We’re currently in the season of midterms, it’s close to Halloween and we are about half way through the semester! Are you feeling overwhelmed? It is inevitable to feel stressed during this time of year but figuring out how to handle this stress is beneficial to you. You may feel that you have too much to do and don’t know where to begin or so much work that you feel you want to get it all done at once. The key to this is understanding what helps you to focus to make sure that you are doing your best work. I am going to give a few tips on how to help yourself when you feel you are getting distracted while completing work.
One thing that I find beneficial is making sure my work environment is clean or even changing the setting. Before you begin, try and be sure that your work area is clean. It should have ample space for you to have all your work in one place so you can look at it all the materials you need at once. Also changing your setting of work can sometimes help. Your brain starts to get used to habit but change can help you focus better. For example if you usually study/do homework in your room, try going to the library, Starbucks or even the Bertolon Café to work on homework. These are different spaces around campus where you can go for a change of scenery.
Another thing is if you feel that you cannot focus on a particular assignment, try leaving it for some time and then coming back to it. With midterms, potentially there are lots of papers that you need to write. If for some reason you get writer’s block, try and take a break. This can include just going outside for a walk to clear your head or going out to get a coffee and then coming back. This time away is good! Taking this time away from the assignment is beneficial because it allows you to let go for a short time and then when you come back to it you can refocus all your energy into it!
A third thing is maybe trying to set up study groups with classmates. With midterm exams happening, studying can be hard to go about on your own sometimes. A group can be helpful because you can all bounce ideas off of each other. Another group member may understand a concept that you are struggling with and explain it to you in a new way that helps you to comprehend it better. Study groups help you to achieve an academic goal but you also get some time with friends as well.
I hope that these few tips can help you to better focus on your midterms and upcoming assignments. Remember that you are doing great and that you are about half way through your first semester of college! That is a huge success to be proud of! You can also reach out to First Year Experience if you are seeking more assistance and we are more than willing to help you!