First and Foremost

These key things are what I've implemented into my routine and life as a college student recently. They are NOT things that I knew, or should I say followed, from the very beginning of college. It goes to show that even though these may seem obvious, they still weren't things that I did.

Although they seem easy, I still overlooked these three tips for such a long time when I could've been utilizing them and doing way better in school. It took a lot of late assignments, leniency from teachers, nights spent cramming information in my mind for exams, and spending days on semester-long projects for me to actually make a change for the better.

I hope this article gives you a wake-up call or adds to your already efficient mindset for the semester. Happy studying!

Start your assignments immediately!

During the first week of classes, most teachers start off with a mini-orientation or tour of the class itself. What they also do is assign the first homework assignment due by the next class. A problem I've always had is starting my work as soon as I get it. I always put it off until later in the week because technically, I have a whole other week to get it done. Right?

Yes, but pushing it off to later in the week eventually becomes procrastinating until the weekend when you get caught up with other, more fun stuff. And finally, it's the night before the assignment is due, you're tired and all you want to do is watch Netflix, yet the dreaded assignment you had a week to complete is now hanging over your head. This situation has happened one too many times during my high school and college career.

But no more! Now, I'm starting assignments if not directly after, but the day after they're assigned. Even if you're given small, tedious assignments like online submissions or writing a paragraph, that just means they'll be quicker to complete. It doesn't mean that because they're quicker to complete, you should wait until the last minute to do them.

Once these little assignments are done, you get to have one of the greatest feelings: not worrying about it. Especially since I'm the type of person who thinks I can remember every assignment given, which 100% of the time, isn't the case. I know myself. In reality, the maximum time I'll probably remember an assignment needs to be done without writing it down is one day. So starting that assignment as soon as possible gives you the best outcome.

Find your personalized workspace.

Transferring to Towson was a big change for me. I was coming from a small private Christian college with no party life and 2,000 students, the same as my high school.

But what I loved most about that school was the quiet, small spaces I could find everywhere. Need a place to work with no distractions, soft music, and beautiful scenery? Yeah, I had that within a two-minute walk from my dorm. It was great and changed the way I studied and worked in my classes. I was in an environment I was comfortable in and where I could stay focused.

But at Towson, it was hard finding those spaces at first. At the time, I didn't know my way around campus nor did I have anyone to ask yet. So after some exploring, I finally found the space that works for me better than other options available on campus. The third floor of West Village Commons is my safe space.

It has some pros and cons, though. Unfortunately, that floor is only available to use after 2 or 3 p.m. because that's where the beginning presentations of campus tours are held, but after that, it's the ultimate study space. It's quiet, filled with surrounding windows of natural light, and food just floors below. Can't really get much better than that, at least for me.

Nonetheless, everyone's perfect study space is different. Some people might work better in crowded areas while others like to work outside, in the library, or only on Macs. Whatever your personal space may be, find it, utilize it, and succeed! Some spaces may come with some trial and error, but the fact that you're trying to find what works for you is a bunch of steps in the right direction.

Stay positive! Hopefully, your school has options that suit you. But even if they don't, try to find an alternative and work with what you have.

Avoiding those noisy distractions and bad habits is easier than you think.

It's all about your mindset here. Avoiding distractions is hard. "Hard" isn't even the right word. It's difficult, annoying, the worst, stupid. Distractions ultimately become superior among all your other responsibilities, tasks, and to-do lists. But there's a way you can start and eventually conquer these distractions. This has really helped me, and will hopefully help you!

I heard this saying: "The real power of living a mature life, is when you know you can, and you don't have to." Like when you know you could go to a party, but you don't because you have responsibilities more important than that. Or when you know you could watch Netflix instead of writing an essay, but don't. Or when you know you could hang out with your friends and push that one assignment you have left to the side, but don't.

The important part is that you don't need a rule to tell you that. That's why it's a mindset. You don't need your parents reminding you every five minutes. You don't need your teacher laying out the guidelines of Towson's ethics policy...again. You don't need a consequence put in place that you deserve if you mess up. What you now have is a mindset dedicated to keeping you accountable and efficient with your work.

For me, that's all I needed to switch up my old, outdated plan of finishing assignments and facing my responsibilities. I gave up the things I knew I could do instead and focused on the things my new mindset prepared me for with a new set of eyes. It's amazing how an introduction to a simple phrase or outlook can quickly change the way you see or do things.