Surviving Until Thanksgiving Break

by Jake Sporrer

The last weeks before thanksgiving break tend to be crunch time. If you’re like me, you have several tests and major projects that are all due within a few days of each other. Weeks like these next two can leave a person stressed and anxious. I have compiled, with the help of some of my Mat E peers, a two-step series to make it to Thanksgiving break with your sanity.

Step 1: Relax

1a. Evan Perez suggests taking short breaks throughout the day to do things you care about. This includes: working out, cleaning your room, talking to friends, and anything else that makes you feel good.

Sporrer 1Evan endorsing his “breaks” strategy

1b. Mr. Aaron Roszak suggests playing a “quick” game of Magic the Gathering. The card game can make you feel better about embracing your strengths, being nerdy in this case, and using them to get work done.

Sporrer 2Aaron endorsing his “Magic” strategy

1c. I suggest separating your relaxation and studying locations and using them properly. I always build a blanket fort in my living room to hide from responsibilities in briefly during finals, but the theory should hold for the weeks before Thanksgiving break.
1d. Robin Lindemann suggests hot cocoa. It is delicious, chocolaty, and warm. Drink it.
1e. Ben Trieu suggests remembering that what happens in these few weeks doesn’t count for that much in the whole of life. To drive this point home, I’ll take us through a brief mathematical explanation:

Assumptions: classes are 3 credits, students take 16 credits per semester (15 plus 1 honors seminar), any assessment week can account for 15% of a class grade at max, each class will only have one assessment week before thanksgiving break, and students attend college for 8 semesters.

Calculations: 8 semesters*16 credits/semester=128 credits/college career

.15 ratio of a class grade in an assessment week*3 credits for a class= .45 credits at risk for a class/assessment week

.45 credits/class before break / 128 credit/career= .35% of college at risk before thanksgiving break

Results: Approximately one third of a percent of your college career is riding on your performance this week. It’s going to be ok because math says so. Smile a little.

Sporrer 3Ben endorsing his “keeping perspective” strategy

Step 2: Do Well

2a. Now that you’re nice and relaxed, your mind is open to get some solid work done. Find some music that you can listen to for hours without falling asleep. Listen to that music with headphones while you study. This will help cut out distractions and keep you in the zone.
2b. Go home before midnight. If you know when the latest you’ll let yourself work until, studying feels less like an endless road.
2c. Buy cans of soup, a bowl, and a spoon. There are microwaves all over campus and it is easier to keep up the studying if you don’t go home and back to campus over and over again. This also decreases the likelihood that a roommate will distract you from getting stuff done.

Sporrer 4Robin executing step 2 flawlessly

Using these steps will allow you to get your work done and stay relaxed enough to focus. Good luck studying and have a fantastic thanksgiving break. Feel free to add any suggestions for what you do to accomplish step 1 and 2 in the comments.


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