Back to Basics: Tips to Stay On Track This Semester

Rebecca Pollard, Culture Editor 

Coming back to school has a lot of positives. We’re all back with our friends, living in a community that is made specifically for our age group. We’re a stone’s throw away from a Starbucks with the friendliest staff of all time, and everyone’s declining dollars are replenished from last semester. Fridays and Saturdays are much more eventful in Oneonta than at home, and your mom can’t stay up until you get back at night.

That being said, there are also challenges to getting back into the swing of it. Summer is for relaxing; no alarms, no agendas, no problems. Semesters are for achieving; classes, assignments, tests, events, and jobs. Here are some tips to help all students get back into the routine of attending college.

Set alarms. Figure out when you need to be up for class daily, and set the alarm at a reasonable time so that you’re set for the semester. It’s an easy way to ensure that you’re getting up when you need to be. There are little to no professors who are willing to help out the kid who never showed up for class.

Stay in a semi-stable routine. This doesn’t mean every hour of each day has to be the same or planned, but sticking to a general routine most certainly has its upsides. In fact, according to the University of Maine’s website, research shows that all of the most successful people in their area of study follow daily routines. This means getting up at the same time every day, studying during a certain time daily, or working out in specific blocks of time throughout the week.

Your agenda should always be by your side. Assigning a different color or symbol for different types of tasks will help you stay organized. For example, put assignments in blue, tests in pink, and appointments in yellow. Keeping everything you need to do tucked away in one little notebook is a sure way to not forget about your first test, your doctor’s appointment, or your sibling’s birthday.

Never underestimate the power of lists. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, jotting down everything you need to do and being able to physically cross it off one task at a time is a powerful tool. Whether it’s reading, writing, or laundry, it’ll feel great knowing it’s done (and going through it will alleviate your stress).

Finally, don’t work yourself up too much. Stress and anxiety seem to be every college student’s BFF, but they’re never actually helpful, so do what you can to avoid them. Make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself. People say that in college you have to either give up sleep, your social life, or your grades. That’s absolutely not true. All of it is doable, but like anything else in life, you have to do everything in moderation. Don’t run yourself ragged.

Calendar page, pen and pocket planner

Welcome back everyone! Keep your eyes on the prize (your degree, hopefully, is what you view as the prize) and you’ll do just fine.

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