social life

College Student Probs: How to Have a Smooth Semester

Juggling an 18-hour semester and other commitments –and sustaining a social life- has led me to hone my time-managing skills more than ever. Although I have more commitments than before, I still have free time and am no more stressed than when I didn’t have as many obligations.

Whether you think you’re doing okay, struggle with getting things done on time, or know you should do better but lack motivation, I’d like to share some things that have been extremely helpful to me in making the semester –specifically, classes-smoother and bearable. They may add some hours to your day:

• Use a planner- It can be a notepad, agenda, or phone app. The important thing is that you can organize your thoughts and look ahead to future assignments and other things you don’t want to forget, like grocery items to buy or a friend’s birthday. It also feels good to cross out or delete items once you complete them.

• Do the easy things first- Let’s say you have three assignments; one is busy work that will take 15 minutes, the other is a 20-page reading assignment, and the third is a packet of calculus problems. Let’s also say that the calculus problems will be the most challenging and time consuming for you. If you tackle these problems first, you’ll be a little worn out by the time you try to get to the other assignments. Instead, start with the easiest and knock those out first. That way, you don’t feel like you have that much left to do since you’re moving fairly quickly. Also, if you do run out of time, you would have less you didn’t do, instead of things you know you could have done like simple busy work.

• Work on projects a few days before they’re due- Never put off a project until the night before it’s due—or the day it’s due for that matter. Make sure you read directions in advance so that you can ask the professor any questions you have. Then you can feel more confident about what you’re doing. Also, separate portions of the project you’ll work on throughout a few days. It feels like less work, and it gives you goals to work toward for that day.

• Make outlines for papers- Try to write the thesis or main argument for the paper and three reasons to back it up as proof. Then, write the paper. This way, you’ll have a layout and you won’t lose your focus as much.

• Divide reading assignments- If you have 50 pages to read, if possible, read 25 pages throughout two days. Now that’s much more doable.

• Master skimming pages- They never taught you this before college, did they? A lot of times, you can get the gist of most readings by focusing in on sentences that seem like the main points; try to think of what the professor may ask if he/she were to quiz you on the reading and spend more time focusing on those sections instead of every single sentence.

Being an Athlete and Having a Social Life: The Balancing Act

College is a place for a clean start. A new beginning unlike any other as you are meeting new people, stepping out of your comfort zone, and…being an athlete? Many of your high school teammates have retired from their sport and are off to a new world of carefree parties, sleeping in on weekends, and having an overwhelming amount of free time. I run cross country and track for my university and I know firsthand how keeping up with an active social life can clash with athletics. Being that I run cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter, and outdoor track in the spring, I don’t get a break. I simply have learned to balance.

Let’s start with the new world of carefree parties. There is nothing carefree about attending a party when getting caught could risk your scholarship or even your eligibility. Parties are a part of the college life that everyone should experience; athletes just need to be extra responsible. When you’re not away at a meet or a game you should take advantage of those off weekends! Go out with your teammates, they are in the same situation as you are and as teammates you will look out for each other. Act responsibly on these “off” weekends and remember as an athlete, you’re automatically in the spot light.

Sleeping in on weekends doesn’t happen that often for athletes. This can greatly affect your social life.  Who wants to stay out late on Friday night when they have 6:30am practice on Saturday morning? You must make friends with your teammates! Your teammates are the only people in the exact same situation as you. They’ll understand if Friday night turns into an early movie night instead of a party. Your teammates will spend hours a week with you in and out of practice, they’ll have your back, and they’ll understand your life style.

Athlete’s schedules can get crazy. Your friends might go to a few classes a day, relax at the mall, or go out for lunch. As an athlete you are expected to not only go to a few classes a day but to schedule them all around your 2-3 hour practice. Although free time is limited, it’s easier to work out a schedule than it looks. Based on your season, take the credits you can handle, go to practice, and be sure to get those required study hall hours your coach requires. I have managed to take 15 credit hours, attend track practice, do my homework, hold a steady job, do an internship, and spend time with my friends at the same time. It can be done. Be sure to write out a to-do list daily in order to keep all your responsibilities balanced.

It’s not easy to be a student athlete but it wasn’t easy to get there either. As an athlete you know all about setting goals and working extremely hard to achieve them. Balancing your social life and your hectic schedule is just like your sport, it just takes determination and a lot practice.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Human Resources Management