Start Your Student Life off Right
By: Lucia Rossi
School is back again! This means busy schedules, running back and forth, late nights, early mornings, and sometimes, an immense amount of stress. As you learn to be a master juggler with your time, this lifestyle will soon become the norm.
In the college world, you have to start strong and stay strong. The only way to keep yourself in check and on track is staying organized and well prepared.
Anything that can relieve a bit of the stress may be a lifesaver while you focus on your studies. This includes getting into good habits if you haven’t done so already.
Your room is your work space. It’s important to keep it neat and clean so your head feels clear and there are less distractions when you’re trying to accomplish important tasks.
Make your room feel like an office space with organizational tools and fun DIY projects. Label all your different drawers, books, and power chords with washi tape or chalkboard tape. Make a space for your school supplies so they’re easily accessible—whether it’s a shelf, drawer, cabinet, or even a shower caddy on your wall. The last thing you want to do is lose something.
As a hardworking college student, you tend to not eat breakfast or skip other meals all together. Keep all of your to-go snacks organized so they’re ready for the taking when you’re in a rush to class. Gurl.com suggests using a shoe storage door rack to hold all of your snacks and keep track of what’s in stock.
Just like in an office, you need to keep notes, a calendar, and a planner all in field of view so you’re able to remind yourself of time sensitive things. This means decorating your wall and desk area with a marker board, a chalkboard, a cork board, or magnet board. Be creative with this by using different backgrounds, colors, and cool markers to give the illusion that work is actually fun.
I recently bought a sticky wall poster that is a weekly planner that you can write on with dry-erase markers. I got it for $2 at 5Below and I love it. I also suggest buying double sided tape to hang pull-off note pads for when you need to make a quick grocery list, or goal list for the day.
Keeping the clothes in your drawers and the closet nice and tidy is also very useful to your busy lifestyle because you can create space to see what you actually own. By doing this, you’ll be able to pick out your outfits more quickly and efficiently in the morning or the night before a long day.
When you prepare your clothes in advance, you should also check and pack your bag. Personally, I like to coordinate my messenger bag or backpack with my outfits. When I change them out, I go through everything inside thoroughly to make sure I have everything I need for the day. Don’t forget to bring your papers and pens!
You don’t have to have neat handwriting as long as you can read your own notes. However, it is ideal to keep all of your notes organized in one place—a notebook, binder, folders, etc. and to also keep them separate according to class. Use dividers, flag tape, colored paper, or folders, so papers don’t get mixed up. If you’re tech savvy, you can even take pictures of your notes, turn them into PDFs using Snap2PDF, and save them to a hard drive, flash drive, or a website like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Some people prefer to stay organized using old-fashioned pen and paper, like myself, but others prefer taking advantage of the technology at their finger-tips. The digital world has a lot to offer college students, just take a peek at Society19’s article, “50 Insanely Useful websites College Student’s Need to Know.”
If you need help with something, there’s probably an app for it. For example, there’s the IStudiezPro app for $1.99, which is a student’s planner; Remember the Milk, which is great for list making; Quizlet, to make online flashcards; Easybib, to produce citations for research; WolframAlpha for $2.99, an app that may be better than your TI-89 calculator; and voice recorder apps to record a professor’s lecture. It all depends on your needs and style.
I like to carry around a planner book with me, but I still write down plans on my calendar app on my phone too. It’s best to write down your weekly schedule in the beginning of the week so you can just add or delete things as you go along. Although I keep my plans handy physically and electronically, it’s usually recommended to just choose one so there’s no confusion or slip ups. Whichever way is better for you, keep a consistent schedule so you know where your free time is and to avoid feeling like you’re drowning.
Pencil in time in advance for studying, doing assignments, readings, chores, events, and errands that need to be done. Make your own deadlines and time yourself accordingly. Watch yourself when you take breaks. You could even use the app SelfControl, or real self-control, so you don’t fall into the Facebook/Tumblr rabbit-hole while you’re working.
Speaking of hustle, stay on top of your finances. Keep your receipts so you know where your money goes, check your accounts every now and then, make sure you have enough money for books and meals, and remember to pay your bills on time. Try to keep a good budget so you can stretch your dollars and save up to pay your loans. Financial stress is the last thing you need right now.
At the end of the day, it’s healthy to clear out your mind. A sense of calmness or relaxation in your work space is conducive to getting things done. Keep some candles in your room that have a scent you find comforting or put a Febreeze car deodorant on your vent. Aromatherapy can help you get in the right mood if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to unwind.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, try meditating before bed and have a goodnight’s sleep. If you’re well rested, you will overall feel better in class and about yourself. Don’t rely too much on coffee.
Categories: Livin' La Vida Lucia