14 Things to Keep in Mind as the School Year Gains Momentum

As we get closer to midterms and farther away from the beginning of classes, it's easy to feel lost and frustrated through all the deadlines and homework. Whether you're a freshman navigating through your first year of college or a high school senior preparing for your first year here are some things to remember.

#1. Doing your work when you just don’t feel like it can be tough to get through, but you have to do the hard thing sometimes. These are the things that future you will be thanking current you for. It's just a part of life and being responsible for yourself. Any time spent on studying is time well spent. You’re doing all this for yourself, so do it well. Do it for you!

#2. You don’t have to be organized, but make sure you know what you need to do. Stay on top of deadlines and do not hold things off until the last minute! Keep a list of the things you need to do and make sure to keep up with it. You don’t have to be as fancy as the academic blogs you follow on Instagram. You don’t need highlighters if they don’t work for you-follow your own style of getting things done. All people work differently and if your style of writing down notes is messy but in a way that makes sense to you, then that’s perfectly fine.

#3. Maturity is being respectful even when the other person isn't. You'll never regret being kind, but you’ll always look back on the times you weren’t. Be compassionate and considerate of others and be mindful of how the person you're with is feeling. It's so much easier to be nice to everyone and not have to avoid someone in your classes or in the hallways.

#4. There will always be so many things you haven’t accomplished yet, but you don’t have to have done them by now or maybe ever. Before you compare yourself to other people, make sure you are considering your circumstances and that it inspires you instead of just making you spiteful for what you don’t have. Know that everybody grows at a different rate and that everyone thrives on different environments.

#5. Know when you are burned out. Address the reasons why and grow through it. Don't let it continue into a pattern. Do take time to breathe and never hesitate on getting help. There will be days in which you’ll feel crummy and never want to leave your bed. It happens, and there’s no need to feel bad about it. There’s nothing you can do in the moment but take care of yourself and do something that’ll make you feel good. Watch a movie or listen to some music to refresh yourself. Don’t hold off on doing things that make you happy.

#6. You need to retain knowledge to eventually become a better person than you already are. College is expensive so make sure you’re actually learning and understanding instead of just memorizing pages from a book. Dropping by during your professors’ office hours is a great way to not only clarify information but also to connect and network with people you can learn many things from.

#7. Know what's happening around you. Watch and/or read the news but think critically and think for yourself. Being skeptical is the key to defeating ignorance. Look at issues from every perspective and make sure you have trustworthy sources before forming an opinion. Don’t just assume you know everything after reading one headline.

#8. Life becomes so much easier when you do something every day that makes getting out of bed worth it. Reward yourself each time for getting through another day.

#9. If you haven’t already, manage your sleeping pattern. Don’t study or work at the same place you sleep in and read books for fun before bed instead of browsing though your phone.

#10. Utilize the resources you have. Take free classes or join activities in the area. Any time is the perfect time to get involved. The UW offers many facilities you already pay for with your tuition. Get your money’s worth before you start having to pay for bus fare yourself.

#11. Don’t wait for people to reach out to you- approach them yourself. Don't be so afraid of being embarrassed that you let it inhibit you from participating in things. Everybody else is too busy worrying about their own insecurities to notice yours so just do what you want to do as long as it’s not harming anyone.

#12. Stay true to who you are. Don't forget to be yourself even when you make new friends and adapt with their personalities. Don't let yourself get pushed into something you don't want to do or that you don't feel comfortable with. You don't have to be doing what everybody else is doing.

#13. It’s okay to not have a declared major. College is all about finding yourself and experiencing things for the first time. However, you can’t be successful doing nothing. You have a lot of time to find what you are passionate about and until you do, you should always be exploring everything and always make sure you’re doing something to improve yourself. Its okay if you’re not the person you thought you would be when you were eight. Part of growing up is going through different phases in life to figure out which one you'll end up with and what kind of person you want to be. Keep moving forward!

#14. Have fun! Whether you’re attending college full time or not, it consumes just a small fraction of your entire life and will pass by eventually. Join RSOs and if you find that they’re not for you, you don’t have to keep going. You can come to a meeting at any time during the quarter and it is never too late to join. You can also get free stuff for stopping by in between your classes during school-wide fairs like Dawg Daze or W Day. Someday in your life you will look back on your college experience and wish that you did more, so do them now!