Dropped the ball this semester? Here’s how to get back on track fast

La Trobe’s Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs) are high-achieving students who have been specially trained to help others with study and assessments. Go to the Library Learning Services LMS to find out more about the PLAs and access the Zoom drop-in service.

In an ideal world, we’d all be taking fabulous notes from our lectures each week and expertly revising the material as we go. But what happens when life gets in the way? What if you find yourself halfway through the semester, and are feeling completely overwhelmed?

Don’t panic! La Trobe’s PLAs share their advice for picking yourself up after a study setback.

Stay positive

Tenzin: Everyone drops the ball at some point. Uni life is complicated and the semester keeps going regardless of whether or not you’re keeping up. Make a list of everything you’ve missed or still need to complete. Then email your tutors and subject coordinators for advice on what to focus on and what’s achievable at this point in the semester. Their goal is to help you, so they will always be eager to see you get back on your feet.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. All you can do is your best.

Have a game plan

Emily: Make yourself a to-do list for the subject. Cross off each item as it is completed and set yourself goals to catch up on a few tasks each day. Having a list will also show you how much work you have left to do, and you will feel so much better when you finally complete everything!

Margaret: You can 100% get back on track! Lift your head up high, take a few deep breaths and just keep going!  

But now you will have to plan carefully and accept that you might not be able to do as well as you had hoped at the start of the year. Start planning backwards from the date of your exams and final assessments. Work out what you might need to learn or revise and write up a plan. 

Ask for support

Jacqulyn: If you have some assignments that are due soon, look into getting an extension to give you some breathing space. If the ball was dropped because of difficult stuff going on in your life, then there are a range of resources to help.

Amy: Contact your tutor and ask for help. If you don’t feel comfortable with your tutor, go to the subject coordinator. Do what you can to just catch up on the main things. If you need help talking about an assignment and getting ideas together, talk to a friend in your class about it or even come see a PLA!

Library Learning Services workshops

For more study and assessment tips, browse our full series of end-of-semester workshops on the Library Learning Services events page.