For so many, the average school day becomes a monotonous routine consisting of long periods of time spent sitting in class, watching the clock and wishing you could just make time go faster. Some choose to doodle during class time. Others will often let their mind wander and fall into a daydream (not so good for the listening skills). Overall, sitting in math class or listening to lectures about world war II while being attentive the whole time seems like a super power that many students do not possess. The problem? Time. So many of us struggle with finding ways to make the time fly each day, thus making the school year feel much too long and dragged out.
Making nine weeks of school go by faster requires focusing your attention on something besides the length of time itself. Nine weeks, which equals about half of one semester in many schools, might seem like a long time. If you don’t take the proper steps or find your own way to effectively use your time, every class will start to feel like a boring class, and motivation will be an ongoing battle. You want to make the most out of this time, and that includes scheduling school work with other aspects of your life to keep you motivated.
Here are a few helpful tips to help make time go faster over the course of your school year.
1. Time Management
Have good time management. Cramming for classes and doing homework assignments at the last minute usually means you need to improve your time management — something that would likely set you on a good course for the rest of the school year. Create daily or weekly to-do lists over the course of your 9 weeks, checking off each task throughout the day or week as you get it done. This might include responsibilities like school work and extracurricular activities. The sooner you get homework assignments done ahead of time, the more break time you will have to unwind in whatever way you prefer. The more time you get for yourself, the faster your weeks will fly by.
2. Focus off the clock
Don’t focus on the clock. Train yourself not to check the clock a lot. Many individuals who want to make time pass by faster constantly stare at the clock on the classroom wall — this is like watching paint dry. Instead of wearing a watch, rely on the clock on your portable media player or phone, if your school allows one, to keep track of time between classes. That way, you'll have to manually pull your phone out of your pocket rather than check your wrist, and you won't be tempted to look at the clock all the time. Train yourself to keep your eyes off the clock, whether it’s on your wrist or the wall.
3. Reward Yourself
Set up a weekly reward for yourself. This might be as inexpensive as a milkshake at the local ice cream shop or a movie at the theater. If you're on a tight budget, try to pick something that you can pay for with less than $10 per week so that you spend less than $100 in the nine weeks. Reward yourself on Friday night after school or on Saturday. Keep the reward as close to the end of your school week as possible to train your mind to accept the reward as part of the work you did in the week.
4. Good Activities
Find good free-time activities. Pick a moderately challenging project to work on in your free time each week that will be finished in nine weeks. This might be a productive project that you can build or sew, or you might choose a 1,000-piece puzzle to put together, 25 pieces or so per day. If you’re someone who enjoys writing, you could set aside creative writing time in which you spend some of your free-time answering daily writing prompts. Whatever you pick, you want to look forward to doing it when you finish your homework or come home from school. Do not work on this project over the weekend.
5. Study Buddy
Find a study buddy. Get a study buddy to help you study for nine weeks only. Don't make them commit to studying with you for the whole year, just for nine weeks. This gives you both an attainable goal and might help you both improve your grades and better understand your work. You can work with a study buddy during any break time given throughout your school day, or you both may choose to work together outside of school time a certain number of times per week.
6. Final Reward
Pick a final reward. Pick something to reward yourself with at the end of the nine-week period. You could plan a party, invite friends to go out for laser tag, go to a theme park or even buy the new video game you've been saving up for. Try to pick this reward before the nine weeks start or within the first few weeks so you can look forward to it.
Ask your parents for permission to buy rewards before committing to them. They might even lend you money or offer to reward you as well, especially if you keep your grades up during this period.
- Join a weekly club activity. From the LARPing to bowling, there are hundreds of extra-curricular activities on a college campus. When the weather is nice, you can go for a walk or jog. Campus will generally have pick-up games on a field, everything from spikeball to soccer is a friendly introduction away from participation.
- If sports is not your cup of tea, I loved strolling through the library for random topics, like the history of Spain.
- For high school students, make rhymes! You can shade Emimem or you can understand his success stems from his facility with words. If you want a career in music, song writing credit is how streaming payments are allocated.
Madi Reade is currently a student in her junior year at the University of Missouri studying Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She lives an active lifestyle and maintains an organized weekly routine to ensure academic success. Throughout her academic career, she has remained committed to bettering her writing and editing abilities with a plan to pursue a career after university that will allow her to employ these skills effectively.