As we cross off more and more days on the calendar, we come to the realization that the upcoming school year is upon us. While all of the fun activities that await us consume the majority of our thoughts, in the back of our minds we know that we have our work cut out for us.

Whether we've got an endless amount of papers to write, or exams that seem like they'll never come to an end, there are various methods that can be used to minimize the struggle and strife associated with the back to school blues.

Explore different note-taking options. Let's face it, around this time each year, we all take to Pinterest to give us some back to school motivation (and outfit ideas). More than likely, you have pinned something relating to note-taking.

Note taking can be one of the most tedious activities; however, it is a necessary evil if you want to succeed.

Instead of the typical "scribble and hope for the best" approach, perhaps try typing out your notes on your computer or tablet if your professor allows technology in the classroom. Your notes would be neat and easy to read, and if you need to add or edit information, it can be done with ease!

If typing isn't your style, then maybe color-coding your notes could help you stay more organized.

Keep your notes short, sweet and to the point. Only write down the most important information, as all of the details will return to mind as you're reminded of the main idea.

Actually attempt to sleep and don't just run off of caffeine. It's understandable if you crave some coffee on a chilly Monday morning as you frantically (or maybe not so much) rush to your 8 a.m. However, it is important that you get enough sleep each night in order to properly function the next day. If you expect to clinch that 4.0 with four hours of sleep and four (or even more) cups of coffee on a daily basis, then I'm afraid you're in for quite a rude awakening.

(Try not to be this lady, even though coffee is the nectar of the energy gods, but I digress.)

Don't overdo it. I can guarantee that you will not succeed in your academic pursuits if you bite off more than you can chew. I am all for taking up a work study or other part time job, going Greek, playing a sport or instrument or joining another sort of club or organization. However, you must consider all of the consequences and benefits to each additional extracurricular you pick up. Your courses and coursework should come first because let's be real, why would you spend so much money to solely flunk all of your classes?

It is important to be involved with your campus and to build up your resume. You should have more to life than just going to class, coming back, doing your assignments, shower, sleep and repeat. You need to be mindful of your health, both mental and physical. Go to the gym to let off some steam and burn some calories when you've got a free half hour or so. Grab a milkshake with your roommate and see how they've been doing. Take that 30-minute power nap that turns into two hours every once in a while when you feel like you really need it. All work and no play make for a very mundane and unsuccessful college experience.

These are just three of a multitude of options to make your school year the most successful it can be. Happy note-taking, coffee-drinking, and power-napping!