For all the soon to be freshman getting overwhelmed by college for silly reasons. So here’s my advice:
1) Get Organized. Buy a planner before you start school. When you get your syllabus for a class, write the entire thing in your planner. Every date, every assignment, every project. It is a life saver and will keep you from feeling disorganized.
2) Designate study time. In school, I had (have) 8 hours of classes every day of the week, every year. At the end of my day, I would sit in the library or a coffee shop, look at my planner, decide what needed to be done that day, and write it down. Write it down to the minute if you have to. Even if you think you don’t have anything due the next day, sit down and get organized anyway. Every single day.
3) Don’t waste your own time. You might have a paper assigned a month in advance. If you have all the resources necessary to complete the assignment, do it as soon as you can. One of my classes had a term paper every semester. I would spend a sunday collecting resources, writing an outline, and pounding that thing out, almost four weeks in advance. Then I could come back to it later to revise, edit, etc. It will make your life easy, I promise. Even the toughest assignments can be drafted in a day, or even a few hours. Some of my peers brag about staying up all night the night before this thing is due, and they sound like idiots. Don’t be an like them.
Some other small things…
- Buy the APA style guide. Professionalism is everything.
- Get a tutor if you need one.
- Scan handouts from your classes and organize them to use in the future.
- Keep all major assignments somewhere you can get to them easily.
- Talk to and email your professors.
- Don’t buy books until syllabus week.
- Check your email. Check your email. Check your email.
- Check Blackboard or equivalent.
- Don’t make excuses.
If you can’t concentrate, get it out of your system. Take a nap, see a movie, go get lunch. It’s not worth the stress of trying to work if you just can’t do it right that second. Taking breaks is okay. If you do these things, you’ll succeed plain and simple.