Surviving College While Juggling Life and Work

We all know the drill – head straight from class to work in a restaurant or shop then go home and shower left with just little time to prepare for the next day’s examination. How do you stay sane in this kind of routine while you are in college? Tough, isn’t it?

Well, college is the stage of learning how to do a balancing act especially when you are working your way to finish school. How will you deal with situation such as this without losing yourself?

1. Organizing

List down all assignments, work schedules and socialization you wish to attend. Forgetting your next day’s quiz is a lame excuse.

2. Label the list according to priorities

Among the items, what are the things you cannot do or survive without? To help you with this, make sure you consider what happens tomorrow or in the future. What are the consequences of your decisions and priorities?

3. Enjoy once in a while

Enjoying leisure time once in a while is your right – there is nothing to be guilty about. Too much of anything is definitely not good and the same is true when you just work and study without going out, catching up on sleep or starting a hobby.

4. Stay healthy

Getting enough sleep, exercising and most of all eating healthy are greatest practices for you to stay alert and ready for the tough days ahead. It prevents you from getting sick and it can combat stress. No matter what, your body is still your biggest investment.

Aiming for Excellence in College Classes

If you are one of the few college students who are aiming for excellence in their classes then you should be aware that it doesn’t include procrastination and in addition you must do the following –

  • Always show up to your classes. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can learn all by yourself. Professors often go over the study materials the next day after giving it the day before. You fail to learn major things if you don’t attend classes specifically topics and ideas you have not quite grasped yet.
  • Look at your instructor’s office hours as your window of opportunity. Many professors are given with office hours to assist students with problems or clarify questions about the study material given. This is your chance of having a tutorial-like discussion with him or her.
  • Always read textbooks. It is bothersome but if you are aiming to excel in your class then you must face this challenge once and for all. Reading textbooks allows you to be ahead of the game and enables you to maximize the learning time you have in class.

Finally, do not forget to take down notes because even when you can’t afford to buy textbooks you can still maximize your learning experience by taking advantage of the information you get from class. It helps you to slowly understand difficult concept which will give you leverage when the examination time comes around. Your notes are the number one weapon you can wield during crunch time.

Best Practices in Taking Notes for College Students

The mere fact that you’re taking down notes means you wanted to retain the information you wrote down. With that said, you should know exactly what you need to write down otherwise you’ll end up with too much garbage in the information you tried to acquire.

  • Identify what’s new to you. There is no point writing down something that you already know. Why will you write down the information you’ve known from the heart?
  • Determine whether your professor will most likely use the information later. Focus on things that directly demonstrate the lesson you’re studying including pertinent names, places and dates.
  • Tricky information. We are well aware that our professors always try to trigger our logical mind by setting out traps and tricky questions in their examination. More often than not, the answers to these traps are given out during their lectures – not in the book. If you are particularly keen about observing such habits then it will be easier for you to crack it down.
  • Side comments. Sometimes, side comments are ignored or considered unnecessary. However, most practical questions and answers can be found on side comments whether during lectures or books.
  • Doubts. Your doubts and questions are the best source of useful information especially when you are faced with a tough exam ahead. There is not a single student in existence without questions about a certain lesson. If you have doubts, write it down and verify it in your research later on.

There is no easier way to face college than to plunge into it headlong.

How to Study and Still have Time for Leisure

Many students make the mistake of thinking that if they study seriously they wouldn’t have enough time for leisure or to do anything they want. If this sounds like you then you’re wrong. There are various ways you can control time as you study so that you still have time for leisure.

  • Identify your goals. Okay, so you have two goals namely – study and leisure. How will you achieve both? Simple – do the 80/20. This means you need to spend 80% studying while 20% is for leisure. Isn’t 20% too small for leisure? Well, this depends on how well you see your priorities. But for serious students 20% is enough.
  • Forget about leisure first if you have some projects to finish. Once the project has been done, you still got more time to spend for leisure before you get stuck in another project again. Don’t get caught between projects. The sooner you start the project and the sooner it’s finished, the earlier you can have your leisure.
  • Spend the 20% leisure if you think you’ve been saturated by school works. However, be reminded that you shouldn’t abuse this freedom to choose when to spend the 20%. You may think it is too small but it is enough to suck you into the world of procrastination.

The only way around college life is to face it head-on. The harder it gets the sweeter it will be in the end.

How to Beat Procrastination in College

Procrastination is a hard habit to break especially when you’re in college. But in order to give you a clue on how you can beat this, try the following advice –

  • Recognize the pattern of procrastination. Since it is a habit, you must be able to recognize when it is happening. No one can do this for you and there is no easy way to do this than becoming conscious of your own habits. Who knows what you will discover in the process?
  • Reward yourself for every project or assignment accomplished. There must be some form of redundancy in your life especially in college. Break this redundant pattern by rewarding yourself to do something different as your prize for completing a task.
  • Try peer pressure. No, this is not the same as what you’re imagining right now. It simply means you need someone to always check up on how you’re doing. Allow them to punish you and be serious with it otherwise this will not work.
  • Identify the sorts of punishment or consequences you will receive if you don’t do the task apart from grades or teacher’s reprimand. It should be grave enough to make you feel pressured. This will stimulate your mind in some way.

In college, your employer is your time – if you want to get a bonus, you need to work hard for it.

