By PLA Helen
School is once again in full swing, and it’s freezing cold outside. The clocks are changed, making it dark and gloomy around 5:00 PM. The wind blows off the lake and the snow begins to fall. I’m at my desk reading my psychology textbook slowly tricking myself into climbing into bed to read “more comfortably.” After 10 minutes, I’m asleep with the psychology textbook on the floor. #QueensUProblems.
At this time of year, I envy the bears – yes, that’s right – those big furry animals that occasionally wander into towns and terrorize people. The best thing about a bear’s life is that it gets to hibernate! In the winter, all I can think of is how nice it would be to crawl into a hole and come back out only when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. As a Peer Learning Assistant, I have found the best alternative to hibernation – I study only when the sun is out!
When I first learned this trick, I thought it would be impossible to implement. I mean, I’m the girl that wants to hibernate for an entire season; how am I supposed to get out of bed super early in the morning to study? But after a couple of dark nights of ineffective studying, I decided I needed to try something new. I began setting my alarm early and drinking lots of water before going to bed so that I would need to get up when the alarm went. This worked really well, and I was up by 10:00 AM.. a huge accomplishment for me! My mom still doesn’t believe I get up in the morning. The hardest part of my plan (getting up) was put into place and considering I love sleeping, I had no problem going to bed earlier on some nights to make up for getting up early.
So now I’m up at 10:00 AM with my whole day ahead of me. The next thing I took from the Peer Learning Assistants was “eating a frog for breakfast.” I started my day by doing the worst thing I had planned (usually writing a lab report) and then the rest of my day was easy compared to that task. I also found that I worked much more effectively in the morning than I ever had at night! The best thing about these 2 techniques is that I have my evenings free again! I work until dinner and then watch Friends reruns, hang out with my housemates, read Game of Thrones, and am always free to go out. My days are more productive and my nights are free for my kind of fun!
Now, remember: my goal in life was to hibernate like the brown bears of North America. If I can use these 2 simple techniques to get my school work done, believe me – you can too.