Johnnie on the Spot

“Hello Johnnie, I am only taking a few classes and I am caught up with work, but I still feel like I am drowning in my work. What tips do you have for staying on top of things?” - Jenna

Dear Jenna,

Thank you for writing in! There is such a simple answer to this question; however, it is easier said than done. The main thing that makes most students fall behind is PROCRASTINATION! The solution to procrastination is to not do it. Obviously, none of us go into objectives thinking, “Okay, I am going to save everything for the last minute this semester.” With that being said, I am going to list a few ways to help you, not stop procrastinating, but maybe do it in… moderation.

There are many things you can do to stay on top of things, time management is a major component. Get a planner, an actual book because you are more likely to remember things if you physically write them down. Put everything in your planner: all plans, assignments, and events! If you have a birthday party over the weekend and an exam the following Monday, write “STUDY” for Friday. Plan ahead. You know you’re taking multiple classes. Write each class in your planner and its respective time slot. YouTube videos and studyblrs (study blog tumblrs) are great forms of motivation.

The first month of the semester is your friend. Take the syllabus and the tentative schedule of the semester, which is usually given, and mark all quiz and exam days in your planner. Read the first few chapters of the material you’ll be covering. It is easier to get ahead early than it is to catch up once you’ve fallen behind. Once ahead, stay there. Do assignments early if possible. One thing I do that helps me, if my class gets canceled, I spend that time doing work or extra studying. I am human, so yes, I have to fight the urge of just going home and taking a nap. It is difficult, but the trick is to remind yourself that this is better than the stress that will come if you wait until the last minute. So, if you’re up to date with your work, try to get a bit ahead, that way you won’t feel as if you’re racing to keep up. Make friends in class! I know, I know, this is not ideal for those of us who are a bit socially awkward. Do it anyway. Having study groups and study group chats are so beneficial. Friends can help with reminders, peer tutoring and missed notes. One of you may understand concepts better and one of you may take better notes. Meet with these peers and adopt good habits and techniques they may have.

I wish you all the best in your studies, Jenna and I hope this advice was helpful!

Email: and type “Johnnie On The Spot” in the subject line. It can be anonymous. Tell me, what do you want to talk about?