time management

Stress Management Tips

April 3, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

We all have those times in our lives that we are so overwhelmed with homework, work, and life that we are full of stress and it feels like the stress is not going to end and that you will have a panic attack. College students get overly stressed during two times in a semester: during midterms and finals. Some procrastinate to avoid the stress of work and some do not and in the end just get more stress for procrastinating. Since not everyone manage their stress the same way here are a few methods to lessen stress of being a college students.

Time Management

Time Management!

Time Management: If you are bad at time management then you are adding unnecessary stress to you daily lives. Managing your time to know what you need to do and by when is important to avoid stress and have a stress free time. Get a planner, this will help you organize your daily lives and have a better sense of how your day would look like so that there would not be any surprises. Personally, I do not like planners, I can never keep up with writing in the planner, so I just take a sheet of paper and write the major assignments and events that are due in the next few days. I cross them out as I get them done and repeat the same steps. To some people this might not work because it can lead me to procrastinate a lot, but I still get my work done.

Take Breaks: This is the best method to avoid stress and manage it. Take as much breaks as you need, even if it takes a longer time to get the work done. School is important, but not as important as taking care of yourself. So you should treat yourself to ice cream, talking with friend, or watching TV. This will help reduce your stress. Just a warning: this may also lead to some people to procrastinate a lot, so it depends on why type of person you are and if you are able to control yourself from procrastinating.

Go For a Walk: If you want to relax and have a clear mind to start doing work and reduce stress then going for a walk is always the best way. Going for a walk helps the mind and body relax. Moving in general helps the mind be more focus and active. Using this methods as stress management is the best way along with other activities that requires movements. It is also possible that if you live at home and have a dog, you can take your dog for a walk and it will distract you from your work, so when you get back to doing your work you will be more focus.

 There are many ways to manage your stress when you are in college. Let’s be honest, everyone has different methods of reducing stress or managing your stress. There are others that cannot and procrastinate so that is when these methods of relaxing come in handy.  

A Week in the Life: College Student Edition

August 27, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

calendar

Every college student’s schedule is going to be completely different from another’s–we all have weird, hectic rosters with strange class times and part-time jobs. College is different from high school in that classes will almost never be all back-to-back. Classes tend to be longer, and you will likely have a break between some of your classes. Plus, you’ll almost never encounter a class that you go to every day of the week– you might attend any given class anywhere from 1-4 days per week.

This upcoming Fall semester, my schedule is definitely a bit weird. I opted to load my Tuesdays and Thursdays with most of my classes (3 classes/day) and have one long 3-hour class on Mondays. With this schedule, I have Wednesday and Friday completely open, as well as Monday mornings. I created my schedule like this so that I would have time for a second job. Check out what my weeks will be like this semester to get a taste of what college life can be like!

Monday:

10:00-2:00: Schoolwork and free time

Unless I am asked to work at my second job, I will probably let myself sleep in and then either get work done, head to the gym, or work on my hobbies (sewing and knitting projects)

2:00-5:00: Class – “Fundamentals of Journalism”

This 3-hour long (ugh!) class is a required writing class for all journalism majors and minors. Since I have declared journalism as my minor, I have to take this class before I graduate. Here’s to hoping that my professor lets us out early some days!

5:00-8:30: Work

Both last year and this year, I received Work-study funding in my financial aid package. Work-study is a fantastic opportunity, as it is guaranteed part-time work where all the bosses understand and sympathize with your busy schedule. Work-study jobs tend to be between 5-20 hours per week, with most clocking in at 10 or 12. My job is a position as a tutor at the Intergenerational Literacy Program, a program at a school in Chelsea, MA that provides ESOL classes to adults and children.

8:30-midnight: Dinner and homework

After I get home from work, I will definitely be making myself dinner in my new apartment and getting to work on papers and readings that are due that week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays:

9:30-11:00: Class – “Topics in Film and Literature”

My first class of the day is an hour and twenty minutes long (professors at Boston University let students out 10 minutes before class is scheduled to end, to give students time to get to their next class if they have back-to-back classes. This class is an English elective that counts towards my English major. We’ll be assigned various novels to read and movies to watch, which we will then discuss in class.

11:00-12:30: Class – “History and Principles of Journalism”

Immediately after my English class, I will head to my second journalism class. This one is a large lecture-style class that is another requirement for my journalism minor. I have been told that is a basic history class that mostly requires memorization of facts, dates, and names.

