I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.
Easter is, of course, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a time of renewal, a welcoming of springtime (in our hemisphere, that is), and a season of blooming–of trees and flowers, sure, but also of emotional blooming.
If you’re a student, you know better than anyone that April is crunchtime–and that this April, sans any sort of break given Easter’s March date, is going to be quite a bear. So what can you do to give yourself the best fightin’ chance you’ve got as we pull into April? Take this Easter season as a time of renewal and refreshment.
Pray, Meditate, or Get Silent
This is the number one suggestion I can give as a fellow student, especially at Easter time, because quieting your mind, even for ten minutes a day, can influence the course of your day–on any given day. Given how much you need your brain this time of the year, this suggestion might seem ironic. It’s not – put aside 10 minutes a day, and on that day, you’ll save at least the amount of time you might have otherwise spent swimming in academic anxiety.
If you’re anything like any student I’ve ever known, including myself, you start out the semester with the best intentions of staying organized and keeping a nice system going. Well, notebooks get messy. Folders tear. And sometimes you just don’t have enough time to file your papers. Take stock, clean up, and refresh your system!
Resting is always a vital tip for optimal success. If you’re insanely busy, though, it’s not always possible to attain the ideal amount of rest that’s best for you. You can compromise though – if you usually accomplish your schoolwork with a certain amount of intensity and mental of physical tension, or if you like to work fast and hard, ease back a little. Work with a bit of leisure or break up your to-do list into manageable chunks. And make yourself comfortable! Read on a couch instead of at a table. Maybe you doze a bit – forgive yourself. You’ll need the energy come finals week.
Move your body. Be physical. The weather is looking pretty darn good lately, isn’t it? Take walks and don’t sit in one place for too long during your cram sessions. It’s totally not healthy. Shake off the winter dust and fog with a jog!
Everything in the coming weeks will feel so much more manageable if you set aside some time before April to make a game plan.
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
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