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Peer Advice: Weekly Planner (and Saturday’s off)


Plan to take Saturday’s off. YES ALL OF SATURDAY. No assignments, no lectures, no studying.

Of course this method isn’t for everyone, but I found that I loved having an entire day to myself instead of even thinking about school!

  1. Make a plan and stick to it:
    1. Yes, of course sticking to the plan is why you make them. But I mean really really stick to it.
    2. My plan was simple. Watch lectures (1.5X), rewrite notes and consolidate my notes with professors slides or textbook notes, and then review with the intention of connecting this information to other topics or to the general topic or practice problems (optics!!)
      1. Of course every class did not need this level of studying. Some I could just write the notes and review at the same time or not need to rewrite notes at all. But figuring out what works well for each individual class is a process and you’ll learn as you go. Definitely reach out if you want to know exactly how I studied for each class to have an idea!
  2. Write out everything you need to do for the week for every single class in one space that you can refer back to when writing out your daily planner. Not just what’s due, but what you need to do. Do you need to rewrite notes? Write flashcards? Write it all down. This way you can go back to it often and give yourself a pat on the back for all you’ve accomplished in the week.
  3. Do all the heavy lifting in the beginning of the week.
    1. Mondays and Tuesdays were my heaviest days in that I would try to watch all my lectures by the end of tuesday night. I did this simply because as the week went on, I found myself needing to prioritize other engagements such as club events and even just after hours practice.
    1. As always, this is the most important. And it took me a long time to feel okay about my day off or even breaks. Everyone will always be doing something, but that didn’t mean I had to too. If my to do list for the day or the week was done, it was DONE. IF someone else was getting ahead or studying on midnight the week before finals does not mean i have to.

This is an example schedule of Spring Quarter (Exams Monday and Wednesday)

  • Yes, even with a Saturday off, I was able to take an exam on Monday with confidence
  • ** This is a sample from a specific week in Spring Quarter so bare with me for the random classes and meetings!
    • This quarter I really focused on studying neuro so here is a week with two midterms with an upcoming Monday Neuro midterm! As you can see, still took Saturday off!
    • If there were practice problems those would go with rewriting notes or when studying for the exam
  • To stay up with class stuff/ this weeks to do
  • For upcoming midterm
  • Midterm/ quizzes
  • Classes/ mandatory Labs/ practice
  • Other/ Meetings

Photo of a student's weekly schedule

A few things before you leave!

  • My week starts on Monday, I am not sure why but the whole week starting on Sunday wasn’t really working for me. But this way Sunday put my mind at ease that if needed, I had a day after my day off to catch up on any work I might’ve missed during the week. (I didn’t need to use this very often and could still use Sunday as a prep day for the week but it was still nice to know.)
  • I am sort of an early riser and don’t need the full 8-9 hours of sleep BUT that might not be the case for you and that’s okay ! Just do what works for you! I usually woke up around 6/6:30 and tried to get my morning routine started so I could start my day at around 8 and end it by 10 pm. The first quarter I tried to drag it until 11pm or even midnight and that was horrible for my school-life balance so putting everything away and giving myself time at the end of the night works wonders.
  • I very rarely study right before the exam, but because this time the exams were later on, I would review them a little bit but no more than 30-45 min that day.

I tried to follow this as best I could, of course there are always things that come up and I would easily be able to move things around especially because I did not pencil in anything until the day before! ALSO I did take time to myself I just didn’t plan that out and would eat, take breaks, etc. when I felt like I needed it (often.)