4 Tips To Stay Sane While At College

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Going to college is an incredible rite of passage, but it can also come with a great deal of uncertainty. Depending on your age, it might be your first taste of independence, and you need to figure out how to demonstrate your freedom without losing your sense of responsibility. Between studying, tests, and socializing, there's a whole lot on your plate. Here are four tips to stay sane while at college.

Make a schedule

Your sense of time management needs to be fine-tuned if you want to succeed in college. Unlike high school, you won't have anyone checking up on you if you miss class. Don't let this cause you think you can get away with slacking. Too many college students find themselves panicking at the end of the semester because they realized that they needed to hold themselves accountable far too late.

Take a look at your class schedule and schedule the rest of your week accordingly. If you have three hours between your morning class and your afternoon class, then you know when to get lunch. If you have one day with no class, find a time when you can squeeze in some studying. There might be a few times that you have to interrupt your schedule, such as medical emergencies, but you can give yourself so much more structure this way.

Have responsible fun

Having a great time in college means that you're not just spending every hour in class or studying. Some of the greatest memories you'll ever have will happen in college. However, you need to make sure you're careful about what kind of fun you have. Her Campus explains, “Although parties are a good time, there’s a fine line between having fun and getting out of control. Before you know it, your continuous partying could start negatively affecting your health and life.”

Partying too much is grounds for getting you in serious trouble, academically, socially, or both. If you want to go out with your friends, you need to first make sure that you're not shirking your responsibilities. You should be using parties to celebrate, not to distract your mind from things you need to take care of. Put your schoolwork before socializing, and both of those things will be much more enjoyable. When planning spring break, more responsible options like Disneyland or Disneyworld can provide wholesome fun.

Stay organized

The people who have the most trouble with college aren't any less smart than anyone else. However, they're likely to be much less organized. They might've been able to get along fine when their parents were handling all their appointments and keeping track of their belongings. Now, they need to figure things out for themselves. As a college student, it's imperative that you know what you need to do and where things need to be. For example, Connections Academy suggests avoiding unnecessary frustration by breaking up big projects into parts that you tackle one by one instead of trying to do it all at once the night before the deadline.

Part of that is keeping your living spaces clean. Cheryl Harper from Southern Cross Cleaning says, “Make sure to set aside time to clean and organize on a regular basis. Even just ten minutes per day can make a tremendous difference.” Another part of personal organization is having a dedicated place to study and work. You don't want to be running around in a frenzy, trying to figure out where you put an important essay on its due date. You should have a place for everything, such as specially-designated drawers with labels for different items. Don't let trash pile up in your dorm and be sure to save and backup files on your computer.

Additionally, it might be important to also know and have plans for when you might move. Many students live in student housing and with that can come the issues of having to move in and out multiple times a year. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re family can’t help out with moving all of your things. Because of this, it can be helpful to know exactly when you’re moving and to where that way you can easily plan out when to pack and how to pack. Moving doesn’t always have to be a pain, especially when you begin to grasp what things absolutely need to go with you, and which can be kept at home with family.

Get enough rest

You've probably heard stories of college students staying up all night cramming for a test or writing a paper. While these might sound impressive, they're indicative of an unhealthy trend of sleep deprivation. You need to sleep in order to function properly in class. Even if you think you're rested, you might be surprised by how more alert you'll feel with a solid sleep schedule.

At least seven hours of sleep per night is a must. Make a point of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Even if your first class isn't until later in the day, you can still help yourself out greatly by waking up early. Use the mornings for eating breakfast, yoga, meditation, and studying. When it's time for class, you can be so much more energized and focused. Your mental health is on the line, and if you don't get enough sleep while in college, you could be putting it in serious jeopardy.

College is a time of ups and downs, but if you plan things out properly, it's going to be mostly ups. You should be willing to try new things, but don't let your common sense go out the window. Your future is greatly dependent on how you perform in college. Take these changes in stride and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need to. When it comes time to look back on your college career, it'll hopefully be with a smile.

Ian Walsh