Fall Semester Blues

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By Catherine Kastberg

It’s that point in the semester where everyone is getting tired. Physically and emotionally, everyone is exhausted. The inconsistent weather, and the school work that keeps piling on is a lot to take in. We all know how hard it can be to force yourself to sit down and and start doing work. As students, it is our job to attend class and get good grades, but how do we do this when our drive is all the way down to zero?

A lot of classes require a final essay or project that is usually lengthy and dense. I know most of us take procrastination to the next level, but that’s not always the best idea, especially when you have multiple assignments due. You need to clear your head and allocate time dedicated to your work.

One method that I found works very well is writing down a minimum of five sentences a day. That’s easy, right? It’s only a couple of lines, nothing too extreme or unmanageable. Just start by writing down initial thoughts and ideas. They don’t have to be complete sentences. By sitting down and giving yourself a definitive goal, you unlock your creative juices. Eventually, as the time passes, you will have substantial material and be in a much better position than if you were starting cold turkey.

If your final project involves group work, pick a time each week to meet and discuss the details and progress. You need to encourage ever to pull their weight and play a significant part in the group. I know sometimes this is not the easiest thing to do, but it is important to step up and be a leader.

One of the best ways to generate ideas is to speak about them. Get together with some classmates or even friends and tell them what topic you are working on. You can do this in your weekly group meetings or with your roommates. You can bounce around ideas and engage in conversations that will help you to spark new ideas. It helps so much to talk things through.

The Internet is also a great way to do some research. If you are writing an essay on a specific author, read up on his or her personal life and try to understand the author’s style of writing. You could read other pieces by the same author to gauge a better understanding of his or her style and tone. Just make sure to always cite the source as you’re writing so you don’t forget at the end.

In the midst of all of this, it is important to remember that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You will have a break from school for a couple of days to relax with your family and eat some great food. It is the perfect distraction to clear your head and help yourself remain sane.