Speaking as a Junior and a third-year Cadet at Norwich, academics in the fall are sort of sneaky. What exactly, do you ask, do I mean by “sneaky”? Well, remember that call you promised you’d take notes for every day and read ahead on the weekends? Yeah… not as easy in application as in theory. One week transitions into the next, and if you’re not careful and staying on top of your stuff, soon that “due in three weeks” essay on the Crimean War is due… tomorrow. At 8am. (Whoops… Look who’s not sleeping tonight!) This, sadly, isn’t even a dramatized example. It’s happened to me before, and if you’re not careful and continuous with your studies, it’ll happen to you, too. Or at least, it’s likely. So, from a student with a bit of experience doing things the right- and wrong- way, here’s a few tips to keep yourself on track (and much happier!);
- First off, notice that I said “tips” and not “tips and tricks” or even “tricks”. There’s a reason for this; there is no, I repeat, no way to “shortcut” your way through Academics. Sure, you can bust out a paper last-minute, or fake your way by on a power-point if you’re a master at improv, but in the end, all you’re doing is improving your improv skills. It pays, and you’ll truly feel better, if you just own up and do the reading, or the homework. After all, it’s what you’re here for, right?
- The mentality of “I have enough time for hanging out/chilling AND homework” is NOT the way to go. I’m not saying don’t have a social life; I certainly do, but hanging out with friends and doing non-academic stuff, then starting on homework around 11… to finish around 3am… every night… is NOT good or productive. I admittedly am guilty of this. But if you can put off Game of Thrones until the weekend, your grades will benefit from it. Trust me.
- Along with the second point, especially at Norwich, getting a good night’s sleep is key. Joe Babitsky will firmly back me up on this. In Corps in particular, your schedule, whether freshman or senior, is going to be regimented to some extent, and that regiment goes with the presupposition that you sleep during the night. Trying to consistently burn the midnight oil and then napping for three, four hours during the day is ultimately going to cause you more stress than it’s worth.
- Take care of your body in your spare time. This means keeping a good eating/workout schedule, mostly as an upperclassman, where things are less scheduled for you. But no worries; here, more than most colleges, people who are skilled in proper diets and armed with workout plans can be found virtually everywhere- just ask.
- Make lists! Seriously, if you have to plan out everything from “Study for Bio 5-6:30pm” to “Call Jessica 2:30-2:40pm”, then do it. List-making can be extremely productive for getting things on paper that you might otherwise forget if you’re just keeping it in your head. If you’re not a fan of paper, Google Lists can also be productive.
- Reward yourself! Make study/fitness goals, and when you reach them, have a day of relaxation, or get yourself a gift. Positive re-enforcement is a great motivator.
Keep to these tips, and keep on track! Best of luck, guys.
Band Co. ‘15