For those of you just starting at USD, you’ve probably been told many times that college is a big change. For many students it is a big change, living far away from home, being able to eat whatever and whenever you want, having classes at many different times of the day… it can be hard to create a schedule or routine for yourself because you are balancing so many different demands. However, by creating a consistent routine we are able to ease into college life much better.
Create a Balance
College is all about finding the balance between school work and having fun. It is important to figure out that balance early on before stressing yourself out when all the homework builds up or focusing too much on friends. If you get into the habit of always hanging out with friends you’ll fall behind in school. Figuring out how much time to spend on certain classes and giving yourself time limits to work on specific assignments can really optimize your efficiency when it comes to doing school work.
Eat Healthy and Regularly
Another freedom that comes along with college is the abundance of food all around you. When eating at the SLP it is so easy to help yourself to multiple servings that you would not have normally taken if you were at home. Or, if you’re swamped with homework it can be easy to microwave mac and cheese or a quick dinner that is low in nutrients. Having this freedom lets us make our own food decisions and sometimes over stress or tiredness can get in the way of having healthy eating habits. Simply stocking your mini-fridge with healthy snacks and working on getting in some fruits and vegetables everyday makes all of the difference. When you eat well, you feel better, sleep better and are able to focus more in school.
Keep track of school assignments with a to-do list or a planner
The easiest way to stay organized is to create a to-do list with assignments and tasks. Make regular to-do lists with your highest priority tasks at the top and least important tasks towards the end. When it’s time to get to work, start at the top of your list and tackle the most important tasks one. If you don’t complete the bottom of your to-do list by the end of your work session, it will be less stressful knowing you’ve completed your highest priority assignments. It’s important to always create new to-do lists to keep your projects organized.
Fit exercise into your schedule
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Creating a schedule where you allow time for exercise will actually help improve your focus, stress management and you will sleep better. When we have a lot of things on our plate all at once we tend to cut out exercise to create more time for other things but in fact, when you have a lot of things going on, exercise can be most valuable tools as it helps relieve stress and improves your mood.
Get good sleep
We’ve all heard that we are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep every night, but we know that in college that it can be difficult with the amount of activities and classes we are juggling. A Huffington Post article concluded that only 15% of college students actually get 8 hours of sleep on average. A lot of students put off having good sleeping habits during the week and say that they will make up for it on the weekend in order to fit everything they need to into the day. We, as students, don’t like to believe it but we all know we function better when we’ve had a good night’s sleep. After a certain point our brains aren’t going to function and retain the information as well when it starts to get late and we’re tired. Sometimes it’s better to get to bed at a decent hour and wake up refreshed to finish homework or studying.