***This is a Guest Post. <3 from the Dames***
Now that school is back in session, it’s time to put together a plan to make those college years the most successful they can be. Today’s guest post is just for our new and returning undergraduates as they work their way through a minefield of debt, expectations, studying, and maybe partying. Starting and staying on track is the key to success. Enjoy!
There are several major changes in our lives and becoming a college student is definitely one of the biggest. We leave our parents’ houses, start managing our own time and money, all while adjusting to a completely new environment, teachers, colleagues, and the very concept of studying. Everything happens simultaneously, and it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. This is why being confident, having a positive attitude, and a clear plan is vital to surviving this challenging, yet exciting time in your life. Here are some things you can do to keep you staying on track:
Time flies, especially when your days are as full as they are in college. Apart from lectures and exams, there will be new friends, concerts, and hobbies that will take up some of your time. This is why it’s important to have a plan and priorities. Write down the dates of your exams and choose when you’re going to work on your projects. Organize yourself well and always free up a few days before an exam in case you don’t stick to the plan at all times. We’re not robots, sometimes we’re simply not in the mood for studying or are unable to memorize things.
Stay in the know
Your next task is to find out where to get information and help when studying for your exams. Your basic kit is your book and your notes. However, what you really need is notes strictly related to the exam you’ll be having. This means visiting your teacher’s offices to consult them about questions/exam material, asking your peers and, especially, asking senior students for their notes and insights. If you don’t know any seniors yet, you can use resources and notes platform Thinkswap, where you can find all sorts of exam- and college-related notes and information from previous students.
Whether you have notes on your laptop or in a notebook, going through them after each class is half the work. It is a part of the studying process. At that point, you still remember what the teacher was talking about and you simply need to go through your notes, make sure everything makes sense and write explanations for unusual abbreviations. This can be very boring and it is hard to make yourself do it after a long day of attending classes, but it will be worth it in the end. Repeatedly looking at the material really does make a difference.
Stay in shape
We all love it when exams are done, and we are left with some free time where we can do nothing all day long and just relax. However, our brain works better when in shape, and you’ll soon be able to see it. After two weeks of not doing any intellectual work, you’ll notice your brain has become lazy. We all get superpowers during exam periods. We are able to sleep little and study long and hard, but after a vacation, we find ourselves getting tired easily, losing focus, and being inefficient in studying. In order to avoid this, keep a continuous studying ritual. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will be very useful so you won’t need any additional time to adjust to studying when you need to prepare for exams.
Having many obligations leads to sleep deprivation, which leads to coffee over-consumption and a lack of physical activity, not to mention eating a lot of junk food. We are only human, this is normal. However, you need to keep fighting against it instead of just letting go. It is easier to take care of yourself when you have a schedule. This is why enrolling in a group training class is a good idea since you will probably stick to it thanks to a sense of obligation.
Staying on track
Balancing your life is a constant struggle that requires a lot of effort. However, the key is to make everything a habit. Drink a fruit smoothie every morning, attend group fitness classes two or three times a week, and dedicate specific time for studying every day. The more detailed the schedule, the higher the probability of you actually keeping up with it. And remember – you can always schedule some fun in there too! Start the year off on the right foot, and you’ll be sure to stay on track throughout your years as an undergrad.
***This is a Guest Post by Claire Adams. Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor to highstylife.com.***