College is an exciting time in your life and vastly different than the life you were used to at home.
At home, you probably had your parents around to guide you and keep you on track: get up in time for school, pick up your dirty clothes, feed your pets, do your homework.
Now you’re in college, living on your own for the first time, meeting new people and having fun.
However, don’t forget that the main reason why your family makes financial efforts to get you there is to acquire knowledge that will help you build a successful career.
Effectively organizing your schedule, especially since your freshman year is essential, will help you achieve good results.
Here are some tips to help you out:
Make a Written Schedule
Keeping track of everything is hard, especially in your freshman year. There are so many courses, teachers and assessments.
There is also the general blend of confusion and excitement that makes it even harder to focus on remembering everything.
To eliminate the risk of forgetting about a project deadline or a class change, write everything down in an agenda.
You don’t actually have to keep a physical one. You probably already have a calendar or an application on your phone that can help you enter your schedule there.
Moreover, you can set reminders to help you keep track of your project’s deadlines and make sure you don’t miss them.
This way, you can rest assured that every important event and course requirement is safely stored in a place where you can easily access this information.
Attend Courses When You are Most Productive
At the moment, you’re used to having classes during the first part of the day, which provides you a certain routine and gives structure to your day.
However, at college, you might have to shift from this type of regular schedule to having courses, virtually, from morning to evening.
While this is helpful for those who love flexibility, for someone who has been used to attending classes from morning till afternoon for the past 12 years, not having to wake up in the morning anymore might be puzzling.
In time, you will get used to it and you will also realize when you can focus more on learning and be able to choose your classes accordingly.
Some students are more focused in the morning and, therefore, should attend classes during this part of the day so they can gain the full benefits of being present both physically and mentally in the classroom.
Others are more focused in the evening and find it easier to understand new concepts and acquire knowledge in the second half of the day.
After your first semester, you will realize which of these categories you fit in and you will be able to choose your schedule more wisely for the following semester.
Take Regular Breaks
Both during your classes and your self-study hours, it is important to take regular breaks. They are necessary in order to help your mind rest for a little bit before you can immerse yourself again in the process of learning.
You cannot read or try to solve problems for hours in a row without at least a few minutes of break after each hour.
If you force your mind to concentrate on a book or project for too long, you risk feeling exhausted at the end of the day and, in the long term, this can affect your productivity. Try to take at least a few-minutes break after each hour of study.
However, avoid exposing yourself to social media or reading the news as these distractions can make your break longer than initially planned.
Ideally, do something else besides reading on your break; go outside to get some fresh air, make tea, or socialize for a bit with your roommate.
Get Enough Sleep
Moreover, don’t forget the importance of getting adequate rest.
Try to sleep for at least 7 hours a night. In your first year at college, you will probably change your sleep pattern, especially if you want to have a social life and go to college parties too.
But don’t worry, in a couple of months, you will learn how to get a good night sleep with a busy schedule.