By Amanda Mowery
Beginning the spring semester as a college student can sometimes be difficult as regrouping is required and no one is as organized as they were in the start of the school year. Often times, college students hit snooze a couple times, run late trying to throw together an outfit and then scramble to find all the school supplies they used staying up the night before to complete an assignment. It’s a routine many are familiar with; however, there are little habits college students can start doing in the beginning of the semester to keep them on track and eventually finish the school year out strong.
As a college student, it seems a bad morning just leads to a bad day in general and running late always tends to heat up the stress. Instead of hitting the snooze button multiple times or creating ten different alarms to go off each morning, make sure to get enough sleep and wake up with enough time to stretch if something unexpected happens even if that means waking up earlier than one might normally.
Doing little tasks the night before that are normally preformed in the morning, can help less time being wasted in the morning. Checking the weather and picking out an outfit for the next day can relieve some morning stress and help a student not feel like they just threw something together. Packing up the backpack the night before saves the couple extra minutes a student might need to make it to class on time. Utilizing sticky notes to create self-reminders not to forget something the next day can help students stay organized. Even something as little as making the bed each morning can help students feel a sense of achievement and positivity for the remainder of the day.
Developing a routine isn’t just developing a morning routine, but one that ensures assignments are done before they are due and a student is prepared to take a quiz or test. A couple ways of keeping track of due dates, quizzes, tests and projects are planners or apps such as Google Calendar, Any.do or Planner Pro. These planners are also good for allotting time for completing an assignment or studying. Unfortunately, relying on a student brain to remember one assignment out of the list of things they have to do is not as effective as writing the task down.
Create a personal deadline for an assignment before the actual assignment is due so it can be completed earlier and it is not done last minute or while multitasking. Setting goals can alleviate pressure and result in some of the best work to be created. When it comes to tasks that may seem boring such as studying, spice it up a little bit by using tools like different apps, websites or flashcards to take away from reading notes over and over. Be sure to be checking the planner every day to make sure everything is completed and check in enough time that an unfinished assignment could still be completed before the deadline.
Different folders and notebooks for each class can make the material easier to find instead of being jumbled together. Color coding these folders and notebooks may seem like a middle school idea, but in reality it makes them easier to just grab for each class. De-cluttering the folders or binders can also keep a clean work space, just be sure not to throw out anything important that pertains to the rest of the semester.
If a quick task is assigned that can be done in a couple minutes, just go ahead and complete it so it is out of the way and the student can have a small sense of accomplishment. For more complex tasks, break it down into a smaller checklist so it isn’t so overwhelming. Be sure to be working in the best working environment so there is little to no distraction and work is actually being done. In long work times, be sure to take breaks so students don’t fry their brains.
Managing school, social life, a part time job and other extracurricular activities can be difficult at times. However, there is a balance in everything, it just has to be found. Being a college student is a full time job in itself, and staying organized through the semester is what helps them pass class with flying colors.