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I’m a well-known busy bee amongst my circle of humans. It appears as though I am always biting off more than I can chew. Personally, I love to stay busy. Don’t get me wrong, I love throwing in lazy days here and there, if and when I’m able to. Keeping so busy has taught me many important lessons, especially with managing college! At one point, I was taking 21 credits, working full-time, volunteering, helping out with my new niece and nephew, and balancing my personal relationships. Of all people, I understand that school, in general, seems impossible sometimes.
Fear not, for I have compiled my biggest life-saving tips that kept me as sane as possible while in college because let’s be real — we’re all human.
1. Realize It Is Not For Everyone
As someone who has paid a lot of money for a degree, that might sound odd. I think people overlook the importance of jobs that don’t require a Bachelor’s degree: Lineman, Surgical Technologist, Welders, Plumbers, and Medical Assistants. Of course, there’s many more jobs than that too!
The thing is: school is very expensive and strenuous. If it’s not your thing, that’s OK! Our society needs to do a better job at promoting trades! Now, I’m not telling you to drop out halfway through your senior year but I am saying that if you are still deciding if college is the right choice, just take some time to think about it. Consider enrolling in a community college rather than a state university, which typically far less expensive. Find an apprenticeship. Gain some real work experience. Then you can decide if college is worth it. You can be in a well-paying and respected industry without a degree, and no one should think less of you for it.
2. Invest In A Planner
To me, a planner can be the difference between success and failure. If you do feel like college is the right path for you, it’s time to learn how to stay organized. We’re all human and in college, there’s no way to just remember everything. I would highly advise you to not rely on memorization for your to-do list. Figure out what you need and what works with your lifestyle. For example, I’m really picky about having a book-style binding. If I have the metal twisty ones, they tend to wear down and fall apart from being thrown around so much. I also like to have a weekly view so I can write down my schedule each day! I also try to write down EVERYTHING that I can think of that needs accomplished so that nothing gets forgotten. With that, it’s important to form a habit of actually checking your planner every day. Set an alarm if you have trouble with this!
3. Keep To-Do Lists
My planner has a weekly view on the left. On one side of the left page, I write down school or personal things. On the other, I write down important work reminders. On the right page, it has a notes section, a to-do list, reminders, and my goals for the week.
Generally, I have a daily to-do list and a weekly to-do list. My daily one revolved more around school and appointments while my weekly one was more goal-oriented! I also like to re-write my daily lists often. Physically writing them down again helps remind me of what I have for that day.
4. Get Over Your Mistakes
I let things brew and get to me. Once, I missed a quiz and was so disappointed in myself. I hadn’t written it in my planner and spaced it until it was too late. Just calm down, realize it’s not the end of the world, and email your professor. I have found that being honest helps so much. Most professors have been around a long time and can sense when someone is lying. They also realize that mistakes do happen. Let them know that you made an error and take full responsibility. Ask if there is any chance you can re-take it. If not, thank them anyway and move on.
5. Ask For Help
When you are busy and getting overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness, I promise. Everyone knows that college is difficult. They don’t expect you to get through it without a mental breakdown here and there. It’s completely normal to feel stressed out sometimes. If you feel like it’s not, I would highly advise you to speak with a counselor, therapist, or trusted friend. College is not worth damaging your mental health!
6. Remember It Is Temporary
If you do choose to go to college, you will not feel like this forever. However, it will be worth it in the end. Your degree is something that no one can ever take away from you!