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Seven Tips for Surviving Second Semester

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After Christmas break, everyone starts to count the days down to summer. Here are a few tips to make the time between New Year’s and graduation breeze by.

1. Take mini-vacations

Give yourself something to look forward to! Whether it be over spring break or the weekend, a simple getaway can help get your mind off school and motivate you to finish the rest of the school year. Take a road trip up to a college you’ve been wanting to visit, or spend the weekend on the beach with some friends. This is San Diego, after all!

2. Study with friends

Everyone knows the importance of studying, but not everyone always makes time for it. Plan study sessions on a regular basis with friends to keep each other accountable. Working with friends can motivate you to do your work while having a good time, especially with people who are in the same classes with you or have taken similar courses so you can help each other. Just make sure you don’t have too much fun. 😉

3. Plan your homework schedule

Teachers always seem to coordinate tests, timed writes and quizzes all on the same week or the same couple of days. To avoid unnecessary stress and mental breakdowns, prioritize what needs to get done in what order. Plan out how long each subject takes you and allow yourself the proper time for each task. It may help with procrastination.

4. Take breaks between studying

We all have those moments: you’ve been re-reading the same sentence of your AP U.S. History book for the past two hours and still have to tackle Pre-Calculus and study for tomorrow’s Spanish test. Before you have a breakdown and a full-blown panic attack, go for a run or take your dog for a stroll around the block. Getting outside and moving around can clear your mind and give you energy to finish your study session.

5. Snack smarter

Make sure your blood sugar levels are steady. If you haven’t eaten in a while because you’re hyper-focused on how industrialization led to imperialism in eighteenth-century America, grab a snack. Not a Pop-Tart or Cheetos or something that will plunge you into a sugar coma, but something that will help you focus and keep you full longer. Consider foods high in fiber and protein and low in processed sugars and fats (like celery and almond butter or carrots and hummus)  to ward off hunger and nourish your brain.

6. Engage in your hobbies

Making time for dance, writing, photography or mountain biking is just as important as studying for the upcoming Chemistry test. Not only does it help you maintain sanity, but having a hobby also allows you to manage stress and clear your head for when you do need to study. You’re always studying to feed your mind, so don’t forget to listen to your heart! Doing activities you love keeps you happy and creates balance in your life. Figure out what brings a smile to your face and do it as often as your can.

7. Find your learning style

Do you remember facts better when you hear them over and over again? Or maybe studying Spanish is a breeze when you’re running on the treadmill. Figuring out if you’re a visual (learn through sight and bright colors), auditory (remember sounds and spoken words), or kinesthetic (learn while moving) learner can help maximize your study sessions. Since I learn best while I’m moving, I choose to study while bouncing a ball or jumping on the mini trampoline. Find what works for you and run with it (sometimes literally).

Although second semester can sometimes seem torturous, pacing your time and work can make it manageable. But take heart: we’re more than halfway there!

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Seven Tips for Surviving Second Semester