Organize now and beat end-of-semester stress

Organize now and beat end-of-semester stress

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and that means it’s “work, work, work, work, work” until Thanksgiving.

These past two weeks have likely been crazy.  Between unpacking your bags, setting up your room and buying enough food to survive, all while going out more than you probably should, it’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed. But now the real fun begins.

College is an incredible learning opportunity on so many levels, but the number one reason we are here is to get an education.  As we move into this enormous block of the fall semester, now is the time to find a study routine that works for you. Explore the abundance of libraries this campus has to offer and find the one that works for you.

Quiet libraries or quiet floors are more constructive to getting your serious work done. Yet you can use other libraries for study groups in classes that you know you might need extra help in.  Decide what method of note-taking is going to work for the rest of the semester for each class.  Mark down when your professors have office hours and make use of them.  Organize your room so that you have a place to work or put up reminder sticky notes.

Besides the learning aspect of our lives here, there are many other routines that you need to solidify.  This is the time to reevaluate your eating schedule for the semester.  What days do you need to make lunch? What dining halls are close enough to your classes, if you’re on a meal plan? Do you have all the necessary utensils in your kitchen, or will you be eating cereal and milk out of a coffee cup like I have been for the last week?

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And while you work out your food plan, don’t forget that the freshman fifteen can extend past your freshman year.  No one wants to fall into that trap, so start putting together a workout plan.

Personally, I have found that scheduling times to go to the gym into my calendar make me far more likely to actually make it there.  Some people find signing up for various workout classes the better option.  Check your schedule and see what works for you — and maybe even make a plan to go with friends to motivate each other and make sure you actually find your way to an elliptical.

Determine how often you may need to go shopping for food or toiletries.  Plan to make these trips with friends — you can get all the supplies you need and use that time to catch up.  Figure out how often you’ll have to drag yourself to the laundry machine, and don’t forget to change your sheets while you’re at it.

Besides your personal needs being met for the semester, this is the time to better decide who else you’ll be surrounding yourself with this year.  If you got overwhelmed on Quad Day and put your name down for 50 clubs, now is the time to decide what you want to prioritize.  For clubs with weekly meetings, make sure that it is marked wherever you keep a calendar.

Organize and rename your Facebook or GroupMe group chats to quickly search and find who you need to talk to.  Make sure everyone is in constant communication to ensure your club accomplishes everything you set out to do this semester.

You may feel like you just stepped foot on campus for the year, or you may feel like you never left. Either way, as scary as it sounds, it’s not too early to think about plans for the upcoming summer.  Career fairs start this week, and that means it’s time to take off the t-shirts and shorts and put on our business clothes.

It is so important to utilize all the resources that this University has to offer.  Go to the Career Center and have them help you with your resúmé and CV, or practice your interview skills.  Write to your advisers and discuss what sort of internship or work experience would be most beneficial for your future plans.

This may seem like an overwhelming and daunting list, yet slowly but surely it will all manage to fall into place.  Your support systems here at this University — your professors, your advisers and your friends — are incredible and want to see you succeed.  Take the time now to make sure all these components of your year are set, and everything else will happen with more ease.  Stay organized, stay focused and make the most of your time here.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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