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If you’re like me and fall is your favourite season, you’re probably starting to resent your responsibilities and wishing you could spend more time enjoying it. That’s difficult for us University students to do since this is exactly the point of the term where things start to get busy. Who has time for hiking, pumpkin carving, baking and partying when you’re swimming in projects to work on, pesky quizzes to complete, assignments to finish and extracurricular commitments? Who doesn’t feel their inner child’s heart breaking when they have to choose studying for a midterm over going apple picking? My friends, you are not alone… however, as much as keeping up with your studies is important, it is equally important to take care of yourself and sometimes that means giving yourself the time you deserve to have fun. So how can you have both? My answer is simple and timeless: stay organized. Here are a few tips to help you balance out your calendar:

 

1) Look FAR ahead

Research the things going on in your area over the next month. Kitchener-Waterloo is home to some excellent fear farms, pumpkin patches, conservation areas to explore, and plenty more. When you’re pencilling your deadlines and exams into your calendar, try to spend some time researching what’s going on around you as well and start organizing your time to make room for both! You can check out the Waterloo Region Events page for daily, weekly and monthly listings of various events happening in the area to get you started.

 

2) Revamp your “To Do” list

Hand-written notes-to-self and Learn’s Smartspace section are all well and good when it comes to sorting out your priorities, but a little help from the internet never hurts either. Once you give electronic project management tools a try, you’ll never look back. For starters, a website/app called Asana exists as a platform for you to assign yourself tasks, set deadlines for them and will even send you reminders to keep you on track. You can even make collaborative lists for things like group projects since the software is free to use on one account for less than 15 people. There is another app called Wunderlist that I’m a big fan of if you’re looking for something more simple.

 

3) Get active!

Some of you might be rolling your eyes right now, but as obvious as it sounds, getting your blood flowing with a quick workout will increase your productivity like you wouldn’t believe. Ideally, starting your day with a brief exercise, whether it be at the gym or on your bedroom floor, is a great habit to get into since this will wake you up in a way that coffee rarely can. Moreover, it is at overwhelming times that exercise can free us from overthinking and overworking, giving you the energy and alertness to accomplish more in less time. Plus, a fall hike definitely counts as exercise, so you’re killing two birds with one stone here!

 

Finally, if you’re feeling exhausted and would rather spend your free time resting and watching Netflix, I get it. But consider this is your official reminder that the not-freezing-weather won’t last long, so make some plans to enjoy it while you can!

Jenna Aquino

Waterloo '21

21, Canadian. Lover of music, digital media, chocolate and kind people.
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