Now that most collegiate students have returned to school, the chaos will commence! You know as well as I do how much there can be to juggle in a semester. Last year, I had 22 credit hours each semester plus a part time job that I worked on the weekends, and I was in charge of planning the entire Installation Weekend for my chapter (which not only included Ritual ceremonies but also a banquet). In other words, I am no stranger to late nights, early mornings, and stress filled vent sessions with friends!
With so many responsibilities, it can often be difficult to find balance. After all, college should be a little fun too right?! So here is my advice on how to tackle that To-Do List and still have a little fun on the side!
• Prioritize! Without fail, things will pop up unexpectedly and will alter the perfect schedule or plan you thought you had. When this occurs, make sure to ask yourself what is most important. One method I always used was to do things in the order they were due by. For instance, if I had multiple assignments I would first complete one that was due on Monday, then move on to Tuesday, so on and so forth. Another method I sometimes used was to estimate how long certain things would take me to accomplish, then take on the longer assignments first (this can help you avoid all-nighters and/or spending the weekend in the library!).
• Be proactive/ don’t procrastinate! This is probably one of the most difficult things to do as a college student. There are so many distractions that it is easy to put things off until the last minute. However, by staying on top of your assignments and responsibilities, you can avoid being overwhelmed later on. Perhaps this week homework is slow so you put it off until next week, but what if next week your professors all decide they want to schedule their tests (because we all know how they like to have tests all in the same week!)? Taking care of things as soon as possible will help you do better work and prevent some unneeded stress. Not to mention, the more you accomplish during the week, the more fun you can have on the weekends!
• Ask for help when you need it. If you don’t understand something, ask for help! I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t understand and spent hours staring at the page with no luck before I broke down and asked for help. Of course, this was only to find that the answer was fairly simple once explained and I had just wasted hours of my life. Asking for help will save you time but will also help your grades, so don’t be shy! Sometimes it may not be schoolwork that you need help with. If things start getting crazy and you don’t think you can accomplish a sorority/fraternity task or other responsibility, ask a sister/brother for help! That’s what they are there for- to be your support system.
• Always bring something extra to do. How many times have you arrived at class only to sit around waiting for your professor for 15 minutes? This happened to me ALL the time. I finally learned to bring other assignments with me, just in case. Make use of any spare time you have. Think of it this way- spend 15 minutes doing work between classes = going to bed 15 minutes earlier or spending 15 extra minutes with your friends!
• Make time for yourself! This is a lesson I definitely learned the hard way! Letting yourself become overwhelmed and stressed is not good for your mind or body. Not only will your anxiety levels be heightened, but your body will most likely also show signs of stress- whether it’s a lovely break out, stomachaches, headaches, or head colds etc. None of these things will do you any favors! I know things get crazy but try to at least give yourself half an hour to just chill out and watch TV or go for a walk, anything that will take your mind off the stress for awhile.
Remember to stay focused, but also have some fun because you will always remember your college days! From all of us here at GreekGear, we wish you a fun and successful school year!