freshmen in college, time management

Staying Calm & Time Management 101

Advice from a senior in college

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Pulling an all-nighter and cramming for tests, spending endless hours in the library, trying to reach the minimum word count requirement for an essay assignment, going heavy on coffee and energy drinks to survive the exams week… This is basically what all freshmen go through. However, you know what the funny thing is, I am a senior in college and have never pulled an all-nighter or go crazy when it comes to finals week. I will be a senior and have made it through three years of college without dying at the end of every semester. I know this is unbelievable for many but here are my tips to all freshmen on how to stay sane as the workload gets heavier:

  • 1. Planning is Everything: I used to be that girl in high school who thought that taking a mental note is enough but that never works out. We will forget things and it is ok. We are merely humans. The best way to not only remember but to stay motivated to get what needs to be done is by writing it down. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram news feed can eat up shocking amounts of hours. Minimize numbing, unproductive daily activities. Keep track of the college tasks you need to complete so you know the exact amount of academic workload you're dealing with. The planner is everything. Use different colors if needed but writing down and keeping track is the best and most productive way of staying on top of your work.
  • 2. Procrastination is the Enemy: You have that paper you need to write but cannot seem to put words into action. Personally, I never really suffer from this because I am a fan of writing. I promise there isn't a shortcut to stop procrastinating, but taking baby steps will help you come a long way. You can start by visualizing the feeling of satisfaction and self-proud once you get the task done. Another useful trick includes publicly committing to finishing some task. Tell a friend or share your goals on social media. This is effective as humans are naturally hardwired to care about their reputation, so they don't want to look lazy or weak in the eyes of others.
  • 3. Lastly, Be Realistic: Avoid setting goals for yourself that you know you won't stick to. Doing so will only lead to disappointment. Instead, identify realistic ones you can work toward. Understanding the importance of setting short-term and long-term goals that are realistic and achievable is vital for a successful student. For example, if a student's short-term goal is to earn a 3.5-grade point average, I suggest steps of conducting a daily class and weekly reviews of notes. Additionally, creating a plan of action is the best way to accomplish your goals. It often turns once-unreachable goals into more realistic ones.

What I am trying to provide is not only how to be a successful student but how to enjoy your years in college without stressing out too much. These are the year you will look back at and remember all the fun and crazy thing you did. You do not want to recall your college years as you stressing and not getting work done. Just stay on top of it from the start and it gets easier as years pass. Remember, write what needs to be done, stay away from the enemy procrastination and be realistic. Life is complicated enough because we cannot control certain aspects. This you can control so take it by the horns and work.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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