What I wish I knew as a college student? How not to get burned out with homework, exams, projects and your personal life.
Spring Semester is about to begin.
Most if not all your classes are online by now which seemed like a dream when things were in ‘normal’ swing however the rose colored glasses are off.
Here are simple tips and tricks on how to not get stressed this semester while getting amazing grades and having time for yourself.
Guide on how to effectively get through the semester
1. Work with your body clock
Are you a morning bird or a night owl?
As simple as this question is, it could change the way you work and help your time management.
Not everyone is an early riser and that’s perfectly ok.
Know yourself and adjust your schedule accordingly.
If you had travelled home for the semester and your classes are in a different time zone. Bear those time differences in mind before adjusting your body clock.
A helpful tip I learnt in college about sleep patterns is an 8-hour sleep cycle doesn’t have to be cumulative but has to be consistent.
You could have four 2-hour power naps or two 4-hour power naps.
Listen to your body and rest up.
2. Set boundaries
This is very key especially if you have online college classes.
You need to treat virtual school how you would treat an 8-hour shift at a job.
You should have a set time for when you attend classes and do homework and a designated space where this happens.
The issue with not appropriately sectioning off a workspace is that work-life balance lines become blurred.
Let’s say you attend online classes and do homework on your bed.
Your brain creates new pathways associating your bedroom to school activities where over time your rest and sleep would become increasingly disrupted by a prompt to do more work.
Get a quiet, organised area for school that is separate from places you sleep and relax in.
3. Work Smart Not Hard
This is a tip I got from Seniors when I was in my freshman year in college.
It’s one thing to work hard but that doesn’t guarantee good grades.
What exactly is Working Smart?
Working smart in this context simply means zeroing your efforts on things that matter or are more significant.
For school, the first place to find out how to work smart is knowing your professors and their respective assessment standards.
You can get intel from checking out websites like Koofers which give you an idea of the courses, homework and professors you are likely to take and what it takes to succeed.
You can also find past tests, flash cards and student notes from previous students that took your courses.
I highly recommend getting Chegg for past homework questions and exams.
Chegg often would have the questions worked out and you can compare your answers with a marking scheme.
Using practice past exam questions as primary study material is a major key to working and studying smart.
It cuts your study time because it gives you a scope of areas that are important and you learn the exam tricks ahead of time.
In my experience, professors would rarely switch up the questions from previous exams because they have a lot to do with their personal research.
Work smart and ace your exams with ease!
4. Be part of a Study Group
I was one of those people that hated when teachers assigned groups and I had to work on a team for a project.
It can be complicated juggling other people’s schedule, learning pace and project delivery speed.
I later figured out the hidden beauty of group work.
You shouldn’t work as an island and other people’s opinions and involvement in your study process help tremendously.
Study groups reduce your workload as they help study with and for you.
They are also a great resource for study materials and feedback from professors so you know exactly what to expect from tests and exams.
If you are top in your class, being part of a study group benefits you too.
The more you explain a concept, the more you understand it for yourself as many people would ask varying questions to what you present and to answer those questions, you would need to know the material inside out.
Join a study group, it might not be your primary source of learning but I strongly advise it should be included in your arsenal.
5. Get a hobby outside school
Being a student is stressful enough and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the constant workload and impending deadlines.
Hence it’s important to have hobbies and interests outside your major for a breather.
Do something for fun and have a dedicated time for it.
If it’s doing Tik Tok challenges with your friends, schedule it in and do that!
You could also take up a fitness hobby like tennis, figure skating, hockey, swimming, track, gymnastics, yoga etc.
You deserve to have fun, be intentional to take breaks and actively use your free time.
I wish you the very best for the school year!
Share your college tips in the comments below. I would love to hear them.
If you have goals for the academic year and you would love to learn how to achieve them, check out my post on how to create an online vision board.
Till next time! Ciao.