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    Unlocking the Door: New year, new techniques


    Congratulations, you are officially on week seven of the new school year! By now, almost everyone is in the swing of things. However, if you are like me, you have probably taken a little more time than normal to get used to it. Why? The new schedule of course.

    There are upsides and downsides to every change, but I must admit that this change was not as hard as I expected it to be. Not only have teachers, specifically math teachers, done well adjusting the workload to fit into the shorter periods, but they have also modified homework assignments so that they can easily be done in one night.

    When you combine homework with after school activities, things start to get interesting. Everyday I see students that are at wits end about due dates, stressing out about not being able to get things done on time, or unable to get the help they need from teachers because they cannot come in after school.

    It has impacted me too. I am a cross country runner. Last year on busy nights, I would put off homework until the next night since it was not due for two days. Now, I have to do all of my homework the night it is assigned since there is only one day to do it, thus a very stressed and tired Kendra!

    The cross country schedule is pretty packed. There is practice right after school until five, spaghetti feeds on Tuesdays and meets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We usually get out of school early for meets and then get home around seven. It does not leave much wiggle room for anything besides homework and showering. Crazy thing is, I know there are people out there that are much busier than I am. How they do it is a mystery to me.

    Last weekend I felt like I was drowning in homework. I had big projects in all of my core subjects and bits and pieces for other classes too. It was super stressful to be able to get it all done well and on time. Late nights were common that weekend.  I am sure many of you have also been in that situation. You feel helpless and you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you get all of the work done and sometimes you do not. Believe me, no one wants to be in that spot, ever.

    There is no perfect solution for the time crunch, but there is one coping technique that I have found to be particularly helpful.

    This may sound a little cliche, but time management is really, really important and it actually works. If you ever have a few extra minutes at the end of class, pull out your homework and start working on it. It lightens the load, even if by only one or two problems.

    As an athlete, I have come to realize one of the greatest times to get homework done on the day of a meet is on the bus. There are other people around to help me if I have a question and often times we end up getting things done a lot faster since we are working together. If you do not play a sport but are in another after school activity such as drama, try to get some homework done between acts or when not performing.

    As the year goes on, things will get easier and easier once we get back into the routine of school. Time management will not be nearly as hard and stress levels will come down once things are not as new anymore.

    Good luck in the new school year Gophers!

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