The Voice


The Voice


The Voice

The first assignment blues are over

     It is still early in the semester. You’re still working out your schedule, and it is still working you out as well. You’re still trying to fit in your lunch dates with your friends, and your evening plans are still always up in the air. One thing that is consistent is the upcoming deadline for that first major assignment.

     Look, I completely get it, the idea of your first assignment and the looming deadline that comes with can feel overwhelming. Believe me, I’ve been there, I know. But trust me when I tell you that it doesn’t have to be all that scary. These assignments tend to be a sample into what the rest of the work during the semester should look like—so now is the time to get started on setting yourself up for success.

     First of all, it goes without saying that planning is everything. You’ve heard the expression the “early bird catches the worm”, and famous expressions tend to hold some weight to them, so for many this statement is very true. If you look to plan out the assignment earlier than the night before, you’re already on the right track for a better grade.

      Read up on the book and suggested readings, and write down everyone random, stray or spontaneous idea that pops into your mind right from the start. If you plan your time and start out early, you’ll be able to say “stress, what stress?” as you write and then submit your well-planned essay. Organization goes hand in hand with planning as well. By keeping your time and yourself organized, you’ll be able break down your workload, from a daunting monster that seems unmanageable, to controllable chunks that allow for ease in getting it done. Now everyone better organizes themselves in different ways.

     Kira Silimperi, junior, sites her planner as her most helpful tool for organization,“I don’t go anywhere without my planner. Writing down assignments and tests as well as personal obligations like clubs and events helps me manage an extremely busy schedule.” She continues with “on days I’m really busy, I’ll print out an hour by hour schedule to make sure nothing overlaps. That way when someone asks me to grab lunch with them, I always know when I’m free.”

     Find the way that keeps you organized, and roll with it. If it relies on the use of a planner, a dry erase calendar, or just a note on your hand, roll with it and master it to maximize your organization.

     Prioritizing your time to the best of your ability is a great way to complete the assignment in good time and keep stress levels to a minimum. As the Orientation Workshop Leader (OWL) president, Kiersten Shannon, junior, says “I attend multiple meetings a month getting together fundraiser ideas and preparing for future events such OWL interviews. I prioritize my time by writing everything down in my planner, and I have an hour by hour schedule to make sure that I have enough time for schoolwork, club meetings, and even time for myself.”

     As a CA myself, I find myself trying to keep my homework outside of my CA role, so I try to keep homework away from my desk shift, and I concentrate on being cognitively available at a program as compared to thinking about the upcoming assignment. Prioritize your time as best as you can, right from the start to ensure everything else in your life is working out as well.

     Now the last piece of advice I’ll give to you is not to worry too much. This honestly is key to succeeding. In perspective, yes, this assignment is important and of course you should work hard at it and really try your best, but don’t let it phase you too much. David Zienkiewicz, junior, says, “I can’t start working on something in between classes where my break is only like an hour so instead I use that time to relax and unwind, go on social media, play video games, stuff like that. It is about separating leisure time and truly working.”

     It’s just the beginning, the start of your adventure as a university student and your tutors won’t base the rest of your academic career on this singular assignment. Take some self-care time for yourself, as no one else is going to do it for you.

     Plan, organize, and prioritize, but don’t worry too much. With these in mind, you’re sure to ace that first assignment, and set yourself up to be the A student you were meant to be.


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Cody Deitz, Author

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