Being a student is a crazy and at times an extremely overwhelming experience. Transitioning from high school to university was a huge step and I honestly wasn’t prepared for the time commitment. Not only was I a full time student but I was also an athlete. This of course was something I had worked on as a basketball player my entire life, so no matter how busy my schedule was, I was going to make it work.
I’ll be the first to admit that the first few years of university were a sh** show. I was really struggling with staying organized and managing my time correctly. Structuring your life is a big deal, and honestly kind of annoying at times. Laying out all of your responsibilities on to one page can be extremely overwhelming, but this was something I had to get over.
Before I got my sh** together in university I was doing weird things like avoiding checking my school mailbox, or neglecting to look at my marks online. If you are also guilty of this, let me be the first to tell you STOP.
This created so many problems for me as a student; when I wouldn’t check my marks I literally had no idea where I stood and because of that I lost motivation. When it came to midterms and exams I was barely studying because of this continuous train ride of being unmotivated and being completely unaware if I got a 90% on that last assignment or if I completely failed.
However now I’m that student plugging my marks into websites to calculate the best possible mark I can get on exams, and making sure to schedule adequate time for studying. So if you’re still stuck in my past of procrastination and lack of motivation, there is hope!
There isn’t much more I hate then studying. I’m the type of person who walks into the library and already starts making some stupid excuse like “ugh I can’t study in THIS part of the library”. However these excuses became tiresome and I realized if I wanted to create the opportunities I wanted after I graduated, I was going to have to put the work in.
I have created a list of the 5 best ways to not get your butt kicked by school this semester. From one lazy girl to another this isn’t an over night transformation but I hope that you’re able to get some ideas, and maybe give some of these a try.
1) Make A Calendar The Size of Your Room!
The best way I was able to manage my life as a student athlete was by creating an extremely oversized and unnecessary schedule board in my dorm. This really helped the side of me who hated checking marks etc,. because I had no choice but to look at this massive board everyday. I kept track of EVERYTHING on this board. When my classes were, when I would be traveling for basketball, my past marks, etc. This board also helped me increase my motivation by being able to cross off all completed assignments which is very rewarding as a stressed out student.
2) Create Early Due Dates For Assignments
The clock strikes 11pm and your assignment is due at midnight and you haven’t even started. This was an awful habit I developed in my younger student years. Because I was writing under pressure, I was submitting sub par assignments just to make sure its submitted in time.
To avoid this, a tip I created for myself is to schedule the due date of the assignment a week prior to its actual date. It sounds pretty stupid but for me it worked as a wake up call because if I hadn’t started the assignment, I knew I had better get my sh** together. This won’t work for everyone, but it took me about a month before I had starting submitting all of my assignments a week before the due date.
3) Look for Resources at Your School
There are SO many different resources for students in regards to how to stay organized and there is no better place to look then your very own school. If your school email is anything like mine, it is continuously being filled with daily emails from Student Life offering workshops on time management etc. Like you, I would just open these emails just so I didn’t have to look at the notification anymore. But let me tell you how stupid I felt the first time I went to one of these meetings. I came for the free snacks, and ended up leaving with my notebook full of motivation tips and tricks for how to manage my time better. Even if this isn’t something you usually do, I encourage you to try as it could really help you in the long run.
4) Surround yourself with motivated people.
One important tip I learned that day was that who you surround yourself with at school plays a HUGE part in how successful your going to do in school. There’s no bigger sigh of relief then hearing your friends say that they haven’t started studying yet either. However this can creates a huge tornado in your motivation.
Instead of studying with my closer yet less motivated friends, I started going to the library with different people in my classes and people from my dorm that I didn’t hang around much. As you take more and more classes you meet more people and because of that you can avoid going with your usual suspects and try out some new peeps. This is also beneficial because you can learn how others study and the different methods that work for them.
5) Walk it Out, Walk it Out
First off let me say I was lucky enough to be surrounded by super intelligent women in university, but believe it or not even the super intelligent get stressed and lose their marbles. One of my friends ways to cope with stressful situations was to go for a walk. However, this was no ordinary walk. She would get up from her desk, completely defeated, grab her jacket and slam the door behind her.
I would run to the window to watch her speed walk down the road, I thought it was hilarious! However after 15-20 minutes or so, she would come back a completely different person. She was in a much better mood after she cleared her head, and was able to find the motivation she needed to keep going. Now looking back at those times, I honestly wish I went with her.
Taking those 15 minutes gave her a time to relax, and time to reflect. At times its hard for our mind to drift from the stack of papers that we have to do, but removing yourself from that environment can actually be very productive and gives your mind a chance to unravel. I also found this tip helpful when in lectures. Its easy to lose disinterest in your lecture, so next time try going for a 5 minute walk, go get a drink, just to remove yourself for a few minutes. Again it really helps give your mind a chance to relax.
I hope by reading this article you are able to figure out if any of these tips are helpful to you in order to keep your sh** together in college. Finding what works best for you takes time, and there will be lots of trial and error. However if you find that one you decide to try doesn’t work, maybe take a week and reflect why it didn’t work and try again!