College: Staying Concentrated, Calm, and Collected

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I’m almost one month into college and the time is absolutely flying by. These past few weeks have taught me so much not just academically but about myself. More specifically my work ethic. I want to share some tips and ideas that i’ve been trying my best to stick with so that I don’t feel super overwhelmed with the workload. Most people going into their first year of college from high school will start to feel the weight of all the work build up. College is hard! My wake up call came when in the first week of school I already had hours of reading to do. Balancing being a full time student while maintaining a social life can be a struggle. Add a part time or full time job to that mix and you can have a full blown mess (not even including family obligations, clubs and organizations, etc.). I truly think that even if you’re not the type of person to carry around a planner with highlighters, sticky notes, and multi-colored pens; you should have a system of organization. As students, due dates and deadlines are all over the place so I can’t imagine relying on your memory to keep things in order.

These are 3 tips and ideas that could reduce the amount of stress you feel throughout the semester. I’m not a study expert or the ideal student by ANY means. I do know that so far, I’ve found comfort in these things and maybe you will too.

#1- Priorities

Keeping your priorities in line is the first step to success. Without priorities, you might commit to too many things and not reach your full potential in any of them. It’s a struggle sometimes when there’s something much more fun going on and you’re in your room doing homework or at work. One way of thinking about it is that your priority should always be the thing that could potentially cause the most stress. Say a paper is due on Wednesday, don’t put it off because you’ll just end up stressing! I’m definitely preaching to myself on this one but its important and something i’m working on.

#2- Take time to relax (This is my forte)

Taking the time to unwind is so healthy. When we don’t take time to relax and refresh is when the anxieties begin to creep in. I’ve found that finding a relaxing, quiet place on campus in between classes is helpful. Even if you are studying or doing homework, being alone in a quiet space works wonders. Another way I unwind is spending time with my family. If you have family nearby, spending time with them can really take your mind off of school or whatever else is going on. If you don’t have family that lives close enough to visit, give someone a call and tell them how you’re doing. Lastly, Exercising is such a great stress reliever… if you’re into that. If not, I encourage you to try it even if that just means going on a walk.

#3- Its the little things!

Small things like taking quality notes, putting things in your calendar, leaving yourself enough time to get from one place to another, and going to class usually make the biggest difference. To be a successful student doesn’t mean you need to go above and beyond and try to outshine everyone else or do a bunch of extra work. The little things that seem obvious make the biggest impact if you are consistent.

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