Okay, so I’m finally in the acceptance stage that college life is over, but I have also accepted that I have a well of knowledge that most definitely needs to be shared.
I was that college freshman that decided not to follow the pack of the 200 or so people I graduated with from high school to the normal choices. I honestly wanted to be as far away from my hometown as possible. There were far too many memories there – more bad than good – and I wanted a place where I could meet new people.
Fast-forward to five years later and I can definitely say that I accomplished what I wanted to do. I’ve graduated college with a degree in something I truly believe in – even if it is taking a little while to find a job in my desired field. I joined an amazing women’s fraternity. I made a lot of new friends, some that I’m completely sure that I will be in contact with the rest of my life.
But with all the above, comes an extremely great responsibility: learning to juggle a social life, a sorority life, and college course work. Because without the three of these working in a type of harmony, college life can and will be a bit of a drag. I totally speak from experience. I spent much of my first semester in my room majority of the time just because I didn’t have a lot of friends on campus and I was having an extremely rough first semester.
I hadn’t had to study in high school so I was having a rough time adjusting because things usually just came to me after hearing a lecture and taking notes in high school. It also didn’t help that some of my professors would be extremely helpful while others literally acted as if every word out of my mouth was stupidity at its finest. Or that when my fall semester schedule was first made no one listened to me about what classes I really needed to take and I was forced into courses I wasn’t ready for. It was extremely aggravating but slowly things got better.
The spring semester brought classes that I was actually interested in and I started to slowly find my way of studying. I was able to get out of my room more because I was on the other side of sorority recruitment. I was being dragged out, sometimes just having sisters randomly stop by and drag me out of my room. Not that I ever minded. I slowly go into a rhythm and by the fall of my sophomore year, I was thriving at college. I’d found my system and it worked. Now everyone can’t use the same system of checks and balances that I did, but incorporating the ideas into your schedule can definitely help.
Step One: Schedule Me Time
This was the hardest one for me to actually find. Between the amounts of homework piled on a student depending upon the amount of hours they’re taking during a semester, it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Scheduling a bit of me time, even if it’s just an hour to read a book to yourself or paint your nails or work on a craft. Just a little time to focus on something that makes you happy will make all the difference.
Step Two: Schedule Time With Your Friends
This is yet another hard one. But the best way to make this happen is the following suggestion list:
- Schedule a weekly brunch date with your group. Even if it’s just to go eat at the school cafeteria, schedule it weekly. It’s the same time every week and there’s not need to change it.
- Send a text and see who’s available for lunch. You can always meet up for lunch on campus and eat together. Doesn’t matter if it’s for ten minutes or thirty minutes. You can all get caught up on what’s going on or just gossip about the latest episode of the show you all watch.
- Schedule a movie night at least once every other week. Each person can bring a movie and the group can take a vote on which one to watch or you can rotate who picks the movie each time you all hang out.
- Study groups. You’re bound to have friends who are in the same classes as you. Have a study group with them. Or better yet if you don’t have classes with them, then you can still study together. I did it all the time with sorority sisters. We’d just grab a room in our study building and just sit and study together.
The list can go on and on, but these few can help to get you on a path that might just help.
Step Three: Sorority Life and how it fits
Okay so obviously not everyone is going to go Greek. But let me tell you, the sooner you know your Greek life schedule, the sooner you can get on a good rotation. I’m not just talking about your specific Greek affiliation, I’m talking about Greek life in general. Typically even your Greek Life group knows about what’s going on in advance and they inform everyone of dates. Keep a planner with all the dates in them, it will help you in the long run – especially when you’re counting down the fun stuff. It will also help you because you can tell yourself when homework has to be done so you don’t have to worry about it during an event.
Step Four: Stop Procrastinating
I know practice what you preach. It took me a while to break this habit. Trust me, I still do this even out of college, but I’ve gotten much better about it. My trick was to tell myself that if I wanted to go out with the girls to a party on Thursday night then I had to have all homework that was due that night or the days after done before we went out Thursday night. Think of it as rewarding yourself. You tell yourself something that you want to do. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be getting to binge watch your favorite show! All you have to do is say “I want to do this. I have to get this done.” You get the homework or studying done and then you get to reward yourself with a treat. It also can lead to your grades going up because you’re more focused on getting it done.
With these tips in mind, make sure you find something that works for you. You don’t have to use what I suggested specifically, but definitely keep these steps in your bag of tricks. You might be surprised how well they save you from having a miserable semester.