Ah, here we are again...the library! On days like today I feel like Hermione Granger: hair frazzled, stressed, and immersed in the stacks of books towering around me. (But, I can’t lie, it makes me feel kinda smart!) Lets face it, six classes, 20 credits, plus jobs and extra curricular activities… school can get busy and overwhelming about 6 days out of the week. So what is the best way to balance everything without getting head over heels into work? As a 5th semester standing student in college, I’ve learned a few of the best tips to staying afloat!
Tip 1: PLANNER
Most students have planners but fail to use them regularly or correctly. Buy a yearly planner (or a new one for each semester if you like to be crisp) and plan out your schedule. I always write down my hourly class/ work schedule and post it in the very front of my planner. Next step is to take all your big assignments (the 100 point or more things such as exams) and write them in a special bold color (I like to use red ink). Once all the big dates are in order, you don’t have to worry about them anymore. (That’s of course until the red letters start creeping up on you slowly.) Lastly, make sure to write down all your assignments, even the little ones such as googliging something your professor mentioned! This will help make sure you are staying on top of each class and you don’t have to try and remember everything! Instead, it’s all laid out for you! We love the Day Designer! But don't heft over your hard earned dollars for the $59 dollars displayed on their website, you can now pick up a Day Designer right at your local Target for $10!
Tip 2: SET ASIDE STUDY DATES
I find it helpful to think of my overall schedule for the week. Once I have it planned out in my head, I write it down and plan study dates around it! Even if it’s just an hour or so at the library or reviewing notes in bed, it feels super exhilarating to cross it off your list knowing you finished it that day (I know, nerdish right?).
Tip 3: STUDY BUDDIES
This tip is my favorite because study buddies don’t just have to be people you know in your classes. Hitting up the library with one of your friends can be super beneficial (but be careful who you pick, we all have our best friends that we’ll get absolutely nothing done with). I find that when you are with a friend, you feel more motivated. Plus, the hours go by quicker and you get some bonding time out of it. Also, study games are a great way to learn/remember things. These games don’t have to be intense, they can be simple like asking your roommate to quiz you on notecards. If you get over 5 wrong, you buy the drinks for the night. Let me tell you, a college girl on a budget is will prevent you from getting 5 wrong repeatedly!
Tip 4: REWARDS
These rewards can vary from, a donut at Dunkin, a Starbucks coffee, a night out with friends, or even that new Southerdoe shirt you’ve been dying to get. You shouldn’t limit yourself to just good grades. You deserve more than THAT for your hard work! Skip the library for the night and call up the cute boy who invited you and your friends out for the night! Remember, college isn’t ALL work.
Tip 5: BE HEALTHY
This is the most important tip. Being healthy is something we take for granted. When under a lot of stress, we forget to drink water and eat healthy foods, oh and don’t even ask about trying to plan a gym date in our schedule! A few weeks into the semester, not only does everyone get sick, but we all get tired. Make it a priority to drink half of your body weight of water in fluid ounces each day. The first cause of fatigue is dehydration, plus that extra water is awesome for your skin! I love grabbing my She Can Hold Her Own Tumbler and loading it with lemons; not only does it enhance the taste, but lemons are actually great for glowing skin. Next, set a bed time. Most of us get 5-6 hours on the rough nights, but 8 hours really makes a difference! Bed time is a priority over that last minute reading. And remember, gym time is not a negotiation. Set a date and time! Put it in your schedule as a class, not something extra to do. After a few weeks of exercising, your body will start to love you, not only on the inside but on the outside as well. Lastly, I know we all love our ramen noodles and frozen meals, especially when we have about an hour a day to ourselves, but really try your best to pick the healthy foods. Pick up some chicken to throw in the oven while you’re readying yourself for a meeting. Pack fruit in your bag instead of chips! Being healthy is the most important step towards that 4.0 we all secretly aim for (hopefully at LEAST Dean’s list this semester right?)
Good luck on all your beginning weeks of fall semester!
XO Alex straight from Penn State