Deadlines, Deadlines and more deadlines…
Over the last week and a half, my course friends and I have certainly been feeling the pressure of deadlines, with everything seeming to come at once. Whilst feeling worn out and looking forward to a long break over Christmas, I am now feeling really productive and satisfied. Today I submitted two assignments and completed an online test so I already feel a lot more relaxed and relieved. On top of all the deadlines, we are also getting started on the initial stages of our research projects, including having meetings with our supervisors. (I will do a blog on the research projects soon). I do like being busy, but it does mean I have to be very organised and use my time wisely. What advice do I have on coping under the pressure of deadlines? Initially, I did feel a bit panicked and did not think I could get everything done, let alone to a high standard.
-Prioritise. If you have an assignment due in sooner than others, of course this should be your priority, but also consider how much the piece of work contributes to a module. If you have another assignment worth a lot of credits for a module, perhaps spend half the day on this and the other half on the assignment that’s due soonest. This will help you feel less stressed because you will be making progress on several things.
-Start early. This is an obvious one, but very important and must not be overlooked! I am so thankful that I finished my lab report from the environmental trip a while ago, as it has meant I could concentrate on all the other assignments that came later. In addition, I was finding a particular assignment difficult and as I had started it in good time, I was able to go to the drop-in help session and get some help. This assignment is on MatLab, software which we can use for modelling and calculations, and they hold drop-in sessions are held specifically to help with our assignments. On this note, if you ever feel like you’re struggling with a piece of work and need some support, there is always help available. Similarly, you can get help on any quantitative aspects of assignments, such as statistical tests for lab reports or for the Quantitative Skills assignment in first-year at QuBic, which is open 5 days a week at set times. It is also worth asking your friends for help if you need anything explaining. This will also be of benefit to them as it will help show them how well they have understood something. So, there’s no need to suffer in silence.
3) –Avoid committing yourself to too many things when you are expecting to a period when you will be busy. It may just be for a week, and perhaps don’t spend too long having a coffee break, and maybe cut back on the number of society events. I also tend to have meals that take minimal preparation, such as something I batch-made and can just re-heat. Just a little bit more time on an assignment might help make a difference to your grade (and your stress levels!) and it is of course best to avoid staying up all night finishing something.
Generally, the workload is spread out, but there can be times when you feel a bit overwhelmed. It is important to realise that you can do so much work in one day, and it’s best to take each day a step at a time.