Getting Back into the Swing of Things

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7 Tips to Refocus
(StudyHabits.com Article, “How to concentrate”)

1. Alternate study spaces.
2. Put together solid study groups.
3. Early to bed, early to rise.
4. Don’t miss class.
5. When studying, constantly switch subject matter.
6. As always exercise.
7. Keep your study space and study materials clean and organized.

Students find various ways to muster up the motivation to start a new semester after a short Christmas break.

After finishing her final exams last month, Anna Larson, a sophomore physiology major from Sacramento, Calif., said the prospect of starting classes again seemed almost unbearable.

“It felt like I had been holding my breath for two weeks,” she said. “And then, when [finals were] over, I could finally breathe. The thought of starting all over again makes me want to die.”

Like Larson, many students have a hard time starting back up again winter semester. Despite a general lack of desire to get to work, new classes inevitably begin. Students have to find motivation and focus somewhere.

Bradley Davis, a senior advertising major from Riverside, Calif., said he has learned a few tricks over the years to help him get back into the swing of things.

“It’s hard to start up again,” Davis said, “but I just look at it like a fresh start. I always try to never miss class and I try to organize study groups in all of my classes as soon as possible.”

One reason students find it hard to refocus is because often there are few assignments and exams in the first couple of weeks.

But Andrew Rasband, a sophomore construction management major from Alpine, said accountability early in the year is the key.

“I make goals to get things done early,” he said. “Kind of like my own personal deadline. Then I usually get a study partner or work with a TA to keep me accountable to someone.”

Davis said he believes everyone has their own way of refocusing on school work, but all students experience the same cycle.

“Forgive the ‘Lion King’ reference, but it’s like the circle of life,” Davis said. “Every semester we are reborn and then we die during finals week. It’s the never-ending circle of a college student’s life.”

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