When you’re in college, keeping up with your coursework is challenging. This is especially true if you have other commitments like a part-time job, on-campus activities, or caring for a child. To keep your stress levels under control, try following these four tips for staying on top of your assignments.
Start Right Away
It’s easy to procrastinate, especially at the start of the semester when you only have one or two readings to do. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to just leave it for later. However, it doesn’t take long for those two chapter readings to turn into three, then four, then five — you get the idea. Certain assignments could also take more time to complete than you expect. Therefore, it’s important to start them early before they snowball into an unmanageable amount of work.
Create a Timetable
The only thing worse than writing an assignment at the last minute is missing the deadline completely. You definitely don’t want to show up to class and wonder why everyone but you is handing in his or her statistics assignments already. Isn’t that due next week? Nope! It’s your biology paper that’s due next week.
To avoid this horrifying situation, use a calendar or an app to keep track of upcoming tests and assignment due dates. Schedule time for studying, and make sure to account for unexpected events. You never know when you could come down with the flu or have a family emergency. Aim to finish your assignments two days early. That way, you’ll have an extra cushion of time in case you need it.
Use the Library
If you’re the type of person who can study in your room without getting distracted by social media or whatever your roommate is doing, you may not need the library. However, it’s the perfect place for those who prefer peace and quiet. The library comes in handy if your printer breaks down or you can’t find the peer-reviewed article you want online. You might even find some of the textbooks you need. Bonus: Depending on your school, the library may also have a coffee shop.
Join a Study Group
If you prefer to work with others or just need help with a particularly tough class, consider joining (or creating) a study group. Other students may have insights or study methods you didn’t think of, and discussing the class material can help you understand it better. If you happen to miss a lecture, someone in your group can fill you in.
A study group also helps you stay motivated. Do you want to be the only one who hasn’t read chapter five yet? Probably not. Just keep in mind that a study group is only helpful if everyone stays focused. Making new friends is great and everything, but you should join a different group if your study sessions feel more like hangout sessions.
College students are notorious for pulling off all-nighters and dealing with last-minute panic, but that doesn’t have to be you. Follow these study tips, and you’ll have a much easier time staying on top of your assignments.