Leave Behind Old Habits for a Low-Stress School Year
By: Mohamed Mahmoud and Veronica Pistek
The new semester has begun, and odds are that you’re still tired from doing nothing for 3 months.
Ideally, most students want to start off the semester strong while avoiding getting hit with the wave of workload that is ready to crash ashore.
In order to prevent yourself from drowning this semester, grab a life-vest and start getting organized.
First things first, make sure to manage your time properly. Adding time into your schedule to review and rewrite your notes requires very little investment, but the payoff is priceless.
It is recommended to pick out your favorite pack of colored highlighters, pocket-folders, a set of notebooks or a binder of your choice, along with motivational stickers to match them.
For instance, if a considerable assignment due date or a test date is mentioned in class, place the correct colored sticker on that date.
This is a good idea to highlight the important dates, as well as to remind you to start studying.
With the help of a little sticker to motivate you, begin previewing the material that will be covered over the coming weeks.
Start exploring the major topics that will be covered in your courses. From there, create an outline of the most important areas that will be studied, along with mapping them out in each textbook.
To stay on track, be sure to constantly look over the syllabus provided by your professor. Getting a head start on that big essay or studying for your first exam during some free time is never a bad idea.
In order to stay motivated, try listening to podcasts daily. Podcasts are free, inspiring, and are consistently updated.
Even better, you can listen to a podcast while getting ready for school, driving, or eating a meal. Podcasts can be streamed online almost anywhere, or through your favorite music providers such as Spotify and Apple Music.
While you’re listening to an inspiring podcast, start organizing a meal plan to fuel your mind and body. Packing and eating healthy meals for school will save you money and set a routine for success.
It is easy to skip early morning breakfast and with replace it coffee. Neglecting the intake of protein and carbohydrates in the morning may have consequences during the day- like crashing hard during that long lecture, or the inevitable midday mood swing.
So, start your day off with some nutrition so you can stay energized and in a happier mood.
Another key factor to staying focused and organized is sleeping. Make sure to sleep as much as possible, preferably 8 hours. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your mind.
Set a daily alarm to go to sleep and to wake up. With a reminder, you can finish up your homework and get to bed at a decent time so you wake up feeling refreshed.
Just as important as sleep, be sure to develop a cycle of preparing all of your items the night before class. Making this a part of your daily routine is essential, it might even become as natural as sleeping and eating.
Specifically, gather the notebooks for each class you have, double check that you have a full supply of pens in your backpack, and pick out your outfit to save yourself time from stressing in the morning.
Also, don’t forget to make sure that you have all of your assignments and homework handed in. If you start to fall behind, keep track of the dates you have missed and notify your professor that you will try your best to hand it in as soon as possible.
So, once you start your day fully equipped with supplies and motivation, you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders.
Instead of worrying if you finished your essay, or hearing your stomach grumble during a quiet lecture, you will have more room in your mind to stay present and focused on succeeding this semester!