College’s learning services offers tips for home stretch success


With the final weeks of the winter semester approaching, a learning strategist suggests using motivational quotes, forming study groups, and writing goals down as ways students can increase their motivation.

“Post your specific goals somewhere where you’re going to see it,” said Janice Galloway, an accessible learning strategist at Sheridan and a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

“Read it to yourself and say, ‘Okay, this is why I’m doing this. This is why I want to have a career at Disney animating.’”

For some students, it could be the simplest things that motivate them.

Students may write, “‘I just want to have a college diploma.’ Everybody’s different, so that’s why [the goals] should be unique to yourself,” she said.

Galloway stressed week eight as an important point in the term to look ahead and not look back.

If students didn’t have a great first seven weeks and are experiencing disappointment and low motivation, they need to look at those mistakes as a learning experience, said Galloway.

For Shalani Sridhar, 19, her schedule from now to the final week is crazy and hectic.

“It’s just jam-packed with different things because I have a lot of courses, and some courses require more. So it’s a lot of things you have to keep up with,” said the second year General Arts and Sciences student.

The number of projects, assignments, and tests some students face in the final two months of the term can require strong time-management skills.

Galloway said students struggling with time management should keep organized by adding due dates and tests on a calendar, making a to-do list, and planning a weekly schedule.

When students write down their assignments and tests on a calendar, they have a visual of what their semester looks like. Once they know the deadlines, they can prioritize the tasks they need to tackle first, said Galloway.

“My whole theory and philosophy is the more your due dates are in your face, and constantly nagging and reminding you that things need to get done, that kind of helps with your motivation as well and with your time management,” she said.

Galloway said treating the school week like a 40-hour workweek can help students effectively manage their time.

“If you try to use the school week like a nine-to-five job and manage your time effectively and work in-between classes, then you can take the weekend off and have yourself a break,” she said.

Sridhar is now in her final semester at Sheridan and understands the importance of time-management in maintaining stress levels.

She thinks students shouldn’t worry too much about how they did on an exam. The point is that they did their best and they always have a chance to do better.

“I think stress makes everything worse,” she said. “Even if you have a huge workload, stress just creates a mountain out of a mole hill.”

Generally, the final months of the semester are the busiest and most stressful times, but Galloway offered some final words of encouragement for students.

“The end is near,” she said. “Students always need to remember that you’re not the only one feeling this way. There are always other students feeling the same way. It’s trying to find and connect with those students to help you motivate each other.”
Learning Strategies