As I enter my sophomore year of college, naturally I feel much more prepared for what is to come than I did last year. I’ve been through the first year of this new experience and made a lot of mistakes, as well as smart choices, to learn from and I know better now. For those of you who still can’t seem to keep it all together, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up that really help me stay relaxed when the craziness that is college comes full force.
This may seem like a given, but unless you put some serious effort into managing your time, it doesn’t work. Last semester I was working a lot and put off most of my work until the end of the semester. I am still unsure how I lived through finals week because I was writing a different ten page paper every night with no sleep on the schedule in sight. Be sure that you do things before the night before they’re due if it’s possible. Start this now at the beginning of the year while assignments are still easy to get in the habit of working on things when you have a few minutes of spare time. If you’re visiting your parents and are just sitting on the couch, waiting for dinner, start on your online homework. If you’re sitting in your dorm, chatting with your roommate about how much you hate your eight o’clock class, jot down some ideas of what your paper that isn’t due for a month will be about. Try to evenly spread your work out across the semester instead of letting it all pile up on you.
Breakfast is my personal favorite meal of the day. For my birthday, I suggest breakfast for dinner. If someone asks me where I’d like to eat, I say IHOP. However, even if you couldn’t care less about breakfast food, getting up a little early, fixing a plate of (relatively) healthy nourishment, and properly waking up before class really changes the way your day goes. I prefer to sleep in as much as the next person, however, I have really noticed a difference in how I feel in my morning classes on days I choose to eat breakfast as opposed to days I roll out of bed and stumble into class. Even though you may be getting an hour less of sleep, you’re waking up and properly filling up your engine with fuel for the entire day.
I know, I know, you have to finish that paper and do that post-test, and it’s Sara’s birthday, and you still haven’t gone to the store to get dish soap. Deep breath. Here is where trusty time management comes in. Just sit down, and do your work. If Sara’s a true friend, she’ll accept a dinner invite next week when things aren’t so crazy for you. Swing by the store tomorrow and pick up those few things you need. The dishes can wait one night. It’s also important to take time for YOU. Alone time is essential. You don’t always have to go out with your friends. Spending quality time with friends is important, too, and going out and living your life is a part of the college experience; however, sitting at home drinking tea and reading a good book is really good for your mental health. Especially when you get stressed with school. Find that balance and you’ll be golden.
I hope these tips will help you freshmen out, and maybe even some older students, as well. If you have any suggestions or questions, contact me on Twitter or Facebook and let’s talk it out! Happy first semester!