The second week of January is that dreaded time for students, forced out of the holiday spirit
and thrown into the reality of deadline submissions. It’s a frightful sight at university libraries
all around, filled with sweaty adrenaline-induced students scraping to meet the minimum word counts.
Self-care gets pushed aside as students neglect to take care of their physical and mental health until everything is completed – all factors that can be quite detrimental to your well-being in the long-run.
To help you get through this period in one piece, here are 11 survival study tips that you need.
1. Clean your room before starting any work
Many psychologists believe that the state of the environment that you surround yourself by reflects the state your mine. A clean room will put you at ease rather than a messy room causing you even more stress.
Allow yourself to have one deep cleaning session the day before starting to work on assignments so that your mind can feel fresh and clear. Also, it will be way less tempting to jump back into bed if you’ve already went through the effort to tidy it.
2. Write down a physical list of all the tasks that need to be completed
Keeping things in a mental memory box or even on your notes application isn’t always enough. Having a physical copy of all the tasks that you need to finish will help you envision it more.
And let’s not forget that amazing feeling of relief when you’re finally able to tick off a box that you’ve had on the list for what seems like forever.
3. Prepare all your meals in advance
Ordering take-away when you’re piles and piles deep into an assignment sounds so much more tempting than cooking in the kitchen – but it is also costly and will probably make you feel worse than you do to begin with.
Meal-prepping in advance will make sure that your fridge is stocked with enough nutrients and remove the stress of having to cook all the time. Remember to keep a pile of snacks on hand at all times too.
4. Keep a full bottle of water near you at all times
It’s too easy to neglect staying hydrated when the only liquids that you’re resorting to are a source of caffeine. But being dehydrated will make you feel slower and more fatigued which is not at all what you need at this time.
Do yourself a favour and purchase a reusable one-litre water bottle and keep it full and within near distance at all times. You’ll find yourself mindlessly sipping on it just to distract you from the work.
5. Create a special playlist for studying
Music is very closely linked to your memory. You don’t want to end up associating your favourite songs to the dreaded assignment period once its all over.
Use some of your free time to curate your very own study playlist, preferably filled with instrumental non-distracting music, that you can avoid to look back on once this is all over.
6. Schedule 15 minute breaks on your alarm clock
You have every right to be the annoying one in your flat/family home with the constant ongoing alarm clock during this time.
Allotted break time-slots are just as important as the time given towards working otherwise you’ll end up facing burn out by the end of the first assignment and have no energy for the entire week after.
7. Call friends and family during free time
Try not to spend all your breaks sitting by yourself or else you might end up going down an endless TikTok hole and procrastinating for hours and hours after.
Calls with friends and family can help build a support system and increase productivity after the breaks. You also don’t want to find yourself going crazy after spending hours in complete silence.
8. Keep all your research in a singular file
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending so much time gathering research only to lose it in different spaces all of your laptop.
It’s much more efficient to create a singular file on your desktop for a particular assignment and just drop all your research into it as you go so it's easy to find later.
9. Lay out all the materials you need on your desk
Take out all your notebooks, highlighters, sticky notes, pens, laptop, laptop charger, etc. You don’t want to risk wasting time looking for stationary because you realised you don’t have it last minute.
Hot tip – use multiple coloured pens and cute sticky notes to make your stationary look more appealing to work with.
10. Stick a calendar on the wall in front of you
Ever woken up from a nightmare in which you missed a big deadline because you were dumb enough to confuse the dates? Well for some people it’s not just a nightmare and straight up reality.
Don’t risk having that happen to you by keeping a physical calendar on the wall in front of you. Mark all of your deadlines and all of your fun plans so that it’s not just filled with work-related dates.
11. Don’t neglect sleeping for working overtime
There’s absolutely no good that can come out of working till 5.00 am in the morning. That adrenaline that you’re looking for to meet the deadline will soon turn into anxiety and panic that will keep you even less productive than what you began with.
Try and get a minimum of five hours of sleep per night and force yourself to wake up super early rather than sleep in late.
Do you have any other tips for enduring submissions week? Comment below your best ones!