Opinions: A Paige from her book: Shaking the slump

It’s getting to be that time again that I have become all too familiar with over the years: the third quarter slump.

Freshmen may not be familiar with this stifling disease that looms over students this time of year. As the years have gone on, the third quarter slump appears to be getting even worse.

In years past, I accepted the third quarter slump as an inevitable stigma that taints January through March.

This year, however, I have become determined to shake the slump. My grades are at an all-time high, when in years past I had notoriously lower grades than ever before. My rules for surviving the third quarter slump have reigned successful because they are simple and effective.

Tip number one: make lists!

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I make a list of everything I hope to accomplish that day. If I do not make a clear list, I remember different assignments I have to complete randomly throughout the day and feel like I have so much to do that it will never get done. I start to feel discouraged, and any amount of motivation I have dwindles. If I have an ongoing list and I remember something I have to do that night, I can add it to the list then continue with what I was doing before this daunting reminder disrupted my peace of mind.

This method allows me to have everything in one place and be more organized.

Tip number two: take naps!

I always used to feel like if I had a lot of homework, I didn’t have time to take a nap. I have recently discovered that if I am tired the whole night, I waste much more time than if I would have taken a nap.

If I’m tired I will just lay in bed staring at the wall for a good 10 minutes, spend 10 more minutes loading my Twitter feed and then another 20 minutes looking through my newsfeed on facebook since I have no concentration or focus because I’m exhausted. If I take a 45-minute power nap right when I get home, I am more alert for the rest of the night to complete my homework.

Tip number three: take breaks!

I used to just start my homework and say “I am not going to leave this room until I finish my 50 math problems, make my notecards, read six chapters out of my book, complete my study guide and study for my quiz.”

This laundry list of feats is just unrealistic and makes me even more stressed. Once I begin to lose stamina, I take a break. I will go for a run or lift weights or clean my room. Having a change of pace makes me more focused when I return to my work and allows me to complete more tasks in a night.

Tip number four: don’t stay up too late!

Staying up late always seems like a good idea to get caught up on homework, but it’s a vicious cycle. Sure, all my homework will be done the next day, but I’m always so tired that I hardly concentrate in class and have no motivation. Then I get home and am so tired that I don’t do any homework. Then the next night I stay up too late.

The best way I have found to fix this terrible habit is to not stay up until I’m too tired to keep working and start with the homework that is due the next day. Eventually, this schedule evened itself out, and now I’m getting all of my homework done every single night before 11:00 p.m.

This third quarter has been much easier because of these four simple steps. I have finally cured myself of the third quarter slump and feel better than ever. I hope others can heal themselves and learn from my experiences and insight.