How to stay focused in college after contracting spring fever

English: This is the picture of the First Stre...Don’t look now, but college campuses throughout most of the country are being hit with a highly contagious disease known as spring fever. Signs that you have contracted this include: staring blankly out the window during lecture, little or no desire to attend class, preferring to be outside instead of in the library (okay, this symptom may not be just from spring fever), an overwhelming ability to want to sit in the sun, and a strong sense to forgo your studies and have fun. If you do catch spring fever, fear not. There are ways that you can beat it. Just follow these tips on how to stay focused in college — even during spring term!

Soak up the sun

One of the best ways to cure spring fever is to indulge it, just a little bit. For instance, if it is warm and sunny outside, don’t force yourself to stay cooped up in your dorm room. Instead, pack up your books and head outside. Find a quiet spot in the park or under a tree and finish your cram session there.

Another option might be to simply give in and have some fun while the sun is still shining. Rachael Hayes backs up this theory in her April 11, 2013, article for A-Tonline titled “How to avoid catching spring fever, stay focused.” According to campus counselor Kim Charniak, it is okay to give in “to your undesirable need to go outside and hang out with friends. The trick is not letting the ‘play’ overwhelm your life to the point where you are no longer able to make time for the ‘work’ aspect of school.”

So, if you find that you simply cannot stay focused during the day, give yourself a break and wait until after sundown to hit those books.

Get active

Another way to help battle your spring fever is to get outside for a jog, a walk or a pickup game of basketball. Yes, I realize that this is time spent away from studying, but you will feel in much better spirits after some fresh air and exercise. Plus, your head will be clearer when you finally do sit down to study — and you WILL sit down to study.

In fact, studies show that college students can actually benefit academically from exercise. A post from the University of Michigan’s campusmindworks, simply titled “Exercise,” explains the following benefits of physical activity:

  • Improved memory
  • Increased energy
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved focus
  • Better regulation of mood
  • Weight loss
  • Increased sense of accomplishment and self-esteem
  • Distraction from negative thinking

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and boost your brainpower — and then come back and hit the books!

Focus, focus, focus

Yes, you can head outside and have some fun, but when it finally does come time to study, you need to devote all of your attention to this action. Consider these tips to ensure success:

  • Find a quiet area away from windows or main entries
  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Set a goal and don’t stop until you complete it (for instance, you will read your Econ chapter today and decide on a focus, with at least 2 references, for your Political Science project)
  • Download a pro-study playlist filled with relaxing yet motivating music — be sure to omit anything to do with “fun in the sun”
  • Don’t be your own worst enemy and sabotage your good intentions by turning on the television or logging on to social media websites
  • Keep a checklist of must do items and when you reach a goal, reward yourself

According to Darcie Moran’s April 01, 2013, article “Don’t sweat spring fever: Experts give tips to focus” for The State News, college students really just need to find a good balance between enjoying spring and studying for the end of term. Nancy Berk, a clinical psychologist, “suggested waking up just one hour earlier each day to fit more in and making rainy days study days. She said students also can choose to surround themselves with more studious friends this time of year and use university resources, such as The Writing Center or the Counseling Center.”

Are you suffering from spring fever? If so, what is your biggest weakness and how do you get past it? 

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