The sophomore slump is real. This semester I’m taking 18 credit hours and I’m involved in too many extracurriculars. College is still a blast, but every week this semester I’ve felt like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I’m so busy.
Figuring out your own balancing act is an important part of college. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Get a planner, and use it religiously.My planner is my lifeline. I use it to write down homework for the day and to track what meetings I have. I like a physical planner because technology can fail you, and I enjoy writing things down and crossing them off my list.
This planner might seem huge, but it’s so worth it. (PHOTO BY KAPCAR)
Make a calendar of everything that’s due for the entire semester during syllabus week.I do this at the very beginning of every semester, and it makes a world of difference. Basically, I have a table in a Pages document with five columns, one for each day of the week. I type out all the dates just like a calendar would look, and I gray out days when we don’t have class (like fall break). I choose a different color for every class and fill in the assignments and their dates found on my syllabi. This helps me see at a glance what I need to be working on, whether it’s the beginning of the week or I’m looking ahead to see when my next exams are.
Map out your week on Sunday night.I never go blindly into Monday morning, because I’ll feel totally scatterbrained and disorganized. I’m also extremely type-A, so it’s probably a good thing if you’re not like me. Sunday night I sit down and write in my planner some of the bigger homework assignments I know I need to complete and which meetings I have each day. This is one of the strategies I use so I’m not behind on work and don’t forget important commitments.
Sleep and exercise.
This might be hard during weeks that are insanely busy, but I find it’s even more important then. Even if I don’t think I have time to work out, I’ll try to get in at least 20 minutes on the elliptical. It’s a great stress reliever and always makes me feel more energized and ready to be productive. Sleep is also super important and can be easily compromised during weeks when exams and papers are due. Try to aim for seven-ish hours per night. Sleep is always better than cramming!
Say no to things.
I’m having to do this a lot this semester because I have so much going on. Saying no is hard. It’s easy to say yes without thinking, because you want to help out or genuinely enjoy the activity. But try to have a good picture of your schedule in your mind so you know whether you can handle another commitment. If you’re proactive about this, you’re more likely not to spread yourself too thin. Be sure to give yourself enough time to sleep, hang out with friend and relax.
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