When people mention college to a student who’s about to enroll in one, the mind goes to parties and amazing friendships. Yes, the college will probably be one of the best times in your life and you’ll get the chance to meet some amazing people. You might even be able to attend many of the parties. But, it definitely isn’t as simple as it sounds.
The difficulty lies in the responsibilities. College students are finally able to enjoy the independence and flexibility they dreamed of while living at home. However, this comes with its set of big responsibilities both in terms of living and studying.
As much as you may be enjoying your newly found freedom, you will have some struggles with organizing your time to finish all of your obligations and tasks. The organization is one of the biggest barriers of a new college student given that out of a sudden, they have to tackle classes, studying, exams, and private life responsibilities such as loans and living expenses.
The freedom comes at a high cost, and so does the degree you are striving to get. However, there are certain things that can make this change more bearable. Below you will find the best tips for balancing your new, chaotic schedule.
Write Things Down
Long gone are the days when you had to go through a small book and get ready for an exam. If you haven’t built the habit of taking notes before, this is something you definitely MUST do in college.
Paying attention to classes in college will significantly decrease the amount of time you spend studying for exams later. But, taking notes during those classes will do something even better, something that you’ll hardly achieve if you don’t write things down. By taking notes in class, you are preparing a short study plan for yourself. This will be extremely useful when you have to go through hundreds of pages within a very short timeframe.
Writing things down should be your motto, but it doesn’t only apply to note-taking. In addition to writing down important facts and things professors mention for the upcoming exam, take notes of deadlines and tasks, too. Forgetting an important task or a deadline is much easier than you think now that you have so much on your plate.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and apps available today that will allow you to take notes and fill in your schedule instantly and without a hassle. If the traditional way is too time-consuming, find a nice technology tool to help you write things down.
Create a Routine
Routines are only hard when you’re trying to implement them. If you make good study habits as soon as you start college, they’ll turn into routines that won’t cause you any stress or frustrations.
Before the semester really begins, make a schedule that allows you to tackle the exams, study sessions, attend the classes, and have some free time to spend as you want to. Make sure to leave the schedule flexible – you’ll probably have to adjust it often.
Then, start implementing that plan into practice. It will take you a couple of months to figure out the details such as when you can study, how long an assignment takes, what obligations you have every month, what’s the deadline for things like your loan or your essays, etc. The more time passes, the easier will all this become.
Find Your Balance
Making a routine is easier said than done. To be able to implement those plans, you need to find a balance between studying and life. There’s a line that has to be strictly defined to prevent any of the two from negatively affecting the other.
So, take a deep breath and see what you can do. Find the time during the day that you’ll dedicate specifically to your studies. During this time, don’t schedule any parties or meetings with friends and family. When you have more time in your schedule, book it for friends and family. This way, you can finish your academic tasks before the party starts and have a blast!
Ask for Help
Not only is it okay to ask for help, but it is actually recommended. Plenty of students ruin their health or their grades because they are too ashamed or afraid to ask for help. College life is hard, but you don’t have to push yourself over the limit to be a great student. The best students dedicate their efforts to complete all their tasks, but they also know when and where to ask for help when the burden becomes their biggest enemy.
Learn to recognize when you are tired and overwhelmed and can’t do everything on your own. Time management only works if you are able to complete your tasks. If you are physically and emotionally drained from all your tasks, no time management trick will help you get things done.
Therefore, one of the best time management tricks we can give you is to ask for help when help is needed. Ask your friends to help you with the studying material, hire an expert to do an assignment you can’t complete, or ask your family to help out with the loan or the schedule.
One of your best-helping sources while in college will be online writing services. If you haven’t found the one you can trust just yet, check this myassignmenthelp review and see what a highly rated company can do for you.
Keep Yourself Organized
It is one thing to make a schedule and a completely different thing to follow it. None of the things above will work unless you are dedicated to keeping yourself organized.
By making a schedule ahead, you can learn many things. Firstly, you can see what you can do within the given timeframe. This will show you what you need to delegate to meet all deadlines. Secondly, you can see how much free time you have left to schedule your extracurricular activities. And finally, a schedule allows you to get some peace of mind, knowing that you can handle things all on your own.
Keeping yourself organized goes beyond just cleaning up the mess in your room or removing the clutter from your study desk. It requires perseverance and dedication, two skills you have to master as an independent student.
Take Good Care of Your Health
When your parents keep nagging you about your nutrition or how much sleep you’re getting, they are right to do so – again! Students nowadays are so focused on meeting deadlines that they fail to consider how much they’re harming their health in the process.
Every bit of junk food you consume, a sleepless night you spend on studying or partying, or all that amount of coffee you drink to keep yourself energized are ruining your health. These seemingly small things can seriously harm your health, not to mention that they reduce your energy level and focus. Unless you keep yourself rested and well-fed, you won’t be able to complete the tasks you so eagerly try to commit to.
You need to put your health first. Practice regular exercise to keep the energy levels up and keep your body healthy. Eat healthy, brain food that will help you focus and maintain a nice figure. And, get a sufficient amount of quality sleep to keep yourself healthy and happy.
Write Out Checklists
Checklists are one of the best tools you can use while in college. They are great for remembering all the things you need to do. You should have daily to-do lists, monthly, and even yearly checklists. This will keep you organized and focused.
Moreover, crossing things off to-do lists is known to be satisfactory for those who do it. Being able to eliminate things from a list will give you a sense of accomplishment, which is a great motivational boost when you have more things to do.
Use the Technology at Your Disposal
Students today have a huge advantage over students in the past – they have technology in their corner! Everything can be made easier with the help of technology. You can use it to make and access a schedule, get a reminder of things that need to be done, and collaborate with your friends for different projects.
Technology has great uses for students. You can use it to perform fast and easy research and find more data than with the traditional methods. You can store the things you might need in the future, use it to track your progress, or communicate with others.
There are simply too many sources of help that technology can provide you with, many of which come free of charge. All you have to do is find the best tools you need and make use of technology – not only to have some fun on social media!
Adapt Your Methods to Your Preferences
Every student goes through college in a different way. Some students study best early in the morning before their day begins. Some are night owls and can study until late at night. There are those who study best in a crowded cafe surrounded by people. And of course, there are those who need complete and utter silence to be able to focus on the studies.
This is the time to find out who you are. Being independent requires that you become more self-aware. Are you a morning person, or will you need some help getting up for the early classes in the morning? Does the environment where you study distract you, or is it perfect for your learning?
When you’re learning about your preferences, focus on everything. Learn if you’re studying best alone or in a group, find out what kind of a part-time job you’d like to get, and check if you’re better at studying by reading or listening.
The faster you figure out your best study habits, the better you can organize your time around them.
The bottom line
College students have it really hard. They have much more to do than before. College comes with a big set of responsibilities, but also with independence many students dream of getting. So, grasp this amazing opportunity, put all your efforts into making it work, and remember to have some fun in the process!