It is often underrated how busy a college student’s life can become. Between schoolwork, maintaining a social life, and potentially holding a job or internship, it can become a very busy and overwhelming time for many. If you’re not careful to take precautions, it can easily spiral out of control to a place where stress may cause you to confuse your priorities.
Thus, it is very important to be aware of everything on your plate during this chapter in your life — this can help you manage all of the aspects so you can perform to your best potential on all accounts. College life can quickly become more stressful and intense than one may think, so understanding how to effectively manage any stress that comes with it is crucial. These tips below can help you on your journey…
Keep a planner
With so many things going on in your life, it can become hard to remember all of the deadlines, work shifts, and other commitments. This is where a planner can particularly come in handy. It is one place where you can organize all aspects of your life. This way, before committing to a social event or a work shift, you can easily make sure you have no classes, tests, or schoolwork that would interfere. And, if you are so inclined, you can even go as far as to color coordinate the different areas of your life (i.e. work schedule is written in red, school deadlines in green, etc.) so you can easily and quickly distinguish them from one another.
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Communicate with your professor
Despite courses being near your number one priority throughout college, things can come up in your personal life that can knock things off course. A family emergency or a flu can quickly put you behind for a few weeks and make it so you are unable to complete certain assignments or attend classes. This is where a good channel of communication with your professor can become key. Meet with him or her and explain your situation. Make sure your professor understands that you are not purposely neglecting the class and that you are still very much interested and engaged — you just have other things on your plate at the moment that are beyond your control. Typically, professors will be understanding of this, appreciate your honesty, and be willing to work with you. Coming to them ahead of time and showing your sincerity is important, rather than waiting until the last minute or after the fact.
Sufficient rest is your friend
When the schoolwork begins to pile up, it can become easy to think pulling all-nighters is the only solution. This, however, is not usually the case. If done often enough, lack of sleep can actually increase your stress levels and cause you to feel worse than before (not to mention it can poorly affect the quality of your work). You may not be able to smash as much information into your brain right away, but you may ultimately perform better if you go into an exam well rested and alert.
Utilize campus resources
A great thing about college is all of the resources you have at your fingertips. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take time to examine what specific areas of your life are causing this stress. For example, are you struggling with a particular subject? Take advantage of a math or writing center on campus, and see if your professors have any tips on who else may be able to help. Also, don’t forget to look into what counseling and health services are offered on your campus. These may help you sort out any personal or health issues causing your stress and help you work toward the best solution.
Identify a work/life/school balance
At the end of the day, this is a time in your life you should be enjoying. Schoolwork, maintaining a personal life, and managing a job or an internship are all valuable parts of a college student’s life. As a student striving to succeed, trying to ace all of these at once can become a challenge. However, the trick is learning where to place priorities and making a schedule for yourself that allows all three areas of your life to excel. Once you realize this, even the busiest student can flourish.
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