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After a well-deserved winter break, many students have returned to classes, dorms, and campuses, in general. I’m not sure about everyone else, but this break allowed me to sit back and relax after a difficult semester on Zoom. This lack of routine has also caused me to fall out of practice when it comes to my normal lifestyle. Now that classes are starting again, it’s important to get back into a routine so that you can remain calm, do well in every class, and take care of yourself at the same time. Here’s some advice so you can do just that. 

Reset your sleep schedule. 

In my experience, the basis for any good and organized lifestyle is sleep. The more sleep you get, the better you can take in and enjoy everything life has to offer. In fact, getting enough sleep each night is said to have a positive impact on focus, mood, general health, and other aspects of life. Recently I’ve been getting between eight and nine hours of sleep each night which has helped me feel more rested and ready to face the day. So, I recommend setting a time to be in bed by each night (mine is 11:00 pm) and set up rest times if you tend to get tired throughout the day.

Do your work in a steady space. 

Your environment is often a crucial factor when it comes to studying and homework. I recommend studying in the same physical setting every day (or most days, up to you). This adds consistency to your week and conditions you to start focusing on work once you enter that space. Also, if you can avoid it, don't do your work on your bed. From my perspective, your bed is for resting, and doing schoolwork on it will only make it feel like you can never truly rest. 

Give yourself a daily schedule.

This is probably the most crucial piece of advice on this list. Having a structure is immeasurably important when it comes to an organized life. Whether it's loose or strict, a schedule can be beneficial to fostering a sense of control in your life. I’d recommend buying a planner or using apps like Notion to plan your days. That way, you have your tasks and responsibilities in writing and can complete them with ease. Start by scheduling things like studying, working, leisure, meals, and sleep times, and feel free to add as much or as little as you like.

Take some time to focus on yourself.

Amidst all of your engagements throughout the day, you should still set aside time for yourself and your mental health. If you’re like me you have to force yourself to take a break sometimes and do something you really enjoy. I’ve realized that the best way to do this is by taking breaks when I feel myself starting to burn out. That way you can essentially give your brain a soft reset and get back to what you were doing. During these breaks, I tend to work on hobbies, read, or even just do breathing exercises. You can do anything during this time as long as it helps you reset and recenter. 

Try to get things done as soon as possible.

If there’s one thing most college students have in common, it’s procrastination. I’ve managed to overcome procrastination by reminding myself that the longer I hold off on something, the longer it’ll remain unchecked on my to-do list. It will always feel like there’s something else to do and you’ll never truly catch a break. Start by trying to complete small tasks as they arise; like cleaning your room once you notice it’s getting dirty, completing reading assignments the same day you get them, or sorting through your emails when the number gets high. I know that some things feel too boring to even start, but starting them at a later time won’t magically change how boring they are! It’s best to be bored now so you’re not stressed later. 

Give yourself some credit!

Another important aspect to remember is that you are living through a global pandemic! Some things are going to fall through the cracks or carry more importance than others, and that’s perfectly fine. The fact that you are here and trying your best is already an accomplishment in itself.

I hope these recommendations help you become more organized in your life and education, no matter how you decide to use them. 

Samantha is a junior at CU pursuing a double major in philosophy and sociology. In the future, she hopes to go to law school and become a human rights attorney. She enjoys creative writing, crocheting sweaters, listening to music, and watching Marvel movies in her spare time.
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