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Dear Charlie: How Do I Stay On Top of My School Work?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Dear Charlie is an advice column that allows readers to ask Charlie for guidance on how to deal with problems. Whether it’s about love, friendships, or frustrations, Charlie is here to give you tips and ideas for tackling life’s everyday challenges. Readers can ask Charlie for advice through DM via our Instagram @liubknews, or anonymously through this form.


We’re only a month into the school year, and we’ve already been assigned mountains of work. From 10-page essays to endless amounts of lab reports, not to mention upcoming midterms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This week, I’m giving some helpful tips on how to stay afloat in this sea of assignments.

(Photo: Getty Images)

1. Don’t let everything pile up!!

I know it can be hard sometimes to start homework immediately, but procrastination is a huge factor that will lead to getting overwhelmed. Even if you don’t start the assignment right when it is assigned, try to start as soon as possible. This will prevent you from having to rush everything at the last minute and stressing out.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Teachers are there to help! If you find yourself unsure about a certain assignment or needing help, your teacher is most likely willing to provide that. Office hours are in every syllabus, so make use of them when needed. If talking directly to the teacher is not for you, you can also rely on your classmates. Try joining or starting a homework group where you and your classmates are able to discuss and share ideas.

3. Get organized — keep a calendar or planner.

Knowing when each assignment is due is important, and having a place to keep all these dates will be helpful. Write down due dates and check your planner everyday so you know what you have to prioritize and work on.

4. Get a little done every day

Set goals for yourself every day to get things done. Even if you have only have one major project due for a class at the end of the semester, spread out your work load so that you do not have to do everything all at once later.

5. Work with a group

Sometimes working with others or even just fleshing out individual work with your peers can help keep you on track and accountable.

6. Take breaks

As important as it is to stay focused, it is also important that you do not overwork yourself. Taking breaks to clear your head can be helpful — whether that means taking a walk, talking with friends, or eating a snack — rest can be very productive.

7. Set reminders

We all have so many other things going on in our lives and it can be easy to forget about smaller assignments. Write reminders on post-its, set reminders on your phone, highlight what you don't want to forget — whatever works for you to remember to do what needs to get done.

Hopefully these suggestions will aid you in getting through your work. This is Charlie signing off, and good luck with the rest of your semester!

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