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Balancing Act: Ways to Declutter that Dreaded University Schedule

Edited by Carol Eugene Park     

A new semester is a great way to remind ourselves not to fall apart from all the stress with deadlines, projects, assignments, socials, extracurricular activities and part-time work. Here are some tips to keep in mind to increase efficiency and get the most out of your school and social life: 

1. Do your tasks in moderation    

     Don't coop yourself in the library for seven straight hours, drowning in essays and due dates. You're basically asking for misery. That being said, don't spend your days partying or socializing with friends every single chance you get when you're not in lecture mode either. It's important to know your limits and to find balance. Understand that there is time for work, and there is time for play. 

     Plan for days of work: when you know you're going to be spending your hours catching up on classes you've missed, working on an essay, or revising your notes. If you feel like your friends might hinder you from being efficient, perhaps study sessions with your buddies are not the best way to go. 

     Once you complete your work, you can reward yourself by having a night out with friends. Knowing you've completed the work you wanted to finish will make you free of any worry as you hit the dance floor or laugh your heart out with your friends. 

2. Use a calendar and planner      

     Whether it be physical or online, calendars and planners are key to organizing a busy schedule. If you find that having a calendar and planner online results to you opening a new tab and surfing through YouTube, perhaps having a physical planner would be a wiser choice. 

     With a calendar and planner, you won't forget sudden, upcoming due dates; it will be a constant reminder for you to start acting and not procrastinate. You're giving yourself time to prepare an even better assignment than if you did it last minute and regretted not starting sooner. Calendars and planners increase your productivity ten-fold; that is, if you stay consistent with using it and checking up on it. 

3. Don't ditch self-care      

     Being pressed down by all your school responsibilities and personal matters can occasionally lead to forgetting to take proper care of yourself. You might sleep less and pull an all-nighter, or skip a meal. Here are some ways you can pamper yourself and lessen the anxiety and stress built up from all responsibilities life throws your way:

  I. Candles       

     They set the mood in the atmosphere, promoting a sense of comfort and are great for calming the nerves. 

II. A Diffuser    

      A diffuser and essential oils help clean the air, making your environment less stuffy and suffocating. It is also said to help boost energy levels, ease headaches, improve your cognitive performance and more. It can be used as an alternative to candles as well. 

III. Drink Tea     

     Teas like green, oolong, and black tea are great alternatives to coffee as these have caffeine but it doesn't give one the jitters that coffee sometimes does. Another bonus is that they still taste great! 

IV. Sleep     

     If you think you're able to function properly after 3 hours of sleep, you're lying to yourself. Treat yourself by sleeping the recommended hours, otherwise, any task you need to do the following day might not reach its full potential. 

V. Don't skip meals   

      Food gives you the energy you need throughout the day. For some brain food, try nuts, For brain food: nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, berries, and whole grains as these are known to aid in memory. Perfect when studying!   

    Now go out there, and live your hopefully less-stressful life (once you follow through with these tips)! 

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Patricia Pendon is currently a student at the University of Toronto, majoring in English. She is an avid reader and hopes to improve her writing abilities with the help of Her Campus. A curious spirit, Patricia enjoys exploring new places, especially nature and cafes. She is a part-time wallflower and a certified crybaby.
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