12:30-2:00: Lunch

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busy days, so after two classes, I’ll want to take a break to eat a good meal and relax for a bit before my third and final class of the day.

2:00-3:30: Class – “British Literature I”

Brit. Lit. is a mandatory course for English majors that is broken into two parts–in the Fall, you take Part 1 and in the Spring you take Part 2. Part 1 is Medieval and 16th-17th century texts–not the most exciting topic, but I’ll manage!

5:00-8:30: Work or Rehearsal

On Tuesdays, I will go to my work-study job again, but on Thursdays, I don’t work–instead, I will use the time to do homework, eat a good dinner, or attend a play rehearsal/work on costumes for my theatre group.

Wednesday:

No classes on Wednesdays! I plan to use this day to work at my second job at a retail clothing store.

7:15-8:30: Work seminar

On Wednesday nights, I will attend a mandatory meeting for my work-study job. This meeting is for all the tutors to catch up and get mini lessons in how to best tutor our students.

Thursday:

Thursday is almost exactly the same as Tuesday — see above!

Friday:

Another day without classes! Fridays will also be devoted to my second job. Friday nights will be filled with attending club meetings or seeing friends.

Saturday:

After such a crazy week, I’m going to want some time off! I’ll likely use Saturday afternoons to do some homework, but then use the rest of the evening and night to go out and see friends.

Sunday:

Sunday tends to be homework/catch-up day for most college students. After Friday and Saturday nights out, we all need a day to relax at home and get work done.

Time Management: How To Make It Your Best Friend

July 24, 2014 in Academics, Campus Life, Career, Colleges

Time Management

Time Management

Freshman year of college is the year when you learn that the way you did work in high school isn’t going to fly anymore. Most people find out pretty early on that time-management is not on their side. But deadlines and due dates come up fast and writing and submitting that ten page paper at the last minute is risky business. So how do you make time management your best friend? Here are some tips:

  • Make a checklist. I’ve mentioned this in a previous article because it is so important. But, this time, include personal time limits and deadlines for yourself. Have a reading assignment? Assign yourself a time frame for it. If you have a goal to work toward, you’ll get more done and procrastinate less.
  • Set priorities. Some people work backwards and do what’s due last, first. Some people take a bunch of different assignments that are due relatively soon and skip around so the work load doesn’t get too boring. Set out what you think needs to be done first and find the method that works best for you.
  • Keep a calendar. Having to skip a fun evening out because you forgot you had a paper due two days ago is never a good feeling. Get a calendar and mark it up as much as possible. Write anything and everything and refer to it multiple times a day. I recommend a giant wall calendar but you can use any format for this. Go a step further and use a giant calendar for your room and the calendar on your phone so you can have your schedule on-the-go!
  • Do not over-schedule. Over-scheduling is one of the biggest time no-no’s. When it comes to setting out a daily schedule, some people honestly believe that they can finish 300 pages of reading in less than hour and make it to their club meetings on time. Be realistic with your schedule. If you don’t have time for something, you don’t have time for it.
  • Turn off the social media. I’m as guilty of checking Facebook every five seconds as the next person, maybe even more so! But, every time you check Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., you’re not doing your work. Minutes on social media turn to hours on social media. Before you know it, it’s 11 PM and you’ve got just about nothing done. Time to re-evaluate.
  • Leave the friend group. Momentarily, of course! Face it, you’re not getting anything done. Socializing is important in college, but so is getting your degree. As a Communication Studies major, I’m responsible for a lot of reading assignments. Math and science homework can be done in somewhat noisy settings. Writing, to a certain extent, can be done when you’re in a room that’s less than quiet. Reading cannot be done in a noisy environment. If you’re surrounded by noise and you’ve just read the same line over again, it’s time to find a quiet space

These are just a few of the ways you can strengthen your time management skills. The most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone works differently. Try these things out and see what works for you.

Relaxing, Time Management, and HabitRPG

March 15, 2014 in Academics, Campus Life, Health

Regardless of major, school, extracurriculars, or work schedule, everyone experiences stressful periods in college. This semester my roommates are surprised if I make it home before midnight. I was dividing my time between class, work, and a chair in the library that might as well have my name on it.

On days like Tuesday and Thursday when I have no free hour between 9.00 AM and 10 PM, I still squeeze in quick relaxing tricks to get me through the day.

