Research projects, studying, homework assignments: all of these can become rapidly overwhelming for the new college student. However, there is hope. Developing good habits now can set you up for success- and possibly enable you to leave college with both a degree and your sanity.
High school didn’t teach you time management and other critical skills you’ll need to not just survive, but thrive, in college- and adult life. Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to tackle that assignment you are currently procrastinating on out of dread. The same lesson can be applied to many of life’s projects and general adulting.
- Make plans. Make, and live by, a calendar. By the time you enter the workforce (if you haven’t already,) you’ll be expected to live by one. As a general study rule of thumb, you should study one to two hours for every credit you are enrolled in: so a three credit class would entail nine hours of study per week. Block off that time on your calendar for each course now, and you’ll not only be able to shred anxiety knowing you’ve commit the time to studying you’re supposed to- but you’ll be able to show your less-mature friends that are pestering you to party that you’re busy adulting.
- Make plans. Yeah, it’s said again: make plans. Plans aren’t inherently calendar-based; that is merely one aspect of planning. For every undertaking, have a specific method to tackle it. If you’re about to write an essay, don’t just delve into it: brainstorm! You live in the information age, and that same device that you use to take pictures of your food and send emojis can gasp be used to find out the answers to anything. Now that you’ve been reminded that you’re in the greatest information resource moment in history, where college students of three decades ago would’ve killed to be, all you need to do is make plans. Plot out what your assignment should include, do your research, or even look at essay samples to see what successful (and, thanks to the internet, recently successful!) students have done.
- Make plans. Getting tired of hearing this? Good, that means you need to hear it. Here’s the good news for you: making plans means you can have fun. Taking care of yourself is important and science proves taking breaks fosters productivity… as long as you plan it. That’s right: plan your stretching, your exercise, meditation, and you can even plan to have fun still: it’s amazingly possible. Make balanced plans and you’re well on the path to success in academia and life.
Really, it’s that simple. To be successful, in both school and life, all you need to do is make plans.
The days of having no schedule are gone. You have been granted increased freedom, but with that, increased responsibility. Take a breath, get into a routine, formulate your method, and write your essay. You’ll be applying this method for the rest of your life, whether you believe it now or not… so get in the habit.