Spring, a time of renewal, a time to see where you are and where you are going, a time to set goals, and a time to assess earlier goals. Spring Break is upon us, as is spring weather, longer days, lighter clothing, and spring fever! Spring cleaning — what’s that? Generally, it means doing some heavy duty cleaning, such as washing floors and ovens and windows. But how does “spring cleaning” apply to academics, for college students, for all students?
In January, students begin a new semester or a new term. Organizational binder systems are set up, supplies and books are purchased. Tutoring begins, and the student settles into a routine. As spring break approaches, midterms also approach, sometimes before break and sometimes after. It is easy to get caught up in the joys of spring and lose sight of what was started in January. Spring cleaning for students is a process of self-assessment, keeping your momentum, planning, committing to your goal, and being disciplined.
- Recommit to goals set before the holidays, i.e. completing courses with a good grade
- Clean out your backpack…do you really need all that stuff?
- Clean out your binder/reorganize the binder if needed, refresh supplies
- Reread your syllabus to determine when assignments are due and when tests will be given. Update your assignment sheet, planner, and/or calendar.
- Determine if you are up to date with reading, homework, or papers. If not, plan how to get the work done, who to ask for help, or engage other types of resources.
- Why am I taking this course? What am I working toward?
- How do I complete my goal and how will I advance?
- I’ve fallen behind. How do I catch up? Write your plan down!
- Acknowledge what needs to be done. Accept it. Commit to it. Ask for help.
Students return from spring break happy to see their friends. The sun shines, the outdoors is welcoming and summer is surely on the way. It’s not easy to get all of that academic work completed. The spring semester or term is halfway along. There may be a midterm, several papers, tests and a final exam. Overwhelming?
- Tell someone that you are overwhelmed. Ask for help.
- Put your plan on paper with help from your tutor.
- Discipline yourself to stick to a homework schedule.
- Study for short periods and take a break. Move. Breathe. Eat an apple.
Remember, it’s worth it! Imagine yourself getting a good grade or imagine yourself with the job you would love to do. Think about the progress you are making. Start thinking about what courses or degree you might pursue upon completion of your goal.
You’ve done it….spring cleaning, academic style. Now you will be prepared to enjoy the spring, the sunshine and the outdoors knowing that you’ve got it under control.
What a good feeling!
About the Author:
Corinne Martin is the Academic Coordinator at CIP Berkshire. She attended the College of Saint Rose, and earned her degree with a concentration in learning disabilities. While working on her degree she had several opportunities to work within the field of special education and received diverse experience working with adults and children with many different types of disabilities. After completion, she began working for Adirondack Community College, teaching and working with LD college students.