Many of us thought college was about having fun while getting our degree. What we didn’t consider was just how stressful balancing homework, a job, friends, and sleep could be. Below are 6 tips to help you increase academic efficiency and decrease stress.
Keep an Agenda: An agenda book is the perfect place to keep track of everything you have to do. Whenever a teacher mentions an assignment, write it, and the date it’s due, in your agenda. Also, remember to check Canvas; some teachers may not discuss an assignment in class because it’s available in detail online! Doing this will give you a single place to look to when you finally sit down to start your homework, only to realize you forgot what pages you were supposed to read for your 8am. Never have that thought of “I feel like I’m forgetting to do something” again!
Make a To-Do List: Having all your assignments written in your agenda is helpful, but can be overwhelming to look at. Make a list of everything you have to get done in a day or week, checking off each one once it is completed. Doing this helps ensure you won’t accidentally skip over an assignment. It may be especially helpful to write your list in order of priority or due date. That way, if you just can’t bring yourself to finish the last assignment on your list, you know it will be okay if you push it to tomorrow.
Take Time Off: Even with a busy day, week, or semester, it is important to give yourself a break. Leaving a dedicated amount of time each day or week to play video games, read a book, watch Netflix, hang out with friends, or do whatever it is you do to relax will give you time to destress and focus on something other than homework. It may be best to make this time at night so that after a long day you can go to bed relaxed, not worrying about your classes and homework.
Don’t Neglect Your Body: School is important, but you’re still going to be walking around in your body long after you get your degree, so don’t forget to get enough food, sleep, and exercise. Receiving the proper nutrition, ensuring you get an adequate amount of sleep every night (7- hours), and staying active will prepare your body and mind for another long day and keep you from feeling groggy and fatigued.
Bonus tip: We all know it can be hard to find a nutritious and appetizing meal at Huden, so start taking daily vitamins to help make up for some nutrients you may be lacking.
Be Kind To Yourself: We all occasionally do poorly on a test or paper, but it’s important not to dwell on it. One less-than-perfect grade will not ruin your GPA, so don’t let it ruin your day. Accept when you didn’t do as well as you wanted to, try to find what you know you can do well on, and adjust your habits accordingly to improve your future grades.
Use Your Resources: Castleton has provided countless resources to ensure our success, but they can only help if you use them. The Academic Support Center, Wellness Center, professors’ office hours, your friends, and the various clubs and events you find around campus are only a few of the resources available to help you through academic and psychological struggles, so take advantage of them!
Alyssa Ezell is a junior at Castleton University majoring in Psychology. She is a member of the Random Acts of Kindness Club and enjoys helping others whenever possible. Alyssa was born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts, but loves studying here in Vermont.