Becky Swig/Old Gold & Black
Becky Swig/Old Gold & Black

“Work Forest” is hard but manageable

College can be demanding for any student. Without the regimented bells telling you when to switch classes, the new responsibility to actually do your readings outside of class and the constant pressure of feeling like you have an upcoming test or paper due is a hard adjustment at any school.

Yet when it comes to the difficulty and rigor of classes, Wake Forest has earned itself a reputation: “Work Forest.” This stereotype can be intimidating at first, but there are strategies to handling and managing the loads of homework so that you can still achieve success.

The first involves balancing your time appropriately. While college schedules lend themselves to more free time, your workload will increase as the year progresses and homework and projects can pile on quickly. It is important to not leave your work until the last minute to limit stress and maintain the high quality demanded by Wake Forest.

Secondly, find what study habits work for you. Whether you prefer to work in a dorm lounge surrounded by friends or need to take refuge on the eighth floor of the library, knowing how you study best is essential to succeeding at Wake Forest. There are many places around campus to work — the library, the dorms, Benson, Farrell Hall and Reynolda are some good examples.

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The next tip is to put your phone away while you are studying. This way you can actually focus on your calculus formula rather than your best friends’ new photo of Wait Chapel on Instagram. The more you focus when you work, the more productive and efficient you will be and the sooner you can move on to being on the quad with your friend who just Instagramed.

In addition to minimizing distractions in order to maximize your time you spend studying, it’s also important to space out your studying and start preparing for tests and papers early.

“As you’re reading textbook chapters, make short study guides for each one so before a test or final you already have all your studying material prepared,” said senior Jenny Hill.

Another great resource to help you beat the “Work Forest” stigma is utilize your professors. Go to their office hours whenever you can, so you can get your questions answered that you maybe didn’t have time to ask during class.

“Don’t be afraid to go up and talk to your professors,” said junior Maddie Baxter. As scary as it may seem in the beginning, they just want to help you.”

Speaking of classes, it may be tempting to skip class, but most professors have an attendance policy, and the amount of material covered in one class in college is more than one class in high school.

“Go to every single class. Unless you are sick or have an emergency, you need to go to class,” Baxter said.

Also, there are other great resources to utilize around campus, including The Writing Center, the Math Center and other on-campus tutors. You can make appointments at these centers and find students who have taken your class to help tutor you.

Yet, another important aspect of beating the “Work Forest” blues is to not let the workload control your life. It’s important to take breaks, pack snacks for the library and use naps to your advantage. While you may think that joining a club takes away time from studying, these are great outlets to de-stress and take a break from your workload. Finding a club or activity that you love will actually help you succeed, especially because Wake Forest has so many clubs available.

So as a student, I can personally confirm that “Work Forest” is real; however, I can also confirm that if you use your time well and ask questions inside and outside of class, you will survive.

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