Like proud parents who feel the need to guide their children through the seasons of life, we here at the Lariat newspaper feel it is our duty to warn our faithful readers about something we like to call the “mid-semester doldrums.” In an effort to fulfill our responsibilities, we feel it is only necessary to offer you a few preventative measures, so that you don’t make the same mistakes we once did.
This wretched symptom usually attacks just after a great start to the semester, when the groove of a new class has finally been figured out right down to a science, and just when the average student thinks they may have a chance of getting that “A” they need to round out their grade point average. So far, tests have been decent, homework has been on time, and attendance above par.
Then the seventh week of class rolls right out of sight along with the storm clouds. Birds begin to chirp sweetly, calling to you from their spring nests, coaxing you out into the sunshine and the fresh air. This is the point where most falter, tossing their hard work right out the window along with their sturdy but susceptible GPA.
We do not recommend this route, as students are left at the end of the road with their less-than desirable grade, scratching their heads and wondering how they got so off track.
So here they are: our suggestions. Take what you want, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
First thing’s first, it’s a tough life we Californians live in having to choose between the mountains or the beach; some may experience a lack of motivation to attend class. Plan ahead. Don’t go during class, on a day you have class, or the night before you have class. Going on days off will give you the best of both worlds.
Next, pick a partner from each class and swap telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. This way, if you do suddenly come down with the bird flu or your grandmother dies–again–you’ll have a contact that can get you back up to speed.
When you go the beach, bring your book and notes with you. Do this at the gym, in long car rides, and if possible, at work. You can multi-task and will have more time to party later. Make this effort and you can again have the best of both worlds. Consider taking just one single afternoon out of your Spring Break to hit the local library or coffee shop with your study notes. That way, you won’t forget important facts over the nine-day party session.
Absolutely do not spend your precious study time watching repetitive reality shows or on the computer fiddling on Spacebook, Facespace, Mybook, or any derivative thereof.
Last but certainly not least, stay focused. Set aside the time to look through the class syllabus and then write out all important dates from every class on a central paper to keep in the front of your binder. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises that come the form of tests, projects, or due dates.
Keep in mind that the difference between a good job and great job is a small, but very important, 10 percent. If you do begin to wane in your motivation, give yourself a break and reevaluate your goals. Give yourself that advantage and hang in there!