Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by rabiamuzaffar
If you’re anything like me, assignments have been the bane of your existence since high school. They come with a lot of pressure to perform well, whether that’s on your end as an individual student or on the end of the instructor assigning it.
In college, this pressure is compounded by more and more assignments being graded through peer review—and asking your peers questions about homework is not easy! Moreover, they can seem daunting if you’re not used to having so many different pieces come together at once in order to compose a single piece of work.
Even if you are familiar with how to approach them and have built up the courage to dive in, chances are that assignments still manage to dampen your spirits. It doesn’t matter how much you try or what resources you use—writing an assignment just never seems like quite enough time.
These feelings aren’t just confined to students either; instructors personally experience them too because of their workload and the same pressures mentioned above.
That is why everyone experiences these feelings: we hate them rather than love them! However, there’s hope yet! If you can learn from my mistakes and figure out how to relax instead of worry when it comes time for those dreaded write-ups, then maybe college won’t be such a chore after all? Here are some things I wish I had known sooner when it came to assignments:
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Don’t Assign, Have Assignments!
Having assignments is one thing, but actually doing them is another. One of the reasons why I’m so sure that I wouldn’t have written as much without assignments as I did is because I didn’t assign them! If you assign work to your students and then don’t give them any writing, they’ll write as little as possible—and that’s because there is no motivation for them to do anything different.
However, if you assign some writing and then walk away, then students have no reason to do the work unless it’s as a favour to you. Moreover, assignments are never as easy as you want to make them out to be—and by trying to make them all about you, you end up making yourself feel worse about your writing than you need to.
Take a Break Before You Dive In
You’ll feel much more confident if you take a break before diving into the assignment. You might be surprised by how much you can accomplish when you’re less stressed out and more relaxed.
When you’re anxious before an assignment, you’re likely to choose the wrong things to write about because you aren’t thinking clearly. Take a break to figure out what you really want to write about, and then dive back in with renewed enthusiasm.
To help ease your anxiety, try taking a walk around campus, clearing your head, or even just putting on some relaxation music. You might be surprised how much better you’ll feel if only you give yourself the time to relax!
Try an outline before you dive in
As a student and a writer, I didn’t assign outlines either—I assumed that the outline was just something you did once you were done with a writing assignment, not something you made before you started.
However, outlines are an excellent way to get your head around the basic structure of an assignment. You might find that by making an outline as you go, you end up getting more done than if you had tried to tackle everything at once! While outlines can help you to figure out the structure of your assignments, they can also help you to get your mind off the pressure of the actual writing. Outlines are a great way to structure your thoughts, learn how to organise your thoughts, and to get your ideas down on paper in a way that makes sense to you. If you find that you’re stressing out more than you’d like to, outlines might help you to relax and to do something that you might not have done otherwise.
Set Realistic Goals for Your Write-up
You might not be aiming too high, but you might be setting unrealistically low expectations for your write-up. Realistic goals are great for setting a benchmark for your work, but they’re not so great for setting a bar for yourself. Setting realistic goals for your write-up means that you can stay in the moment, but it also means that you can’t over-reward yourself for accomplishing goals.
If you end up setting goals that are too high, then you’re going to feel even more pressure to accomplish them. That said, if you set realistic goals, then you’ll feel a lot less pressure if you don’t end up meeting them. That way, you can take a deep breath and know that you didn’t do anything wrong, and that you can continue to work towards your goals with a clearer head.
Make Sure to Edit and Revise (Often)
Every assignment that you write is an opportunity to improve your writing. If you don’t edit your work after you’re done, you’re effectively saying that you don’t care enough to put extra effort into your writing. Moreover, revisions are an excellent way to test and challenge your beliefs, to get your ideas out of your head, and to start to consider the audience that your work is for.
Every assignment that you write is an opportunity to improve your writing. If you find that you’re revising too much and that you’re spending too much time on a particular assignment, then you’re probably stressing out.
Instead of revising on assignments, try to relax, try to refocus, and try to find a new angle on the assignment that you’re working on. There might be something else that you can tackle instead.
Assignments can be a real drag if you don’t know how to approach them. If you’re stressed out about writing assignments in college, then you might want to take a step back and relax a bit. Instead of worrying about everything that comes with assignments, try to focus on enjoying the process of writing. This will help you to relax and to get your writing done better.
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