Avoiding Assignment Anxiety

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This is how I organize my assignments so I don't lose my mind.

Every year, I purchase an agenda. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I like it to have some spunk. I need it to have enough space to write the specifics of my assignments. I take it to every class. At the end of the day, I have a checklist of tasks ready to go.

I create a plan to get all my assignments done. Usually, I aim to finish my homework 2-3 days before it’s due. This gives me time to ask my professor or a classmate for any help, if necessary. It also provides me time to go back and change anything that I don’t like upon revision.

If you’re a procrastinator (like the right side of my brain), you’re likely laughing at the idea of even starting your assignment, let alone getting it done early. I suggest a quick brainstorm. The hardest part is getting started, so don't start at the beginning. I get my main ideas down now and worry about an introduction later. A brainstorm will develop into a rough draft and from there a polished project. Some people like to polish one draft as they go and others want to rewrite their rough draft into a final copy completely. Do what works best for you.

My tips so far have been for smaller assignments, but what if you need to plan for a term project? I still use an agenda, create a plan and brainstorm for larger projects, but there are a few extra steps to build into your plan: Turn your assignment into sections. Take each part and assign it a due date: focus on one piece at a time. If you get an idea for another section, write it down and save it for when you're scheduled to work on it.

Most importantly, remain calm. Be of the mindset that you will complete this assignment, and you will get it in on time. Start working on the tasks right away, as much as possible, and commit to your plan.

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If you still find yourself anxious, and even if you don't, familiarise yourself with your school’s student resources. You never know when you might need to reach out for help, or be the source of information for a friend. If your school has a website, check it out. If not, look around your school or even ask your professor how to get into contact with student support.

At Algonquin College, Student Resources are listed here: http://www.algonquincollege.com/cal/resources/student-resources/

Take a deep breath. Smile. You will get through this year.

Photos courtesy of Pexels.com


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Mary Jane's writing obsession started in 7th grade (writing low quality fanfiction). Later, she discovered how to develop her own stories, and now she’s in Profession Writing at Algonquin college to take her fiction to the next level. Oh, and she’s still a huge nerd.

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Mary Jane Schauland

Mary Jane's writing obsession began with fanfiction in 7th grade. Later, she discovered how to develop her own stories, and now she’s in Profession Writing at Algonquin College to take her fiction to the next level. Oh, and she’s still a huge nerd.