It’s that time of year again! School is starting to pick up, life is getting busy again, let the fun begin! We college students are consistently trying to balance the beauty of college. They say college is a choice of two things of the following three: social life, sleep, or good grades. Here at Student Life and Leadership, we say why not be able to have all three! It shouldn’t be about sacrificing things. Your semester should be about balance and being able to take part in all the amazing aspects of college. After all, college is supposed to be the best years of our lives! So we have a few tips to help make this semester as enjoyable and successful as possible. With that being said, make sure you keep the most important aspect of all of this in mind: BALANCE!
Start over – clean out everything!
Literally give yourself a day or two to clean everything out. Clean out your room, your backpack, your school supplies, your desk, even your computer. Start fresh by going through everything, throwing out what you don’t need and organizing everything for a fresh new start. It may be a tedious task but rest assured, when you’re in a rush situation and you’re looking for that very important document, or those sunglasses for the beach, having everything organized and put in place will make crunch time situations so much easier! Also, having that feeling of knowing that everything is in its place and organized, you can go into taking care of school work knowing you’re to do list doesn’t say clean your room first.
Know when to say no (don’t stretch yourself too thin)
This is the biggest word of advice that can be given to a busy college student. Especially all those over-achievers and student leaders on campus, learn when to say no! That is what sets you apart from being an amazing leader. You don’t obligate yourself to a million responsibilities. Under promise and over deliver is the key concept here. Take on what you know you can and make sure that you do perform all of your responsibilities with 100% maximum effort. A key tip is to look at your schedule and make sure that you are working/staying involved with extra-curriculars no more or no less than 15 hours a week. This is a statistical amount of hours that has been proven to be effective for college students to stay on top of their work-load as well as stay busy with either work or extra-curriculars.
This goes hand-in-hand with step one, starting over and cleaning up. As college students, we definitely have more than one email address and of course, it’s probably ridiculously filled with a million different things. Here’s what you do, micro-manage and start fresh. Go through your inbox, delete every single piece of mail you know you absolutely do not need. With what’s left, create labels by the semester (ex. Spring 2012) and then create sub-labels for the different things that you have going on that semester. (i.e. work [under the spring 2012 label]). This sytem of organizing helps you filter your mail and stay on top of it without your inbox getting crazy.
To-Do List (prioritize) and stick to it (reward system)
To Do lists are tricky. We tend to make them and there ends up being over 20 things to do and the list just keeps getting longer and longer. With these, make sure you make a master to-do list and then prioritize by splitting it up into things to take care of per day. With that, be sure to reward yourself somehow for getting these things done little at a time. Also, make sure you prioritize what absolutely needs to get done and what can wait.
Sleep! / Me Time
Again, as college students, we sometimes just don’t know when to say no. We keep going and going, pushing our bodies to its limits and eventually, we get so burned out that the end doesn’t look too pretty. But what we can do to make sure our semester goes smoothly is literally schedule at least 10-15 minutes a day for ourselves to just sit in peace and quiet and relax our minds. And make sure you have atleast 3 days a week with a set bed time that way you know that at the very least a few times a week you are getting an adequate amount of sleep.
We all have our class schedules, our work schedules, and…well that’s about it. What about study time? This semester, literally take some time to schedule in your study time for each class and make sure you stick to it. It seems and feels tedious or pointless at times but comes finals time when your ahead of the game because you did put the work in early on, you’ll be thanking yourself big time! With the scheduling concept, know yourself and be prepared. Take a few minutes in the evening to get your gear ready for the next morning and make sure you set that alarm early enough, no matter how difficult it may be in the morning to wake up, and make sure you take your time getting ready and eating versus rushing. Being in a rush is never a good thing so make sure you apply this to your entire schedule and not just the waking up.
So there you have it. Here’s a few starting tips to make sure you stay on top of your game this semester. Take these words of advice seriously and see the improvements that they make. This is our time ladies and gentlemen! Let’s do work and make the most of our time in college!