Summer has come to an end. Now it is that time of the year again to go back to school. After watching back to school commercials and snapchats of our fellow semester system friends going back to school, it is our turn to get back into that school game routine.
As a second year student here at UCI, I would like to share a few tips to all incoming freshmen, transfer, and continuing students on how to create good habits to keep you going. It can be overwhelming trying to balance out your academics with your social life. So, I hope you find these tips to be helpful.
Organize your school work
Preferably, I like buying a notebook for each of my classes, but some students find it easier to organize their notes on an electronic device. In that case, I would suggest saving all of your work in a hard drive and sending them to your personal email. You wouldn’t want to lose all of your hard work on the day you are cramming for a study session.
Protip: Google calendars or a planner will be your everything! Trust me on this one. You DO NOT want to forget your notes on the day of your midterm, quiz, or final! When you receive your syllabus, I highly suggest you write down all your homework assignments’ due dates in your planner.
Schedule your study sessions
First, figure out the time that you prefer to study, whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Then, eliminate all distractions. With that said, you should put aside your phone while you study. Make sure to use only academic websites while using your laptop. I suggest you study for about 30-40 minutes then take a 5-minute break to get up and stretch or snack on something. Also, having gaps in-between classes could be a great opportunity to go to the library and catch up on some reading or do homework.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
You should not procrastinate at all. Since UCI is on a quarter system, you will see that in less than 3 weeks, we will be having midterms. You just cannot afford to leave your readings behind. It will just all build up. Even on the first week, some students are overwhelmed with all their coursework, feeling “10 weeks behind.”
I know many will only have time to study, but I suggest you make an effort to include exercise in your schedule. Schoolwork can drain you, so exercising can give you energy and keep you going. On top of that, you should take advantage that you have access to the school gym (ARC) for free.
Make sure you eat!
It is very important that you eat or snack on something throughout the day. If you are a commuter or live in off or on-campus apartments, make sure you carry lunch money or bring your own lunch. It will not benefit you trying to learn with an empty stomach. Many students do not have money for food for financial reasons, so take advantage of the school resources. For instance, UCI Student Outreach and Retention Center (SOAR) has a food pantry. Visit the SOAR center website for more information.