Balancing classes, a job, clubs, a social life and so much more is one of the hardest parts of being a college student. Some people do not have to have a job while being a full-time student, but the majority of us are not that lucky. Juggling so many things can become extremely stressful, and you are almost guaranteed a breakdown or two. With everything that I have learned, here are my 10 tips on how to survive the college schedule.
1. Get a Planner
Eventually when you’ve said yes to so many responsibilities it is going to get extremely difficult to remember where you have to be at what time, and what homework or other things have to be done that day. Having a planner is crucial to keeping track of it all. Personally, I put my schedule for the day on a calendar and put the things I need to finish in my planner. Organize everything in whatever way is going to be the most productive for you.
2. Make Sure to Sleep
It is crazy to think about, but your mind gets tired, too. If you are in class all day and you’re trying to make sense out of burger orders all night, eventually you’re going to burn out. If you have gotten yourself into this predicament, it is essential you get enough sleep. Yes, there are some all-nighters you might have to pull. However, make sure to rest when you can to prepare yourself for the day ahead. It will also weaken the anxiety your chaotic schedule has put on you.
3. Eat & Drink Water
Just as your mind tires, so will your body. If you do not pack it full of nutrition, you’re eventually going to run out of fuel. Trust me, I know. I used to eat breakfast in the morning because the majority of the time I wouldn’t be able to eat again until about ten at night. Make sure to also stay hydrated. Water is just as important as eating. I used to dread drinking water, but luckily I got to know some friends who care about me and would force me to drink it every day. They still do. And now, it really isn’t so bad.
4. Keep off Your Phone
During the times that you get a break in your schedule, utilize them. Whenever I would have a free couple of minutes, rather than do work or scroll through social media, I would just sit and clear my head and prepare myself for the rest of the day. It is honestly such a refresher and I really recommend it.
Though the best idea is probably to listen in your lecture, I have found it most effective that if I do not have time to get everything done throughout my day, I can do my homework during lecture. It allows me to respect my professor by not being on my phone, and it also lets me be productive. Make sure to choose the classes you do this in wisely. Some lectures you really need to listen to.
6. Talk to your Job
If it is all beginning to get too much, let your job know. I personally chose Red Robin to work at because in my interview the manager told me that I am in Gainesville for school, not for work. He followed with: “If you ever need us to cut down on your shifts, just let us know because we know how college can get.” Having that support helped tremendously. I currently only work Fridays through Mondays and have the rest of the week to devote to school.
7. Set Priorities
Priorities. Priorities. Priorities. If you get stuck in a situation where everything cannot get done, you need to set some priorities. Personally, my education is my top priority. If need be, I will skip out on that party or get a shift covered at work to ensure I get my schoolwork done. Another thing is classes. Put the classes that you have the worst grade in first. There have been some days where there was no way I could get everything done, but I always made sure my calculus was done because that was my worst subject. It varies per person and you may never be in this situation, but knowing your priorities is always important.
8. Have a Support System
Friends and family are so, so helpful when it comes to taking on the stress of college alongside work and a variety of other things. Having someone by your side that will just listen when you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown can be really beneficial.
9. Schedule Ahead of Time
Schedule your classes based off of your individual needs. Personally, I pack my classes on Tuesday through Thursday so I can work Monday and Friday. Another thing I like to do is space out my classes. Waiting on campus for your next class is never fun. However, when exams roll around, my mind never feels cluttered from the exam before. It’s because I had time to study and clear my head.
10. Take a Breath
Everything is going be okay. I promise. If you have to skip an assignment because you do not have time or if you have another assignment with a higher priority, don’t lose a ton of sleep over it. It happens. Just take a deep breath, and do better tomorrow.