Concentrate on what's important
to survive college life
By Megan Sonderegger
March 28, 2006 | When the dark circles underneath
students' eyes become even darker, showering becomes
a time-wasting task, the popular place to hang out becomes
the library/computer lab and lighthearted conversation
turns to blank stares followed by absent-minded gestures
of understanding, I know the end of school is looming
I, like many Utah State students, am a hard-working
student trying to get through the chaos of college with
the experience needed to compete in the work force,
as well as presentable grades. Sometimes my efforts
are successful and sometimes they fail miserably, leading
me to the ultimate question: How am I going to survive
In contemplating this question several times throughout
my educational experience I have come to recognize a
helpful organizational pattern, and in sharing this
advice, could help those of you who are developing complexes
due to stress.
Organize your tasks
Between studying, work, extracurricular activities,
and social dates, confusing priorities is common and
understandable. Make sure you realize which of your
activities is the most important and prioritize accordingly.
If you have a huge test on Friday you may not want to
spend Thursday night at club NVO.
Make a list
After organizing your thoughts, make a clear list
of all the things you need to accomplish during the
day. Never allow yourself to procrastinate from the
list, make sure you accomplish everything you have written
down before you let anything interfere with your original
plan. Make sure to check everything off the list as
you finish the tasks listed. Besides the satisfaction
of drawing a line through your accomplished goals this
allows you time to form a reward after you've completely
After accomplishing the goals established on your
list allow yourself time for leisure. Relax. Whatever
it is you want to do you will feel better doing it after
you've finished the things you know you need to do.
Taking time to reward yourself is a necessity in order
to maintain a healthy and motivated lifestyle.
Stay ahead of schedule
If you're always ahead you'll never have to worry
about getting caught up right? Staying ahead of the
game will always benefit you. If something comes up
and you have to change your plans slightly you'll be
able to avoid anxiety attacks because you'll have allotted
yourself plenty of time to allow for mistakes in your
Give yourself the weekend
School days means school days. Try and do everything
required of you before the weekend rolls around, this
allows for a nice long break. Everybody needs a break.
If you're constantly studying your brain becomes strained
and will not function to the best of its ability. A
weekend off is needed in every college students life.
Once the weekend is over you will have the motivation
to start afresh and will be able to accomplish more.
Just say no
As a student everybody has unending opportunities
to do more. Remember, although you have the opportunity
to do more doesn't mean you have to do more. Saying
no can be challenging but saying yes and trying to balance
everything required of you is even more challenging.
Learn to say no.
Allow others to help you
When someone offers to help you the natural reaction
is to thank them, shrug it off and continue in your
bitter quest to do everything "all by yourself." Avoid
the pity party and allow others to help you, they want
which is why they offered.
Ultimately the purpose of college is to gain knowledge
and understanding in subjects of interest to you. Don't
focus so much on grades just try to focus on gaining
as much knowledge as possible and the grades will come.
College is a once in a lifetime experience, although
it can at time be stressful and demanding take advantage
and appreciate the opportunity because you'll probably
never get it again.