Advice for Awkward People

Dear Michelle,

I’m a mess. I already have so many assignments due, and we’re only going into the THIRD WEEK OF SCHOOL. I’ve been given exam reviews (for which exams and when!?) and several big homework assignments due this week have been popping up on Canvas out of nowhere! I can’t even look at them!! This is crazy, and the worst part is that I’m terrible at time management! I’ve never been good at it, but somehow I was able to get by in high school. It’s basically habitual for me to leave any assignment to the last minute, but I mean…isn’t that normal for students? I also feel like everyone around me is terrible at time management too, even the upperclassmen! What I don’t get is, how do they do it? How are they able to manage everything? Like, I guess a lot of people pull all-nighters to finish their work, but I really don’t feel like doing that. And yet, how else am I supposed to finish all the work I have this week? Ugh, procrastination is going to kill me!

I really did play myself,

Cannot Remember Any Motivation

Dear CRAM,

I understand everything may feel overwhelming at the moment, but I suggest you first just take a deep breath and try to calm down. You definitely don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do (like pull an all-nighter). I know it might be hard to believe, but you can still manage to finish all your work at reasonable times this week. It just requires you putting in a bit of effort to find good times to complete your work.

First, you should log back into Canvas and actually look at and write down all the dates of your upcoming assignments. At least then, you’ll know how much time you have left to work on each assignment. Then, after you read this advice column, figure out when during the week you have time to work on your assignments. Having your own personal calendar that includes all your extracurriculars, classes, leisure times and such is really helpful for planning this kind of stuff out! If you haven’t made one yet, definitely find time to do so (after you’ve finished all your work this week). You might also want to consider how you’re going to finish each of your assignments. Does one homework require using some weird program that you don’t have easy access to? Will you need to collaborate with others on another assignment?

Last thing is to make a list for yourself of each day this week. Grab a piece of paper, and write down all of the things you want to accomplish (for both academics and social activities) in each day. This will also help you prioritize your assignments, along with the other stuff you have to get done in the week. It’s also really satisfying to check things off your list when you’re done. Getting into these organizational habits can, at least in my experience, reduce some of your stress and make getting work done during the week easier. I hope this helps!