Mercer Cluster

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Let’s get this semester back on track

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Soaking in the sunshine on a Florida beach with six more days of spring break looming ahead, it is easy to think of life in the abstract. You sip your lukewarm lemonade and resolve to be more organized, more driven, valedictorian of your class, CEO of a brilliant startup. You begin drafting your graduation commencement speech in your head and determine that these next five weeks will be the most important of your life.

You will study hard and ace everything here on out. Spring break will spark the birth of a new you, a better you. Then, the sun shifts, and your mind drifts to the pizza shop you passed on the drive over and the ugliness of your big toe.

Flash forward to your dorm room seven days later and the countless assignments littering your desk. A few days ago you had life figured out, and now everything is an overwhelming mess. Why does your motivation seem to disappear the second you get back to school? And is it even worth it, or is a final five-week push a lost cause?

I bet this perky yoga instructor never has to write research papers on the War of 1812. That's why she's so bendy...and happy. Illustration by Katie Eckrote.

It’s not easy getting your semester back on track after spring break, but it is possible. For many, there is no question that it must be done.

The first step is commitment. The second is organization. You need to realize that revamping your academic performance is not something that can be taken lightly, and it requires intense commitment and planning. If you don’t have an agenda, it’s time to buy one because you are going to need it.

“First, I would recommend the student talk to their professor and discuss the best way to move forward,” said Sekinat Mumuney, a staff member at the Academic Resource Center.

Professors have the best insight on how to bring up your class grade because they are the one who wrote the syllabus. Also, demonstrating your determination to help your grade can go a long way.

After meeting with your professor, it is important to map out study or work schedules that make the most effective use of your time. If your final is worth a large portion of your grade, then start studying now. The same goes for research papers. Time is of the essence, and it is vital you make the most of it.

Sleep is also essential to getting your semester back on track. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can positively impact your academic performance. Schedule frequent gym time to relieve stress and release endorphins. Try cutting back on unhealthy treats, like junk food or sugary soda. Set a regular bedtime to stay rested and sharp, subsequently increasing productivity.  

So, buckle down and get ready for a depleted social life and budding caffeine addiction. It’s going to suck. It’s going to hurt. But it’s only five weeks of your life. Your future self will thank you.

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Let’s get this semester back on track