Don’t give up

Caroline Schell

Thanksgiving Break is quickly approaching for the students at Washington and Lee, and many feel the break from classes, the intense workload and responsibility just can’t come fast enough.

As a first-year student, you’re used to never-ending high school classes that seem to go on forever. If you’re an upperclassman here at W&L, you are probably counting down the days to your flight home for the holidays.

If you find yourself in Leyburn unable to focus and unmotivated to continue writing that 20-page paper due the Friday before break, then follow these tips for staying focused during the last few weeks of the semester.

First off, if you’re in Leyburn—don’t be. Find new places to study and new places to be creative.  Tory Smith, ’18, notes that the Science Center is her favorite place to be on campus, even as a liberal arts major.

“It’s quiet and I can get work done, but it isn’t the stark and unwelcoming atmosphere that happens on the lower levels of Leyburn,” she said. “It works for me.”

Students often study in lecture rooms in Newcomb Hall or even small offices or spaces in Washington Hall or Reid.  If you find yourself dozing off in Leyburn, don’t be there. Get out and try to study some place new, it’ll help you push through the last few weeks of class.

If you are a steadfast Leyburn-goer, and God bless you for that, then take some study breaks every hour so that you stay awake and aware.

“If I sit down on the fourth floor of the library for too long, I begin to forget what day it is or what I’m doing,” Lilly Wimberly, ’18, said. “I do headstands when I get to a point where I no longer can remember what I’m doing or I’m reading a sentence over and over again. It helps get the blood flowing and I can concentrate after, even if people stare and question what I’m doing.”

Many students feel that going to the library with a friend in the same class or someone who has a similar workload can be beneficial for both students.

“If you’re going to joke around, then definitely go alone, but my friends are always there to help me with whatever physics problem I’m stuck on or if I need someone to read a paper,” Bobby Doyle, ‘18, said.

Whatever you do though, avoid the main floor of Leyburn like it’s the plague.

“The main floor might as well be going out on a Wednesday night,” Smith said.

We’ve all had that train of thought—I’ll head to the library, main floor, see some friends, and I’ll be able to get work done.  But be honest with yourself, has it ever happened?

Even after all of this: Leyburn is your place. You go there and get work done; props to you.  However, in the coming weeks, try to constantly take breaks and go for a walk throughout your study time.

Go hit up some loaded fries in Co-Op or meet a friend for a 15-minute coffee break. You’ll be more productive and more focused when you’re studying throughout the day.

Perhaps most importantly, remember that you are almost done. You will be home stuffing your face with delicious homemade meals in one week’s time, and after that, you will head home for a month.

Most classes are work-intensive right now and may seem overwhelming, but if you are passionate about what you’re working on and what you are studying, the time will fly by.