1. Mind the Meat Suit: In a time of the season where energy is sagging after a long fall of fighting to stave off a number of adversities, including a pandemic, it’s all the more important to take care of your body!  That includes nutrition.  Take a look at your habits by writing down everything you eat in one 24-hour period.  Write down your observations of the list after you complete it.  What adjustments can you comfortably make in the short term?
  2. Mind the mind: Countless research has pointed to the numerous benefits of meditation and other forms of mindfulness.  There are a number of apps that can help you meditate(such as Headspace) and it only takes about 10 minutes a day.  It’s worth the investment of time to reduce anxiety and improve focus.
  3. Sleeeeeeeeeep: I can literally feel the eye-rolling of any teenager who hears this prerogative.  How’s this for proof, though: a recent study assessed the ability of students academically based on how much sleep they got the night previous.  10th graders who got 6 hours of sleep versus 8 hours of sleep dropped two grades in reading level!  If they read at a 10th grade level, they dropped to 8th.  Ignore the sleep thing if you like, but you’ll quickly be overtaken in capacity by your little sister.
  4. Eat a Whale: As the old saying goes, ‘the best way to eat a whale is one bite at a time.’  It’s the first few bites that seem the hardest, not knowing where to start.  I find it’s best to start with the easiest task.  It all needs to be done, so why not get rolling?  Pull up the assignment sheet, find your notes, open up to chapter one.  Whatever that thing is, start working on it.
  5. Started Early, took my dog: Disaster always strikes the unprepared as the saying goes… It was a point of pride through undergrad to complete work the night before it was due.  Unfortunately, this pride was exactly what caused countless moments of all-night suffering.  Starting early makes the difficult feel much easier, and you ultimately feel better about yourself.

Happy studying/writing/testing, my friends!