If you are like me, getting back to campus after Christmas break was hard. I was not ready to be back. I wasn’t mentally prepared. I got back from vacation the day before. Everything just felt weird and it made my first week hard too. Sometimes we just lose our groove after being away for awhile. But now that we are in the second week of the spring semester, it’s time to buckle down and not waste the tuition I had to pay for today. So here are 3 tips to stay on track this semester and (hopefully!) make your parents proud:
- Find someone to push you. – Some people are super good at holding themselves accountable to get work done on time, setting deadlines for themselves so they don’t suddenly drown in homework, and still have a social life. Most of us need a “pusher,” or someone who makes sure we are being responsible students. Maybe it’s your roommate, your classmate, your sibling on campus, the teacher’s assistant. Whoever it is, make sure they have a good idea of the work you need to get done and don’t get grumpy when they force you to actually DO the homework. You will be thankful for them later.
- Practice planning. – Sundays are for Jesus, football, and planning the week ahead. Take out a planner, notebook, laptop, sticky pad, whatever works for you, and think about the week ahead. Write down everything that is due that week, and then write down reminders about big assignments coming up. Maybe that midterm paper is due in 6 weeks, but those weeks will catch up to you fast. Just leave notes for yourself like “midterm due in 6 weeks” then the next week have “5 weeks” and the next “28 days,” etc. Even the slightest effort to getting a head start on it will save you in the long run.
- Learn to say “no.” – College students are really good at over-committing themselves and never getting anything done. All at the same time. It’s quite amazing how that happens. We start the semester thinking we have a good handle on things so we agree to help with a side project here and there, agree to planning a party for a friend, agree to go to a concert with someone, etc. Eventually that catches up, gets mixed with homework, a job, life, and BOOM. You have a stressed out mess. Saying “no” before the semester picks up will free up the time you need later when the “midterm due in 1 week” note comes around.