University Park, IL,
11:26 AM

A Jaguar's tips to staying focused and inspired during the Spring Semester


A new semester means new classes,  classmates, teachers and  challenges.  It can be a stressful time, especially amid a global pandemic which has forced jaguar community members to adapt  in various ways.  

However Lorraine Selucky, a GSU student and Student Marketing Assistant, says there are actions you can take to not only welcome the semester with focus and inspiration but to also maintain your Jaguar spirit. 

Here are her tips for staying on task this semester: 

1.) Build a study schedule.

Yes, I know it sounds bizarre but trust me. Once you get your syllabi, look to see when each of your classes have something due, including discussion boards, quizzes, homework, notes, etc. Pick the best day of the week to focus on each class. Not only does this allow you to focus on one course at a time, you can also free up your weekends by only having to do minimal work, like responding to discussion boards, or submitting a paper.

2.) Create a personal study space.

Having the prefect study space can mean all the difference when it comes to focusing. Creating a space that is functional will allow you to focus and still be relaxed. I like to start with a few things that help with my productivity, like have a white board that can be used for quick notes, or an extension cord with a surge protector, to not only allow for multiple devices to be plugged in, but also protected from a sudden power outage.

3.) Find the perfect study "vibes."

While having a nice place to study is great, getting into the zone might be a challenge. Creating a study playlist, or having certain lighting can make all of the difference. Find music that you can work to, with out being distracted, there are many pre-made playlists on Spotify and YouTube that are worth checking out if you need inspiration. If you also have LED lighting, use it to your advantage. There are many colors that help with staying focused or inspiring creativity.

4.) Try to avoid burn out.

Let's face it. We have all been there. You're cramming before a big test, and you're writing a paper for another, all while watching a video from another course. It can begin to pile up and you feel like everything is crashing down. A method that can help keep you focused, and allow for breaks is called "Pomodoro". Its fairly simple. You focus for 25 minutes at a time, and then break for 5 minutes. After doing three, 25 minute intervals, you then take a 15 minute break. This method allows you to focus, but also take a break before you start to lose you momentum.

5.) Stay healthy, physically and mentally.

Sometimes when we're putting a lot of our focus on our studies, we can neglect our most basic needs. Before you sit down to study, try to do a physical activity. It could be going for a quick run, dancing to your favorite music, yoga, or even cleaning your space. Remember to get up, stretch and walk around. Also, take sometime to practice self-care. Whether its mediating, a long shower, or writing about your day; use that time to relax and take a deep breath.

Good Luck, Jaguars!