Letters to the editor

Letter to the Editor: A pragmatic approach to homework

There are few things in the world that are more daunting than a massive pile of homework and college assignments rapidly approaching their due dates. Returning to college after a break and having to immediately face such a pile is no easy task, but there are ways to make seemingly endless amounts of schoolwork manageable.  

For starters, you must remind yourself that the college work that you face is not insurmountable, but in fact quite doable. You must fight off the feelings of powerlessness and dread so often associated with the college experience and learn to approach schoolwork with a productive mindset and effective strategies.  

One such strategy is to break down your college homework and assignments into small, manageable pieces. Make a list of your college assignments and organize that list by class, due date, and perceived difficulty.  Most word processing programs have built-in list features, Microsoft OneNote’s checkbox function being one of the best and most accessible.  

Next, analyze your day-to-day schedule and determine what times of day are free and what times aren’t. You’ll want to look for the time slots in between classes, job shifts, meals, chores and any other obligations you may have.   

Once you have these time slots figured out, you must resist the urge to blow them all on video games, social media, or any other frivolities. Instead, take your college assignments— which you will hopefully have well organized—and spread them out across your “free time” periods in a way that is practical and compatible with your daily life.   

If there does not appear to be enough free time to get all your schoolwork done by its due dates, additional actions may have to be taken. Free time will have to be made, and this may mean asking your boss for some time off, pushing back three hours of social media usage to two, or even turning down opportunities to hang out with friends and family members. These are not fun things to do, but times may come when they are necessary.  

Once you have a practical and effective system for completing schoolwork in place, you may find the psychological benefits to be just as helpful as the physical ones. The idea of college work being unconquerable weighs heavily on almost every student’s mind. Fortunately, it is an idea that can be overcome with proper planning and discipline.

Alex Nierman, Journalism major