Hectic mornings, long train rides, sleepy lectures, mind-boggling math classes, confusing relationships, shady individuals, $10 sandwiches — it’s a wonder that we don’t all run away to St. Tropez. College is the first time we start to take our lives into our own hands and face the increasingly confusing and hectic world around us. So what is the secret to being successful and staying true to yourself through it all?
1. Know how to manage your time.
Many of us still don’t quite know how to properly manage our time. Calendars and planners are great tools that can help students keep track of their assignments and other obligations. When you first receive an assignment, it helps to split it up into multiple parts and set deadlines for each part. That way, you’ll never be stuck pulling the dreaded all-nighter. This also applies to studying for tests; nobody wants to read 17 chapters of material the day before the final. It’s also important to take a break when you need it. Study for one hour at a time and then take a few minutes to relax. Listen to some music, talk to a friend, or update your Facebook status (…on second thought, scratch that third option; we all know you’ll spend the next hour stalking your newsfeed and chatting with your friends). It also helps to take a walk and clear your head. If you manage your time properly, you’ll be relatively relaxed the day before a 10-page paper is due, while everyone is scrambling to finish.
2. Don’t give up on yourself.
You’re going to feel frustrated, possibly because of a difficult class, a roller coaster relationship, or a plain old bad hair day. Whatever obstacle or situation comes your way, you have to tell yourself that you’ll get through it. Telling yourself this is the first step to getting past an obstacle. Problems don’t always go away immediately. You have to work and find a way to come out better for it on the other side.
3. Know how to relax.
That’s right — I said relax. This is as important as knowing how to manage your time. Humans are not robots. Take an hour for yourself each day and forget about your GPA, social networking, and how you’re going to pay for grad school; just do something for yourself. This could mean taking a nap, blasting music and doing the Dougie, giving yourself a mani/pedi, going shopping, or watching some trashy TV. Take that time to do whatever makes you feel happy or at peace. During extended vacations, go visit your family or meet up with your old high school friends. See a movie and read a good book. Who knows? Maybe you can even take that trip to St. Tropez!