Sadie Says

Dear Sadie,

Help! I just got fired from my part-time job, and I NEED MONEY. I’m desperate. I don’t qualify for work-study, and nobody seems to be hiring around here. What can I do?

Broke Becca

Dear Becca,

Talk to your friends. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “It’s not what you know but who you know” time and time again, and with the economic situation we’re in today, this is truer than ever. So reach into your network of friends and family and see if anyone knows someone who might be hiring. You’d be surprised at how many places have openings that aren’t listed on job search websites or in any way advertised to a wide audience. Pay particular attention to your senior friends with part-time jobs; many of them are leaving the city as soon as they graduate and will be leaving openings in their current positions that need to get filled. A good word from them to their employers about you may just get a job lined up for you.

While you do search, think about the skills you have. Tutoring is a great way to earn a bit of money, and there are people looking to get tutored in any class imaginable (OK, maybe no one’s looking to get tutored in Co-op 101, but you get the point). Editing student papers is also a great way to earn money; people are always looking for new sets of eyes for their writing. If you take good notes and pay close attention to detail, you could offer to outline textbook chapters for students for a small fee.

Keep an eye out for odd jobs. See if any of your parents’ friends are looking for a pet/house/babysitter anytime soon.

Best of Luck!

Sadie

Dear Sadie,

It’s the end of the term, and that means all my procrastination has finally paid off, leaving me with a glorious mountain of papers and projects and not a lot of time to do them. Because I am such a great student, I suspect that I will be pulling a few all-nighters in the next few weeks. Any advice to make them go smoothly?

Cramming Craig

Dear Craig,

Ah, the all-nighter. What a great and terrible creature. My best advice to you is to start the night as early as possible. Don’t wait until 10 p.m. to crack open that chemistry book when you could do just the same at 6 p.m.

In order to be successful at this, you will need to get SMART. Oh, you know you love acronyms, don’t complain. SMART is the all-nighter toolkit, and it stands for: Snacks, Motivation, Attention boosters, Recuperation and Time management.

Snacks are a given — food gives you energy, and eating it keeps you awake. Eat things like chips, trail mix, apples, and other foods that are crunchy and also moderately difficult to eat. Stay away from cupcakes, doughnuts and other carb-heavy soft foods that will make you sleepy and more likely to call it quits when you need to keep going. Keep snacks within easy reach, and bring enough to your study space that you won’t need to keep taking breaks to get more.

Motivation is what will keep you going through the night. It could be your GPA, the fact that this assignment is worth 65 percent of your grade, or the possibility of disappointing your parents or yourself if you don’t complete this assignment. Whatever it is, make your motivation something that will remind you why this is important, and write it down. Keep it near you, and when you’re feeling groggy and unmotivated, take a glance at it and press on.

Attention boosters can take several forms, both chemical and physical. If caffeine is your thing, go for it — have plenty of coffee or energy drinks available, and drink as needed. That said, do not overdo it — you’ll only crash early in the night, and then what’s the point? Physical attention boosters can be standing up and moving around when your legs get stiff, going to sharpen your pencil, wiggling in your seat, whatever it is you need to do to wake yourself up when the inevitable sleepiness seeps in. You might have a friend who comes in to see you every so often. The point of attention boosters is to keep you awake and alert throughout the night.

Recuperation is very important and will help you from feeling completely awful the next day. Allow yourself scheduled breaks (but not too many) where you can take a nap (no longer than 20 minutes at a time), surf the Web (just be sure not to lose track of time) or any other relaxing activity. This will allow you to pace your work and feel less stressed.

Time management may be the most critical piece of the SMART puzzle. You need to schedule out how long you will work on one particular part of an assignment and stick to it. It might be easy to get caught up in outlining a paper before you start it, but if you’re taking two hours to complete an outline you wanted to finish in 20 minutes, you’re cutting into time that can be spent completing the actual assignment. Set out times for what you will do, and stick to them.

Best of luck, Craig, and do remember that the best advice regarding all-nighters is to prevent them altogether!

Sadie