Now that I’m back from a Spring Break getaway to rest my body and mind, I’m quickly reminded that homework to me always feels like a never-ending task. From a student’s lens it’s a high pile of stress. The challenges of homework and assignments can lead to anxiety, stress and frustration. The feeling of stress is actually common to most students and the workload of all the courses increases the pressure.
Creating a routine can help overcome this pressure. Studying and accumulating academic wealth is a tactful experience. It has to be dealt with time and consistency, we can’t afford to leave things to the last moment. Constantly working on assignments and consistently going through classes could be a real key to deal with homework. Stress piles up with delays. To break the stress, just break the task into pieces and practice exercising it on a daily basis.
Here could be quite a few ways to deal with the cumbersome homework issue:
1. Listen, Ask, Talk and Take Notes
Study patterns in a new country can surely be a dynamic challenge. It’s okay to spend more time with your professors after class. One should always ask questions and try to find out more and more about how academics work in a foreign land. In fact, in the U.S.- unlike in many other countries- instructors and professors encourage an inquisitive attitude. Do not feel shy or confused. At times we might wonder if our questions are relevant or we might even take a seat back, thinking how others around us would react. In this case, one should try scheduling an appointment with the professor or try seeing your professor during his/her office hours.
When you come from a different nation you have certain perceptions about the lectures or classes. It might vary from one country to the other. I have an educational background from India, the educational system there is way different from the U.S. system. We are given lectures and emailed notes. Our teachers have to constantly follow up with each student. The tests are challenging but we get less homework projects. In contrary to this, U.S. lectures go a bit rapid and require the student to research further, as well as a background in the study itself. Notes depend upon an individual’s point of view. Follow-ups are done but mostly each student is entirely responsible for his/her grade, assignments and projects.
When in doubt, try to meet with your academic advisor and see if they can work with you on certain issues. One can also approach fellow classmates for quick inquiries. A fellow mate understands your situation and mostly offers help. Do not hesitate to ask! Remaining silent won’t generate any kind of solution. No one except you knows the problem you’re facing, and it can only be treated if you talk about it and ask for others’ help.
2. Managing Your Time and Avoiding Procrastination
Learning the art of time management could seem like a complex task but actually it’s just about designating the right amount of time to each activity and not getting lazy over your designed schedule. A planner or a calendar is very helpful. It helps you track the deadlines and gives you a broad timeline to work on specific assignments. Allot ample time to the lengthy assignments and plan ahead. Here you might want to narrow down your leisure time but focus more on staying within the deadlines.
Once you start procrastinating, things go out of control. The winter season might make you a bit lazy but do not forget the purpose of you being an international student. Try to stay as motivated as you can. As we all know, delays and ignorance are clear signs of downfall. Try following your schedule and that will definitely help you stay on track.
3. Sleep Well, Snack Properly and Refresh Yourself
Piled up homework can give you sleepless nights. Stress is another related factor that might lead to insomnia. Give yourself enough rest and at least 7 hours of sleep. A healthy body needs sound sleep. Your brain is ready to process once you are refreshed with a quality sleep cycle and thus you will be able to focus better inside the classroom, as well as outside.
Snacking and eating healthy feeds the brain with higher learning ability and also gives you emotional stability. As a student, I find it very important to eat high nutritional foods to keep me going with the multi-tasking activities. Greater learning and grasping is possible when your body is ready and charged up with healthy foods. My favorite energy-boosting snacks are beet chips, fruit granola bars and pita chips with hummus. These are handy, light and easy to digest. They boost up your metabolism as well and don’t make you gain weight or feel too full.
Take some free time and indulge in leisure activities. Go for a walk, watch a movie, go window shopping, hit the gym, play a sport, read a novel or simply cook with your friends. Breaks and time out are the best way to rejuvenate yourself. With your academic goals in mind, give yourself ample time to rest and have a good time.
Aanchal Tangri from India is pursuing degree in English at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.