For an engineering student, the period leading up to the start of a new semester can often resemble the lull before the storm. The sheer magnitude of things to be done through the semester can seem overwhelming and it is common for students to dread this period more than the semester itself.
This is why it is vitally important to have a clear plan for the entire semester and ensure that your valuable time is not wasted later. A good plan, apart from reducing stress and anxiety levels, offers numerous benefits to a student. Read on to discover the secrets behind proper planning!
Step 1: Overcome the urge to procrastinate
One of the most common problems students face is the subconscious tendency to procrastinate. We tend to gravitate towards those activities that provide instantaneous gratification and postpone those that involve hard work.
However, it is important to remember that it is those actions that require time and effort that prove beneficial in the long run. For a student, this would typically involve designing a good plan to help tackle the huge amounts of content that he/she shall be tested on during the semester.
Step 2: Ensure that the plan you design is in writing
A lot of students often take the short way out of planning by claiming to have planned in their head. As anyone who has tried and failed would tell you, this method is fraught with danger. The human memory is rarely objective and reliable, especially when it comes to recording and recalling planned future events. No matter how robust the plan might seem in your head, you will only ever take it seriously if you commit it to paper. Having a physical copy of your plan also helps you understand and prepare yourself for up-coming tasks and challenges and this is extremely vital for a student.
Also, students must acknowledge the fact that in certain cases, even the very best laid plans can get overturned. In such a situation, a written plan makes it easier to assess the impacts of deviations.
Step 3: Make sure you plan for contingencies
One of the most common mistakes students often make while they plan is that they create a schedule that is extremely rigorous and inflexible. While creating a solid and robust study plan for the semester is indeed a good thing, one would do well to remember that life often throws up unexpected contingencies.
At certain vital points during your semester, you might realize that you are expected to be present for important family commitments such as weddings and anniversaries. Even to the most dedicated student, these will remain unavoidable and thus impinge on your carefully constructed schedule. Another unforeseen situation is health. A good plan must be robust and yet flexible to allow for certain deviations.
Step 4: Your plan should have clear priorities
As any sincere student knows, not all subjects are equally testing nor do they require the same amount of effort to master. It is often tempting for students to create a plan that deals with only the more “interesting” subjects and avoid the ones that require dedicated effort and long hours.
A good plan is one that has clear priorities set that allow a student to best utilize his/her time and energy and thus give each subject/course its due. Such a plan will also enable the student time for revision and thus make the best use of the time. A semester can be a long period and it is important that students have a plan that helps them not only set goals but also reach them.
Remember: ‘Nobody plans to fail but most just fail to plan!’
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