Mastering the Art of Time Management

“There is always time for everything.” You might have come across this self-explanatory adage. But, do you really understand what it means? When you are faced with a pile of homework and projects, you will always be overwhelmed and feel like you’re running out of time. Here are some things to help you get things straight –

  • Set your priorities. You’ve probably heard or read this before but seriously – there is no way around this. If you want to master time management, you need to break it into manageable chunks and it starts by setting priorities. List everything that must come first and put the rest down the bottom of the list if you can afford to do them later.
  • Approximate the time according to the level of difficulty. If the particular project or homework needs more time then give it more focus. Do not jump from one project to another just because of time constraint. It will not get you anywhere near finishing that project.
  • Learn how to say no. Yes, it’s better said than done but it does have its own benefits and advantages. It is only by saying no that you can free some of your time to take care of things that you should attend to.

Finally, always do today what you can instead of reserving it for later. Remember that in life, there is no later.

What is involved in Productivity?

Most accomplished and productive people usually have one thing in common which is obsession with completion. When they are faced with projects, it is almost their compulsion to finish the task. If they are faced with a project, they would usually break it into manageable chunks especially when they are organized and systematic.

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Some of them usually go for all-nighters especially when the project is too big to finish in a few sittings. But no matter how big or small the project is they usually get it done on time and in a consistent manner. If you want to be like them, it takes self discipline and hard work but you’ll get there.

However, if you focus on completion, you can finish tasks and projects in due time.

•Create your project list

If you have around 10 projects to complete, number them from 1 to 10 with 1 being the most important and 10 the least important. For example, you can put the project with the nearest deadline as the first priority. You should also label each project basing on their completion criteria. The first five on the list should be the go-list while the second half as the hold-list.

•Check your list daily

Make sure that you are making progress by completing small outlined tasks for the day. Your primary goal should be completing the project even if it means giving it a big push.

•Finish and start

Once you have finished one task, you can now start on a new project. Do not repopulate the list without doing the rest of the projects on the list. You can reload once all 10 have been finished.

You might be wondering whether this works and it does. Doing this kind of system teaches you to develop a trait that will help you become an accomplished student.

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How to Do More and Work Less?

Doing more and working less is simply hard to implement. How then will you make things work out for you without wasting too much of your time? Below are some tips you can use to start working less and be more productive.

  • Always keep track of how much you are actually getting done in a single day. It is common to feel guilty if you have things you need to do and yet you chose to have a lot of fun. Your current and future output when compared should show some increase. If you keep track of the things you actually did, it is easier for you to be more productive and spare time for some leisure.
  • Avoid doing the same thing in one setting. Put some new experiences in between or discover some new methods of doing things so that you wouldn’t fuel the lazy person in you. You can join organizations, start new hobbies or find new challenges that would fuel your imagination and your mind.
  • Know your motivation and keep it. If there are one or two things that can motivate or inspire you to do more, go for it. Not knowing what motivates you in doing something is an easy way to let the boredom creep in. Find a higher purpose why you should attend classes or finish assignments or projects.
  • Sit down and focus on one task in one hour and you’ll realize you have done more than you can when you try to do all things at once in an eight our day.
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How to Be Effective in Taking Down Notes

Focus is the key to taking down notes effectively. Only take down notes that are new to you. What’s the point of writing down the things you already know? Furthermore, take down key points that are relevant and can be used later on. That being said, there are two major things you need to understand when taking down notes namely –

  • New
  • Relevance

Taking down notes effectively means you have actually done the reading yourself. The information you need to take note includes –

  • Dates for your notes to be in chronology and understand the entire event
  • Names for you to associate the events or ideas better
  • Theories which essentially are the main key points
  • Definition of things that is new to you
  • Points of arguments and debates such as pros and cons, criticisms of an idea and both sides of the coin.
  • Illustrations and exercises

There are still things you need to take down. If your professor hardly writes on board then everything he writes in there should be written down unless the information is deemed self-evident or known. Also, listen to what your professor is saying. Anything relevant to the subject or topic that is not found in any printed document, text or books should be written down.

Your classmates may give information that is relevant as well. Try to capture their comments or questions. This will help you understand the entire topic later on.

Lastly, write down all your questions as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor and get you the answers you need.

How to Save Time Going to School

It seems everybody just love to cram. You see students early in the morning running around in their homes trying to get everything in their bag as if it looks like trash ready to be thrown at the bin. How do you avoid going through all that mess and save time going to school?

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•Wake up 30 minutes to 1 hour early. Alright, this might be a hard task to do especially when you’ve been into a long vacation but your body will get the hang of it as time passes. If you wake up early it means accomplishing tasks early.

•Prepare your clothes at night. If you are attending a school that doesn’t wear uniforms, you should plan what you should wear in the morning. This way, you save time going to school instead of ravaging through your closet or end up wearing you are not comfortable with.

•Prepare meals or snacks. If you pack your snacks and prepare them at home, you don’t need to waste time waiting in line to get your food in a restaurant. You can just eat at some isolated place at school with your friends or alone – you decide.

•Schedule your research day and avoid going to the library unnecessarily. Fit the research day into your weekly schedule and don’t leave the library unless you managed to get all info you need.

These are just some of the things that will let you save time when you attend college. Is there anything more you want to add on this list?

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