needed done by Monday finished by Friday, I would buy myself a new pair of shoes.” Sounds perfectly reasonable to me! Student loans can only afford so many pairs of shoes though, so be careful not to use this technique too often or too extremely.
 
Photo: casalewebnet2 at flickr.com

Senior > English > University of Maryland

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