It’s easy to become overwhelmed when returning to college after a break. Regrouping before heading back to classes increases the chances for a rewarding semester.
These tips are ways to help you succeed not only academically but also mentally and physically.
1. Get organized
Organization can make your life so much easier, but only if you follow through with it. Buy a planner (like this or this) and keep up with it. Mark up the monthly calendar section with assignment and exam due dates to make sure you never forget. Use the weekly or daily section to make your plan of attack for each day. Making lists of things you want to accomplish each day can make for a more productive day, plus nothing beats the feeling of crossing something off of a to-do list.
2. Make time for yourself
After crossing off the last thing off of your to-do list it’s okay to watch that episode of the office and take that 30-minute nap. With what feels like a never-ending list of assignments, college is notorious for making students feel like they can never catch a break. It’s essential to make time for yourself instead of only making time for school.
3. Look good, feel good
Last semester I lived by this and I will never go back to my old ways. It’s easy to fall in the habit of wearing leggings and a hoodie to class; however, you want to dress out of your comfort zone to get yourself out of the lazy mood we all face. Putting in the extra effort could improve your overall lifestyle by boosting self-confidence and giving you the attitude improvement you’ve been looking for all along.
4. Don't forget to catch some Z's
Sleep is one of the most underrated activities in college, and when I say sleep I don’t mean naps. Students should be getting AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep to feel rested in the morning. Start by setting a sleep schedule for yourself. If you have an iPhone, there is a setting in the Clock app called “Bedtime”. This section allows you to set the time that you would like to go to sleep, and it will even send you a reminder when it is getting close to this time. You can also set a wake-up time and an alarm will go off at that time. The key to getting enough sleep is, if possible, head to bed when you start to feel tired and set a routine.
5. Stay focused
The best way to stay on track during a long semester is to set goals for yourself and always keep the big picture in mind. Your goals should be things that are within reach and that you can control. Previously I stressed the importance of having a to-do list to keep you on track, this tool can also be helpful when trying to stay focused. It will allow you to prioritize and keep up with what needs to be done. If this isn't structured enough for you then try to block out time for each item and only work on it during that designated time. Make sure to take away all distractions (phones are the worst distractors) when working and STAY FOCUSED.