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Non-Traditional Tips From A Non-Traditional Student

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Savannah chapter.

The “College Years” are known for being fun, formative and the first steps to the rest of our lives. But let’s be honest, the struggle is very real. It’s hard to navigate some days. It’s stressful most days, and the level of multi-tasking required to meet all the deadlines and demands, seems impossible every day. Like hold up a second! Class, homework, campus involvement, maybe a job, and oh a social life would be great too. Then add, trying to network and set up things for the career you want to have when you graduate?!? And trying to be a present family member and community member too? So why would a person that is considered in the non-traditional college age, chose to start/return to school and add that onto real life adulting?!? That sounds like, either a really ambitious passionate person that believes in their purpose or a masochist-glutton for punishment. I won’t say which one I am, but what I will say is, I am figuring it out! What I have discovered is, the useful tips to survive the “college years” have changed. I have adopted some very non-traditional methods that have helped me navigate the seas. Sharing is caring so here are my unorthodox ways that I hope will also work for you.

1. Don’t shower.

Take a bubble bath. During a weeknight. Every week. One thing I have learned is, a quick shower for efficiency isn’t always enough. A midweek slow down gives an amazing reset. So, usually on Wednesdays, despite the mounding homework and pending zoom calls. I just stop. You would swear I’m oblivious to the demands when I’m in that tub. I’m literally, in a bubble. I turn off my phone, I light candles, I pull up a TV show on my iPad. You can’t tell me I’m not having a mini staycation. Nothing else matters in those moments. It’s so relaxing and it gives me the fuel to start over in the chaos again the next day.

2. Skip class.
Yes, you read that right. One thing I embraced in corporate America was the beauty and usefulness of taking a mental health day. Well, school is my job now and I ain’t stopping that practice. Once or twice a semester, when I feel myself on the verge of a good cry or crash and burn, I’m staying home. From class, from work, from meetings, from anything other than just resting my mind. If you think about it, if you’re in that kind of mental space, how much would you have learned anyways?

3. Eat bad foods.
In the time of superfoods filled with antioxidants and energy boosters, and cauliflower pizza, breaded wings and fries replacing carbs, I am gonna shake it up! We are told, we need those things to keep our energy up and keep us healthy and lean. That maybe true, but at least once a week, I eat VERY BAD. I eat my world famous (ok maybe just in my world), double battered, breaded chicken wings or I get my favorite Talenti gelato layers cookies and cream dessert. Why, because a weekly treat to look forward to, is so good for the soul and brings a moment of happiness to the week. I’ve found that if you’re trying to be perfectly disciplined all the time, you’re gonna go off the rails all together. So, work in your moments of non-discipline to keep yourself sane!

4. Oversleep
One thing I have learned is, the body takes what it needs! We are taught to be team no sleep. We are taught to fight the fatigue and get it done! They say, just drink energy drinks or coffee and get it

all done! That seems to be going well, until the day you crash and burn by way of falling asleep in the middle of working on your essay or you legitimately sleep through your alarm and miss class. Don’t let it get that far. Listen to your body. You know when you can push, and you know when you need to let it go. Sometimes, you need to close the laptop and go to sleep. Sometimes even if you planned on getting up at 8, allow yourself to sleep until 9! If you don’t take those moments to sleep a little extra when you feel the fatigue mounting, your body will choose and it’s usually never at a convenient time.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, 5. Be incredibly selfish

So many times, we end up saying yes to an opportunity simply because we don’t have a good reason to say no. We are programmed to believe, I don’t want to, is not a good enough answer. We feel bad saying no, if we do have the time. Don’t feel pressed to fill every second of your day. Leave time open for absolutely nothing. Save your yeses and your energy for things you are truly interested in, intrigued by, passionate about or that you will benefit from. What ends up happening when you give half-hearted yeses, is that you end up being less dedicated, prone to flake or drop out, or resentful about your commitment. Protect your energy and the energy of others by only giving strong yeses. Only do what you feel is best. Do nothing out of obligation, but desire. It’s ok to say, I’m not interested. It’s ok to say, I’ll pass. It’s ok to say, no thank you. It’s ok to think of self. Because being selfish allows you to take the best care of self, and when you’re good to yourself, it will make it easier to be good to other and give your best to others.
Find what works for you, and do it, even if it’s nontraditional.

Tiffany Wright

Savannah '22

I, Tiffany Nicole Wright am a kind (and I’m most proud of that), quirky, goofy, magical, blackety black, hot-nerdy, semi-accomplished, uber-creative, baddie with a FUPA, overtly-resilient, unicorn-ish woman. Jacksonville, FL raised me. While there, I received a B.S. in Biology in 2008 and became a member of the greatest Sorority in the land, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 11 years later, I finally found my balls, embraced my true passion and left Corporate America & Jacksonville. Since the Fall of 2019, I let Savannah, GA rebirth me. I currently attend the University by the Sea, Savannah State, risking it all to reach my next chapter in my journey to becoming a professional screenwriter and choreographer. I’m matriculating through my B.F.A., majoring in Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in Theatre, Minoring in Dance. 3 years ago, I launched my brand MsDevotedTiff Productions, to showcase my writing through digital content and visual media. I have been fortunate enough to have my short films and parodies, screened in film festivals including: LOL JAX (FL), SSU Indie (GA) & Dumbo (NY, semi-finalist) Film Festivals. The assumptions about, underestimations of and lack of permissions given for black woman to be multi-layered, are what drives my storytelling. I tell my truth, usually with a humorous or performing arts twists. I’m “In Living Color” meets weird Al Yankovic (oops, did I just date myself?) with a huge splash of Beyoncé “Lemonade” vibes.