This post might be a few weeks late, as many of you are already back in school. And surely you’re all feeling what everyone else is feeling, summer went by in a blink. For some of you, that’s okay – you’re ready to start a new year. For others, the thought of going back to school brings anxiety, and that’s a very normal thing. However, managing it can be tough if you don’t have the tools to keep manage it. College brings new and unexpected challenges, and the ones you don’t see coming, can interfere with your success, but only if you let it.
Let’s start with the hardest part about starting a new year of school: finding balance. My father told me, shortly before I spent my first night in my college dorm – “If I can offer any advice, find the balance between school and everything else, you’ll do just fine.” Wow. I thought, piece of cake! I conquered high school without too much stress. Good grades, participated in sports, and joined a few clubs. College, however, stress came at me from all sides, and here’s why.
College is NOT high school. It’s hard and in order to succeed, you need to be disciplined. Your professors expect a lot because you need to know a lot to be successful in the real world. Some may think otherwise, but I know this from experience. I didn’t find that balance my father spoke of until I was a junior! I didn’t know how to schedule, well, my life! I wasn’t organized and just got lost in the fun and freedom. That’s not to say I didn’t do my homework or go to class. I did both, but I could have done it better if I had just balanced school with “everything else.” Saving anything until the last minute rarely goes well, and by the time I started my junior year, I examined my balancing act (rather, the lack thereof) and thought, college is pretty darn amazing. I have all these resources; i.e., libraries, clubs, super smart professors, many of which were oddly funny, and an entire campus that is full of learning opportunities. To be clear, this epiphany didn’t happen all at once, but over a long summer – the only summer that ever felt never-ending.
So those new and unexpected challenges I mentioned earlier? If you’re balancing your responsibilities as a student, a friend, a worker, or a caregiver, in a way that also gives you time to breathe; you’ll do just fine. Starting on a project or prepping for a test a little bit each day, can do wonders. Organization is key and keeping a detailed schedule can also do wonders. Prepping is mandatory for finding balance. And I’ve got a entire list of tips to help you manage your time so prepping becomes second nature! My next post will cover all the tips you could possibly need to find that balance to help you thrive and succeed!