Recently, it seems like every time I go to class, I’m forced to open up my planner and add another item to my to-do list. The list goes on and on and feels like it’s never ending. Even when I complete a task and cross something off in my planner, I feel like I haven’t made a dent in the work I have to do.
I swear I didn’t have as much work in previous years as I do in my junior year. When I express my grievances to others, I always hear the same thing: “Junior year is your hardest year. You just have to work hard and eventually you’ll get through it.”
It turns out that they were right. Going into my junior year, I was ready for the rush. I braced myself for all of the hard work that was ultimately going to come. By pacing myself, I was hoping that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
The beginning of the fall semester, I was on my game. I got all of my work done when it was assigned and tried my hardest to stay on top of everything so I wouldn’t be stuck with a mound of homework on the weekends. Eventually, I started to lose some steam. Things started to pile up, and I felt overwhelmed.
Junior year is such a crucial year. It’s the perfect time to get an internship to build up experience for when you graduate. It’s also a time when your grades need to be at the top of their game for potential employers or grad school admissions committees. You can’t get any of that without hard work.
All I can say is, when you feel overwhelmed and like a mountain of books is going to crush you, take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Things will get done, and you will find a way to finish everything.
Pace yourself when you do work and don’t spend too much time doing one assignment. If you concentrate on the same thing for a long time, it’s easy to get bored and distracted from what you’re supposed to be doing. Focus on one thing and then change it up to another assignment to avoid the boredom.
Allow yourself some time for study breaks. Consider it a reward of some sort. If you complete an assignment, take a break. Have a snack, surf the Internet for a little while, but always make sure your short break doesn’t turn into an hour-long session.
Make lists and organize yourself. Complete your work based on when it’s due. This way, you get the important things done first and the other assignments will be completed eventually.
Junior year is a difficult year, but with a lot of hard work and planning, you can conquer it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel of spring semester and it leads to beaches and summer fun. You can do it if you put your mind to it.
Printed in the 3/5/14 edition.