The Jambar Column: Staying on top of the game

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

On the night of the full moon, a beam of light shines from the heavens and cascades down onto my bedroom window, pouring its blessings upon my mind and opening a world of knowledge. Or, in less flowery wording, it’s 11:55 at night, and I am about to lie down and go to bed when I remember the 10-page essay I have due in four minutes.

Within the standard four years of college, it is almost impossible to never encounter this situation. Even the greatest students with perfect records will most likely find themselves eventually forgetting an assignment until the last possible minute.

It’s frustrating when this happens, especially having to rush to finish the task before it’s too late. However, it is nothing to beat yourself up over. The occasional lapse in memory is one of the most human parts of being a student.

Although, if you’re a bit like me and this is more than a rare occasion, then perhaps it’s time to try some helpful tips for getting your schedule on track.

My biggest suggestion is one every student should follow: get a planner. Yes, one of those little calendar books you can buy at Barnes & Noble or Dollar Tree. It may seem a bit mundane to jot down your daily schedule into the boxes, but that doesn’t make it any less needed.

If you struggle with actually using your planner, get one that excites you. My personal planner is themed around creative language, which makes me more interested to use it and see what word it presents each day.

Also, consider gathering a group of friends or classmates and forming a homework group. While it would be preferable that you share a class to study together, having a group to hold you accountable and provide any needed emotional support can be really beneficial.

If you feel that you can’t gather people to work with, then the tutoring center is always available. Call or email to make an appointment — they are always happy to help.

My final tip is one that doesn’t quite work for me but works well for others, consider a system of rewards to accomplish tasks. This is a good idea if your issue is not so much remembering to do your work, but actually accomplishing it. Perhaps set up something small, like buying a bag of candy to pick from when you finish your work or not letting yourself do your hobbies until you complete your tasks.

I would suggest having someone help you stick with this one. Or, you may end up just not caring about the task and just going for the reward.

No matter how much time you spend in school, keeping to a schedule can be challenging. Far too often do we shame ourselves for something that is a common human mistake. All it takes is a bit of effort to try to do better, and you can prevent this mistake from happening again.