You’ve just entered college, or yet another hectic semester, or even a new job/lifestyle that is hard to adjust to. Either way, WELCOME [BACK] TO REALITY. This is a time where not only are you trying to understand new materials, but also balancing your personal life and well-being. What makes the matter even worse is the pandemic, causing nearly all classes online and so much work can get mixed up. Not only that, you’re on the computer and taking notes pretty much ALL DAY–which ends up getting you tired despite not doing any manual labor for school.
However, on the flip side, COVID-19 makes the outside world quiet somehow. Time is slow, but steady at the same time. In my neighborhood, I’d see people walking their dogs, jogging and spending time together in small groups. The everyday routine repeats over and over. COVID-19 had made nature and the environment (not our political and societal climate) a little bit more peaceful. My world has been quiet, almost serene, ever since the pandemic started. It is still quiet now, especially with gloomy, humid and muddy days. I love these types of days because I feel relaxed. When I’m done with most of my work, I’ll just grab a hot cup of tea and peacefully fall asleep for the afternoon.
Right now, I’m taking 18 credits, heavily dedicated to being the assistant news editor for ODU’s student newspaper, Mace & Crown and the newly-appointed senior editor of HerCampus ODU. Did I mention applying to various potential internship opportunities? Oh, and restarting my modeling career after a year-and-half hiatus?
It sounds like a lot, but that doesn’t mean I can’t handle anything that comes my way.
These are some of the things I have learned from managing my time during the past four years at ODU:
- Get a Planner, Not Just a Calendar
A weekly planner that has a calendar gives you full view of your schedule. Therefore, based on your syllabus and each course schedule, you can write down the days the assignments would be due on BOTH of the calendar and weekly planner sides. (These are subject to change because of COVID and other factors, but write them down anyway for full effect.) It is better to write a reminder down, than to forget your assignments altogether or to depend on your classmates to tell you what is due.
Every month (sometimes every week) I like to write down the usual meetings, deadlines for articles I need to write, interviews, upcoming exams and projects. Because I am taking 18 credits online, I write everything that I need to complete on the weekly pages of my planner. Thankfully, my syllabi list everything and remind students when things are due. As an organized person, I don’t find any trouble with having a heavy workload. In fact, I love it.
If you’re into cute stationery items and tropical aesthetics, the brand Lilly Pulitzer has a line of agendas and planners. They are a bit pricy, but the planners are of good quality and have beautiful designs.
- Instead of Checking Social Media Every Five Seconds, Check your Emails and Blackboard
Your emails are the number one notification you should be looking at every morning, noon and evening. This is a no-brainer, but I notice that many college students do not check their emails, nor delete them and their workspace is easily cluttered.
Instead of checking social media while you’re doing work, start checking Blackboard for announcements and emails for updates of what is going on. Whenever I’m not doing schoolwork, such as in-between classes, I tend to complete the easier tasks. This includes replying to discussion boards and such. It doesn’t take that long to type about 100-200 word thoughts. Sometimes, I’ll even read the news, listen to a podcast or watch wellness videos on YouTube. There is more to being productive than looking at social media.
Although social media allows us to connect in these unfortunate times, it is a huge distraction from what we need to be prioritizing.
- Be Selfish and Pay Attention to the Beauty that the Outside World Offers, but Don’t be Inconsiderate of Others that Care About You
We can all agree that 2020 was crazy. Prior to the new semester, I went through a lot of unfortunate and crazy events which I am so glad to be out of. Though I have done 18 credits before, I was panicking because I thought the limits I pushed were way too high for me to handle. I told myself that after these events I went through, I was going to take matters into my own hands and be serious about my work because I was (and still am) fed up. What did I do? Turn in my resume to as many jobs and internships as I possibly could, be involved with school once again with school and get back into modeling.
I’ve been through Hell and back once or twice, I don’t mind going back again as long as I get what I deserve.
I remember crying terribly on New Year’s Day in front of my guy friend, who comforted me and told me everything was going to be okay. He also said I was doing the right thing. Never doubt yourself and what you’re capable of doing, NEVER. Never forget or be inconsiderate of those people in your life who were there to hear your cries, frustrations and fears. Nothing is wrong with being selfish and putting yourself first. However, there comes a point in time where you need to think of the people that made a positive impact in your life. Remember, the more you isolate yourself, the more you push them away. Thank them and don’t turn your back on them.
- There will Always be Time for Everything
Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise does not know how to prioritize or manage their time well enough, or is straight BS-ing you. Better yet, stop associating with them because it’s a toxic mentality to hang onto. This is a part of being an adult in the real world. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you the correct way of doing things. You plan, you things and you manage things on your own. Regardless, there’s time for everything and you will be okay!
Good luck, babes.