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Jayla Moody

Moody Musings: A Conversation on Concentration

There are a little less than two weeks left until final exams.

This isn’t a warning, nor is it to scare you. But because of this ticking timeline, every Mercer student’s schedule is about to look a lot different than it has all school year.

This isn’t just because exams are approaching, but there will also be a number of things demanding your time outside of the classroom and library. This includes organization activities, nightlife, beach trips or just hanging out with the friends who may also have end-of-the-year-itis.

During this time of the year, it’s not as easy to bounce back from time spent procrastinating. At this point of the semester, we have to make sure we’re not only delegating time to where it’s needed most but give our full attention and concentrate on these things.

Concentrating can be a hard task, especially for a college student. There’s always something else that you could be doing. But once you get the skill, you’ll not only thrive during these next couple of weeks but throughout the remainder of your college career.

First, you must recognize that studying and committing time to working on assignments is worth it. Remind yourself that if you put the time in, you’ll have a higher chance of receiving that results you hope to get. This will help you take your mind off of other things that may temporarily be important and focus on something that will be more long term.

Try not to multi-task. Once you begin a task, give yourself an amount of time that you’ll utilize to complete the task. It’ll take some discipline, but make sure you’re using that time for what you allocated it for. Then, give yourself a break or give yourself a small reward. You’ll feel great about it once you’re finished.

Alternate your tasks between something more mellow and something more physical and interactive. Once you’ve read for a couple of hours for biology, use your break to go for a walk and clear your mind. Then work on those practice math problems.

If you need to, give yourself some time to just think about something other than your schoolwork. Facetime a friend, watch an episode on Netflix or take a trip to the gym. If you set aside time for these things,  you won’t find yourself getting extremely bored and wanting to do them so often.

Set small goals. I’ve mentioned this as a key step for accomplishing a lot of things. Here it is again. If you make a short list of things that you want to get done, you’ll be more motivated to complete these things in order to check them off of your to-do list. This will get you to concentrate until you’ve completed everything.

In a verwell.com article, Sam Horn quoted Diane Sawyer who said, “I think the one lesson I’ve learned is there is no substitute for paying attention.”

Spend the next couple of weeks paying attention to the things that matter most right now. Before you know it, the finish line we’ve been waiting for will be here. You’ll want to be satisfied with your year, but most importantly how you finished it.

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