We’ve been at Pitt for about a month now, yet it seems like the most dreadful part of college has just started to make an advancement in taking over our lives: homework. With midterms on the horizon, the high stress level is suffocating everyone on campus.
We all have those good intentions on having a productive night or hitting the gym, but lets face it, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, or just wanting to take a nap, we all get distracted. I’ve been a college student for a month, and I’ve already realized that good intentions can only get you so far. Let’s face it: as much as we love it, college is overwhelming, and while it’s nice to have so much happening, it’s hard to balance schoolwork, clubs and activities, exercise, and most importantly, getting that much needed beauty sleep, without having a mental breakdown.
So whether you’re having trouble managing your schedule or your just suffering from some plain old stress, (or both!) here are some tips to help you get through on a weekly basis:
1) Get a calendar and write, write, write!
Every time a teacher or counselor suggests getting a planner and writing in everything for the week, most students roll their eyes. But if you think about it, wouldn’t this make life ten times easier? When you mentally plan out your day, you don’t feel as compelled to stick with it; when you have everything written down on paper, it feels more set in stone. In the past month, I’ve realized how hard it is to store all your plans mentally- I’ve already missed a numerous amount of important meetings and events! Between club meetings or just needing an hour to study for a test, planning it out gives me the incentive to stick with it.
2) For nights you know you have a club/activity meeting, plan around it!
It always happens that you have a club meeting the same night you need to study for a huge exam. We all try and blame our busy schedules and mandatory events for our inability to get homework done, but what about all the other hours of the night aside from that one you were busy? If you know you have a meeting, plan your homework around it! You can fit in half your homework before and finish the rest later. It’s all about how productive you make your free time. I know it’s hard to resist procrastination, but when you know you have a busy night, try and focus!
3) Leave some time for rest and relaxation
If you could pick one word to describe college, what would you choose? Mine’s easy: exhaustion. Every night I find myself going to sleep later and later- hence, every day I find myself napping longer and longer (I’m slowly making my way up to a full double-digit hour nap). You may think you’re invincible with that red bull, five-hour energy, or large cup of coffee, but trust me on this one- from firsthand experience, it will catch up with you. If you know you’re going to be up late doing homework or studying, leave an hour or
two during the day to nap, or just relax and have some downtime- and vice versa. Getting some rest will also better your mood and rid your body of that stress and aggravation. It may seem like homework is the most important thing to do, but taking care of your health and well being always come first!
4) Disconnect, ladies!
Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean-
disconnect from those phones and laptops! We are all guilty of wasting prime schoolwork time on Facebook, Twitter, and all those online guilty-pleasures. When you’re on a computer typing up a report, it’s hard not to move that mouse over to the Internet button and indulge. I know it’s addicting, but you MUST close that Internet window! Even if it takes disconnecting from your wireless connection, you have to fight it! Yourfriends’ posts on social media sites won’t be going anywhere; you can catch up on them later, but you wont be able to catch up on typing that essay. Embrace the time you have.
5) Pick two-three days a week for you and your friends to exercise
Exercise: I always have the intention to, but I never seem to get there. Between being sick, homework, clubs, and greek life, I keep making excuses for why I haven’t gotten to the past two weeks of Zumba classes I signed up [and am paying] for! The truth of the matter is, no one is going to push you to do it except yourself. For some motivation, plan ahead a couple of days during the week where you and your friends can hit the gym or do some exercise videos together. By making the plans with other people, you’ll feel more obligated to go and not bail, rather than if you were alone!
It takes some time to fall into a daily/weekly routine in college; until you do so, don’t let the stress get to you. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming a time management pro!