Working Best "Under Pressure"

I have so much to do tonight.

I generally consider myself to be the kind of student who "works best under pressure". I often write entire papers the night before they are due, and I pretty much always get a decent grade. I generally do most of my studying in the couple days before a test, rather than weeks before (as many people actually do). Because I'm a fairly forgetful person, I usually do best when I review information right before a test, rather than let it slowly sink in.

My question is: is the mindset of "working best under pressure" transferable to post-school life? Or do I need to fundamentally change the way I do any kind of work?

Because of this lifestyle, I tend to be constantly stressed. While I don't actually do that much studying, I'm always thinking about the studying that I should be doing. That sounds like an easy problem to fix, but somehow I haven't been able to change it yet.

I've been like this since around middle school, when essay-writing began being introduced into our classes. When I learned that I could get away with hardly working on schoolwork outside of class, it became part of my academic lifestyle. I started getting worse grades later in high school (as a result of procrastinating), and I told myself that I would change in college.

I haven't.

Honestly, my grades are not nearly as good as I'd like them to be, and I really need to change my study habits. I think my best option is "routine". If I can wake up at the same time every day, eat 3 meals throughout the day every day, and go for a run 3 or 4 times a week, I can achieve my academic goals... right? I've always known that my attitude toward schoolwork would need to change sometime, and now is probably that time. Also, I am pretty sure that my success will extend beyond college into real life, when being productive is actually essential to survival/financial stability.

If I could tell my high school self anything, it would be this: college is a lot harder than high school, and you need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Really. 

Anyway, tonight I have to write a 7-page research paper for Art History, as well as a physics poster for the big research symposium tomorrow. I'm stressed about it, but I know it'll work out. It always does.

Wish me luck.


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