November. A time for turkey dinners, family gatherings, and an abundance of facial hair. The changing of seasons brings a jovial spirit to college campuses, but is accompanied by distracted students who are more concerned with going home than passing their classes. The anticipation for a break is distracting to say the least and leaves many students only feeling motivated enough to complete the minimum requirements. This drop in class attendance and overall care for our school work endangers students grades, causing more stress in the end.
So how do we beat these mid-semester stressors?
Below I’ve compiled some tips and tricks for staying a good student without sacrificing the joy of the holidays.
Getting Up to Go to Class
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Waking up is hard. You know what makes it harder? When it’s softly snowing outside, the morning is quiet, and your bed is somehow the warmest it’s ever been. To leave that kind of comfort would be a shame and yet your professor accompanied by a handful of students will be making this sacrifice everyday. So why shouldn’t you! You’ve been a good student all year so don’t let a little chilly weather keep you from class. To ensure you not only wake up, but also make it to class try setting a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed at consistent times regulates your mind + body which increases energy and motivation. Plus, waking up earlier means more time to get ready so why not go to class after all that work?
Going to the Gym
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Colder weather, warmer food. The changing of seasons brings hearty food intended to insulate our bodies from the cold, however, the abundance of holiday coffee drinks and seasonal sweets means tighter fitting winter jackets. Going to the gym becomes less of a “when I have time” matter and more of a “when it’s warm again” issue. To keep enjoying the seasonal treats and stay motivated for the gym try making commitments with others. Plan on taking a cycling class with a friend or signing up for a yoga membership. Once you have those commitments in place it will be harder to back out unless there is a real reason like snow blizzards or seasonal illnesses!
Studying Instead of Holiday Planning
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11 days till Thanksgiving. 2 days till an exam...let’s go Christmas shopping! With all the commercials, movies, and decorations celebrating the upcoming holidays it’s hard to forget they are slowly approaching. Students often get consumed by all the external celebrations happening that they forget school is still in season. To help stay focused on class, at least until actual break arrives, try incorporating the holidays into school work. If you want to make time to watch your favorite holiday show make sure it is something you could incorporate into a paper or class discussion. Treat yourself to some seasonal hot chocolate while studying and wearing your favorite winter socks.
Just because you have to focus on school doesn’t mean the holiday season is halted and vice versa. Make time to enjoy the season and all its offerings, but don’t get caught up in the “break” and forget that finals are also approaching. I hope these tips can help you stay on-track in the last lap of the semester.