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Coping with mid-sem mayhem

Mid-semester break, a magical week of no classes. A time when you can catch up on missed lectures, sleep in, and finish off the assignments that are due when classes resume. It seems so far away. There’s plenty of time to plan and get on top of things. No need to start planning just yet, I can do all that next week… right?

Well I hate to break it to you, but mid-semester break is here. Now!

Suddenly, you’ve got all your lectures and assignments to catch up on. A feeling of helplessness and panic sinks in.

All is not lost. It’s never too late to get back on top of things. All the good intentions you started with at the beginning of the semester can still be salvaged.

A mid-semester break is a perfect time to reassess your approach to studies, work and life. I’m even writing this article at the last minute.

So how do you regain control of the semester in one week? Try these:

1. Triage

Sort importance by marks allocated and difficulty. Get started on the hard ones first. The ones that need research. You need as much time as possible to absorb readings and get writing. Use the easier assignments, say an online test, to break up the heavy lifting or as a reward. Not even the greatest QC can work solidly on the equitable principles in High Trees without something to break the monotony.

2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

If the assignments are under control, then its time to assess your study schedule. Timetables can’t necessarily be changed, but how you allocate your reading time etc. can be. Have a look at how you planned the semester and assess what has worked and what hasn’t. Don’t feel ashamed to scrap it all and start from scratch. Talk to your friends, see what works for them, even have a look here for some study tips. Knowing your weaknesses will only make you a better a student in the future.

3. Everything in moderation

It may also be a good time to see if you’re study/work/life balance is right. It may be tough to do but you might need to be a little less social. Sometimes law students just can’t keep up with the social life of engineering students. This isn’t a permanent change, just for the rest of the semester. It is a sacrifice many law students have to make, but the long terms rewards are beneficial. But all that said, you still need your down time so as with many things, balance is key.

4. Keep your eyes forward

Don’t dwell on what has gone wrong. Most assignments or assessments are either designed to test your knowledge of a single unit that won’t be focused on in the final exam or to give you a guide as to how you’re coping with the subject. If you bombed out on something, don’t be disheartened. Take the good points from it. Either you don’t have to cover the topic in detail again, or you know you need to focus on it more before an exam.

5. Stop procrastinating.

It’s great that you’re reading this article, but now is not the time to procrastinate. That’s possibly what got you in this state in the first place. If you need a break, get away from the computer. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. It’s the break away from study for a few minutes that will work best. Sitting reading websites won’t get your concentration back on track.

I know it is easier to write these suggestion than to put them all into practice. But if you use the mid-semester break well, you can get back on top of your studies and feel re-invigorated for the rest of the semester and finish on a strong note.

If you’ve got your own suggestions or words of support, feel free to share them below with your fellow students.

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