Strive to improve semester habits
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
Every year on Dec. 31, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to try to change their lives for the better. However, according to British newspaper “The Daily Mail,” most people break those resolutions on or before Jan. 10.
While those resolutions may be out the window, here are some “semester resolutions” which may be a little bit more realistic and help students have a more successful, fulfilling semester.
First, stop procrastinating. This is probably a huge issue for many students. Students know things are less stressful when it’s not 4 a.m. on the due date, but they put it off anyway. According to University of California-Los Angeles Psychology Professor Nate Kornell, cramming only helps us to memorize information, not actually learn it. Often, concepts in class build off of previous ones, so forgetting that information a week later can be detrimental.
Here’s a great way to try to combat last-minute cramming: at the beginning of the semester, go through syllabi and write down fake due dates for the big projects and exams. This gives you a few days of cushion for if things really are busy, or to look things over one last time.
Another tip is to actually use free UW Oshkosh resources. They are called “free,” but in reality student pay thousands of dollars for them. Why not put them to good use? Whether it’s the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the Student Health Center, the Center for Academic Resources, Career Services, the Writing Center or tons of other resources at our disposal, benefit from at least one of them this semester. And if that’s not enough, the Writing Center and Career Services also have free candy.
Thirdly, according to the University of New Mexico, one in five students admit to coming to class regularly without completing the assigned reading for that day.
Textbooks aren’t cheap and they may actually help with understanding new and complex concepts. So crack open those textbooks. Even if the professor thoroughly explains something in class, reading the assigned chapters, or at least the summaries at the end, can help reinforce the big ideas.
Try to get on a regular sleeping pattern. This doesn’t mean a solid eight hours of sleep each night, but make those few hours you do get the same few hours.
If you go to bed at 2 a.m. and sleep until 8 a.m., do that each day. According to the Huffington Post, regular sleep patterns improve memory and attention span, lower stress, and combat depression.
Go on an adventure. Take a weekend or spring break to travel or do something new. This moment is the youngest students will ever be. They may look back and regret not doing what they always wanted to.
Doing a short study abroad can earn credits, in addition to personal growth, engagement and advancing diverse personal and career goals,according to Oshkosh’s Office of International Education.
Care less about GPA. Think about this one for a second. A lot of the times, the “easy A” classes are the ones in which students actually learn the least.
During interviews, companies probably won’t look twice at GPA. Amy Diepenbrock, director of career services at Barry University in Florida, said, “A lower GPA with more activities and skills is preferred because employers know that in today’s workplace, individuals are pulled in many directions and need to be able to handle the pressure.”
And lastly, connect with your professors. A lot of them previously held careers in the field they’re teaching and have more knowledge and connections outside of what’s in the textbook and classes.
Relationship building and networking are key. Many professors know the “right” people. Plus, if a student needs a letter of recommendation, then they have a professor who knows them well and will be more willing to write one.
While some of these may seem like a hefty task, picking just one or two of them may end up making the semester a whole lot better.
Whether it’s learning more or saving more, it’s not too late to make this semester the best one yet. And, if not, at least we’ll all fail together, yet again.