I’ve always loved back-to-school season and the new clothes, new notebooks, and new experiences that come with it. By the time September rolls around, I find myself itching to return to my studies and my friends at Trinity. Despite my love of this “season,” one moment never fails to bring me back to reality: sitting down after my first day of school with homework. Summer is a great break from our hard academic work during the school year, but over the summer I tend to lose my scholarly endurance. By the end of each semester, a 50-page reading doesn’t seem so bad, and neither does a 10-page paper, but both seem nearly impossible after a relaxing summer holiday. With this in mind, here are five of my favorite ways to get back into the academic swing of things.
- Find a routine:
At the beginning of the year, it is so easy for me to waste an hour here and 45 minutes there simply because I don’t have a plan for my day. No class on Fridays? Choose to spend the morning being productive in the Library or The Underground. Are some days busier than others? A routine will help you balance your workload across each day.
- Find your study space(s):
I find that my physical environment dramatically affects my productivity, so I try to find study spaces on campus that put me in a mindset to get work done. For my Latin and Greek translations I like the big tables in the 1823 Room, Peter B’s works for when I am reading for my religion course, and Vernon Social in between meal times is a quiet alternative when I want to change it up.
- Read (and re-read) your syllabi:
Many classes don’t have deadlines for big assignments right off the bat, and this slower start to the semester can make it easy for me to put off my work. To combat procrastination I make sure to take time to really learn the syllabus for each class so that no deadline sneaks up on me.
- Make it enjoyable:
Listening to music, splurging on pumpkin bread and coffee, and heading to the library with friends make studying infinitely more enjoyable for me. When studying is fun, productivity comes much more easily.
- Take breaks:
Make sure to cut yourself some slack—it’s hard to find a rhythm at the beginning of the semester! There’s no use burning yourself out in the first week, so try to balance periods of efficient studying with time to take a walk, grab coffee with friends, and get connected to the Trinity community.