1. Prepare prepare prepare. waking up a half hour early to make a sandwich for lunch or pop a bagel in the toaster isn’t a huge hassle compared to having only coffee for breakfast. If you don’t live in a dorm where there’s easy access to a toaster or food, swoop into the dining hall before class and grab a muffin and fruit to go. While it might be frowned upon in some schools to take food out of the dining halls, most places will let you get away with small things. And if you have a travel mug, bring that and take advantage of the coffee and tea.

2. Chai can solve everything

In the afternoon when it’s not quite dinner and there’s two hours left of class, a hot chai tea is my solution to everything. Don’t phase out the afternoon snack just because you graduated high school, it’s a good boost at a time of day when you could really use a nap. Try to stick to healthy things though: you’ll have more energy for the evening.

3. Laugh. I’m serious. joke with your professors, with your co workers, and with your friends when you pass each other in the halls. Laughing can really take the edge off of a long day.

4. When I’m done with class and work and I end up in my familiar chair in the library, it’s usually pretty late, and I usually have a day’s worth of homework to get done in a few hours. This kind of crunch time is where relaxing is the most necessary (otherwise I’d never have gotten through Kant’s writing on the sublime). Set goals like: read ten pages of the reading, write the outline for the essay, write the introduction, complete the work cited, etc. Tiny chunks seem less tedious than the whole task. In between all that, put in micro rewards. For instance: finished the essay introduction? Have an apple. (most of my relaxing techniques are food based in case that wasn’t clear). Finished the essay or the reading? How bout a larger goal, like one round of Candy Crush or a 20 minute TV show (F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is my preferred).

5. If you’re bad at managing time (which I am) and bad at sticking to the reward system of relaxation during studying (which I also am) then here’s a FREE thing that will do it for you. HabitRPG is a system I was introduced to at the end of midterms and it was the reason my friends were five times less stressed than me. If you’ve ever wanted to combine video game with study session this is the perfect way. You design daily tasks, to do lists, and habits to complete and the game will help you stick to that schedule. Every time I complete a task, I get points, every time I do a bad habit, like sleeping in on a monday, I lose health. If I get enough coins, I can by my avatar a sword or I can buy myself one of my rewards (F.R.I.E.N.D.S. costs me 10 coins). Check it out and try it for a week or two. It could very well be exactly what you’re looking for.

My HabitRPG home screen

My HabitRPG home screen. Perfect for people with complicated schedules, and poor time management

School and Work: A Balancing Act

October 11, 2013 in Academics, Alive Campus, Career

Studying is important!

Studying is important!

Many full-time college students have part-time jobs, including myself, but it is often hard for any student, even the most put together and organized, to balance school and work. I work three days a week and take 16 credits of classes (a full class schedule). Because of this, I’ve really learned to manage my time well and stop procrastinating (the curse to all college students). But, this means less free time and definitely less sleep. Yes, the less sleep part really stinks. Below are a few words of wisdom from me – a girl who struggled to balance school and work but now has it all figured out!

1. Always remember that school comes first

I know that I often would rather be working or going to club meetings, but studying for exams and writing papers is far more important. And if you feel like you aren’t getting all of your schoolwork done, think about cutting back hours at work because schoolwork does come first.

2. Work on the weekends

Yes, you’ll sometimes miss out on going out with your friends, but the weekends are less stressful than the weekdays and you’ll most likely not be doing schoolwork the entire weekend so why not work! Now, don’t give up all of your weekend days/nights because then you’ll go crazy and not have any free time. And, having SOME free time is important.

3. Find a job that you (actually) like

Finding a job in college can be hard, but there are almost always places hiring. If you work in retail, but would rather work in customer service – keep looking and find something in customer service! If you don’t enjoy your job or don’t like the people that you work with, you’ll be miserable every time you have to work and you don’t want that! Find something that you like to do with cool people and the job won’t seem too bad.

4. Remember that you’re making money

Many college students like to think of themselves as “poor” college students. So remember, that if you have a job that’s extra money for you to spend on food, going out with friends, traveling, etc. And, it’s always nice to have your own income going into your bank account.

5. Don’t overdo it

As I’ve already said, don’t take on what you can’t handle. Some students can handle a full class schedule and working five times a week – but most students can’t. Make it clear to your boss that you can only work ___ number of days (depending on how many days you want and can handle) because you are a full-time student as well. That’s not to say that you should skimp out or not commit to your job, because it is important.

I think that having a job in college is so essential – it teaches students time management and gives them real world experience. But, if the student can’t handle the time commitment of being a full-time college student and having a part-time job, then he or she shouldn’t have a job. In my opinion, school comes first. Always. And in the end, focusing on school will land a student a better job after graduation.