Back to School: 2015 Edition

BY MARK COUCH

When summer ends and you start packing all of your possessions into your parents’ minivan, it means it’s time to start the new school year. For many students, it also means that it is time to get back to the grind of stressful hours of note-taking, homework, papers and more. But it does not have to be all stress and no fun. There are many easy ways to organize and manage your workload so that you can have a successful year without feeling stressed.

1. GET ORGANIZED: Homework is extremely important in college. Falling behind on it can leave you behind in lectures and, even worse, unprepared for exams. A must-have for college students to keep up with their homework is a simple calendar or planner. You can track when all of your assignments are due—and there’s no better feeling than crossing off a task in your planner after you’ve completed it.

2. STUDY SPACE/STUDY GROUP: Studying with a group is an easy way to manage all of your work and a way to get out there and meet people. It can be hard to study in your dorm room because of all of the distractions: TV, video games, your bed. Instead, find a nice quiet corner in the library or in your dorm lounge to study, and you’ll be a lot more productive. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about an assignment, ask the person next to you if they’d like to work on the assignment together. Not only can you get your homework done, you can also create a friendship. Those study sessions may soon turn into dinners in the cafeteria and hanging out in the dorms, so study hard with your new friends.

3.  EAT WELL/EXERCISE: We’ve all heard stories about the Freshman Fifteen, and, with St. Norbert’s unlimited-swipe meal plans, it can be hard to resist eating pizza and ice cream between every class. In order to keep those extra pounds off and be more successful, try to stick to healthier options in the cafeteria. Using the Campus Center’s fitness center to stay active will have you feeling more awake and focused during class. You’ll also stay in better shape, which will have you feeling much better.

4. SLEEP: Arguably the most important but most often ignored way of being successful in college is getting enough sleep. It’s tempting to stay up playing video games with your roommates, watch Netflix or cram for your biology exam. However, staying up late comes at a cost. Most people know that eight hours of sleep is what you should be trying to get each night, and that may seem hard to achieve for a college student. However, instead of staying up late every night, try to get to bed early, even if it’s just a few minutes earlier than usual. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized the next day. Soon, you’ll establish a routine that will have you feeling ready to take on the day every morning.

These are just four of the many simple ways to lead a successful collegiate life both in and out of the classroom as you head back to school.

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